Textile Sample Books?

Hi everyone,
I’m not a soft goods guy but I’ve been tasked with creating a Material Library with some of the textiles we have on hand.
But I also need to pick up some new ones. I’ve never worked with a textile manufacturer or material supplier.

My graphic design friends get large sample books for free from paper manufactures. Does anyone know where I can get a Textile Sample Book for free or at a fair price? Any nudge in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Try to find a material show in your area, and go talk to the vendors.
you can also do an internet search and contact those that are of interest.

I guess it would be important for me to mention I am in the San Francisco Bay Area.

A quick search for “Textile Vendors” “Textile Manufacturers” mostly brought up consumer/retail stores such as Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and Crafts. I’ve found one place that seemed to be what I was looking for except that they only deal with upholstery fabric and I am looking mostly for apparel fabrics. Is there something else I should be searching for? This is all new to me.

You might like to try sommers.com

They’re out of New Jersey I believe, and have everything from technical textiles to fake fur(?). Not 100% sure how well they integrate into anything production level, but I do recall hearing something about Nike using a textile or two from them.

Anyways, good luck - hope that helps,


Having done both softgoods and graphic design, I’ll tell you it’s easier to get the paper books than the fabric swatches. It seems like fabric changes pretty quickly, and it fades and varies a lot per batch as well.

Jo-anne doesn’t do this, but Hancock’s also sells wholesale.

most of our other fabric comes from China and was a pain to even find the first time, so I won’t save you the experience of finding what you need… :smiley:

Rob: In September i recommend you taking a trip to Portland

Looks like I’m off to find some Chinese vendors.
Thanks for the heads-up on the event Crewkid, hopefully I can make it.

try seattle fabrics they will send you a swatch for a small fee or you can go into your local fabric store ie Jo-Ann’s or Hancock they are always up to giving out samples.

What type of textiles? There are different divisions and suppliers for different types of fabrics. For example a nylon pack fabrics vs a 3 layer laminated jacket fabric.