Couture designers across the world have been employing the fine art of hand-embroidery and embellishment to add exclusivity to their creations. The limitless techniques and possibilities that embroidery offers, make it even more exciting for all of us in the business of couture to innovate and experiment.
For their embroidery requirements, luxury brands choose to partner with overseas ateliers for multiple reasons- some do it because it makes financial sense, some do it for the convenience and some do it to work with the best craftsmen and artisans. However, there are multiple challenges that one faces when working with these overseas suppliers. For a long-term and mutually profitable partnership, it’s important to find the right one for you.
Here, we talk about the top five things, we think, are important to consider when choosing your embroidery supply partner.
Expertise & Experience:
A true partner takes your vision and gives it wings. Ensure you are getting an embroidery partner who brings a new skill to the table, offers newer techniques and brainstorms with you to achieve the best possible outcome in design and technique. Get a sample made for your design to judge this the right way.
Know more about the company’s profile, clientele, past work and glance through their website and social media pages. Connect with them on a video call and don’t just rely on email communication. This should give you a fair idea of their experience and ability to deliver.
Quality & Accountability:
The quality of materials used, the workmanship and the finish should align with you brand’s promise. The right quality also ensures durability of your creations- beads are stitched securely and don’t fall off, no visible lose threads, etc. A flawless finish and top quality workmanship is after all what makes couture, couture. While it’s difficult to gauge this from a sample, you should get a fair idea from your first couple of orders.
An accountable supplier will take responsibility for their half of the deal and proactively solve for quality issues (we will all run into those every once in a while). Honest and effective communication will ensure you find the best possible solution to quality issues and prevent them from re-occurring in the future. Efficient record-keeping is needed for repeat orders. You should be kept involved in every step of the process- artwork, sample and production to achieve the finest in design and quality.
It is important that the timelines promised to you are adhered to and you are kept in the loop in case of any unforeseen incidents. A supply partner who is unreliable when it comes to timelines is just not worth the investment of your time, money, skill and effort.
A mutually profitable partnership is as essential when it comes to choosing your supplier. The best way to achieve this is to give your target price right at the beginning. It is important that your supplier customises the embroidery to meet this. You should never be left worried about costs and question the value received against the money invested.
Responsible and Ethical:
While it is important for your goals to align with that of your supplier’s, there is also the larger goal that the fashion industry is moving towards- sustainability. It’s important to take responsibility for the impact we are having on the planet and support greener ways- biodegradable packaging, re-used cartons, REACH certified and sustainable materials are just some such examples.
Along with conserving the environment, it’s also important to conserve the rare craft of hand embroidery. Embroiders have long suffered as the community collectively has overlooked the difficult, unsafe and even exploitative labour practices. Safe workplace environment, fair wages, medical support and general welfare of these artisans shouldn’t be optional. Let’s all adopt ethical embroidery!
At the heart of everything we do at Ricamour Embroideries is to conserve the fine craft of hand embroidery and create exquisite pieces of art across Couture, Prêt-à-Porter and Bridal. We take pride in offering the best possible quality. Our Process ensures couture-standard workmanship is coupled with high quality components to give our Clients the highest possible finish.