What Are Sweater Swatch Service Companies?
Have you ever thought about becoming a sweater designer? When I started working in the fashion industry almost two decades ago I was surprised to find out that there were companies that don’t actually design the entire sweater. Rather, they sell sweater swatches to designers for concepts. These companies are called sweater swatch service companies.
Within the fashion industry designers often call upon various service companies to provide new trends and concepts to add to their designer collections. This is also true for sweaters. There are sweater swatch service companies (also known as swatch houses or sweater studios) that sell to design houses original swatches. These swatches help give designers ideas for stitches, color, and pattern.
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of the fashion sweater swatch service business in just one post! This article is part of a 5 part Fashion Knit Business Series. If you want to learn how to become a sweater textile designer or start your own service-based business you can check out the entire series at the bottom of this page.
What Does A Sweater Textile Designer Do?
If you work in the fashion industry in design you might consider specializing in an area such as denim, activewear, or even sweaters. Textile designers who specialize in sweaters could work for these sweater swatch service companies.
To be a successful sweater textile designer one must have expert knowledge of yarn development, knitting machine capabilities, trend forecasting, and stitch designs. They sometimes also collaborate directly with spinning industry leaders on yarn innovation. Because they are experts in their fields they often act as liaisons between clients and knitting technicians to help bring the designs to production.
These artisans must research trends each season related to their particular market. There are trends in color, yarn qualities, and pattern that change every season in different markets. They use this information to design their knitting collections each season. They may create their design by hand or use a small knitting machine.
How Does It Work?
At the beginning of each season, designers will call the studio and ask to see their latest collection. They will either meet at a trade show such as Premiere Vision or Spin Expo, or they will come directly to the designers’ offices to show their collection. They arrive with suitcases full of sweater swatches to show the designers. Hopefully the designer will see something they like and they will purchase the swatch. A sweater swatch can sell anywhere from $500 to $1000 each depending on its size and complexity in design. A few might also sell vintage sweater pieces as well.
Some sweater swatch studios will specialize in a particular market such as childerswear or menswear. If they do not specialize this means they need to have enough designs to show customers in all categories. That can mean a lot of sweater designs! Each service provider has to produce a large amount of designs each season that are appropriate for their customers. Due to the large demand needed for new sweater designs each season these sweater textile service companies often represent other sweater designers work in addition to their own.
Fashion Knit Business Series:
If you or someone you know id interested in working as a sweater textile designer you can read the entire blog series here. Learn what it takes to be a successful sweater textile designer, and how to start and run your own sweater swatch service business.
- What Is A Sweater Swatch Service Company
- How To Get Representation As A Sweater Textile Designer
- Top 10 Tips To Be A Successful Sweater Textile Designer
- How To Build Your Own Sweater Swatch Service Business
- Advice From Top Sweater Designers