There is no doubt that the fine art of hand-embroidery and embellishment add a touch of opulence to everything it adorns- gowns, accessories, jewellery, home décor and so much more. This is why couturiers and ateliers, worldwide, partner with expert embroidery suppliers to explore design possibilities and achieve couture’s high standards.
Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Paolo Sebastian are just some of the design houses that work with embroidery supply partners based in Mumbai, India. Ever wondered why? It’s because they get to work with the most skilled craftsmen, enjoy exclusivity on their designs, and above all, it makes total financial sense.
Being in the business of couture for circa 10+ years, we have put together some of our observations and learnings to achieve the most value for the money invested when working with embroidery partners.
Read on for tips on how to keep a check on your embroidery expenses!
Make a Sample!
A small swatch plays a pivotal role in bringing your design to life, in a cost-effective way. Making a sample allows you to experiment with beads, colours, techniques, artworks, etc.
This is also when you understand the quality of workmanship the supplier can offer. A good supplier offers multiple techniques and brainstorms with you to achieve the best possible outcome in design and technique.
Sampling is significant for a smooth and hassle-free production. Move on to the next step only once you are a hundred percent convinced with the sample.
Have a Target Price:
We are all in the business of couture. We understand that couture-standards are as important as profitability. To ensure you achieve both, always give a target price to the supplier.
The sample you created not only helps in achieving the right design but also the right costs. You will be surprised how minor tweaks in embroidery techniques, artworks and materials can bring down costs. An experienced supplier will be able to customise your embroidery and artwork to meet your budgets. Without compromising on the look and finish, obviously.
Patterns vs Fabrics:
A lot of designers work with beaded fabrics to make their gowns as it allows them spontaneity and tweaking of design until the very end. And of course, it’s the ease of buying ready beaded fabrics without having to explain your creative requirements to anyone. However, this a labour-intensive process. It consumes hours of seamstresses’ time and limits the number of clients a design house can take on.
On the other hand, having embroidery custom-made to the garment’s paper patterns is a lot more efficient. There’s also minimal wastage as you don’t have to you cut through the embroidery (like you do with fabrics) and repair loose beads.
Pattern based custom-embroidery also allows you to be creative with your designs as you can choose your embroidery techniques, materials, artworks etc and are not be limited by the selection of beaded fabrics available. It’s also the best way to create exclusive embroidery, since ready-made fabrics can be supplied to any number of customers.
Partner not Vendor:
It is important that you share a long-standing relationship with your supplier. Your embroidery partner must keep you looped in on every step of the process- artwork, sample and production. They must remain accountable for their half of the deal and proactively solve for issues (we will all run into some every once in a while).
With a partner, your quality standards and timelines are aligned, communication is easy, your design aesthetic is understood and your vision is given wings! Efficient record-keeping is a must for repeat orders. And above all, your target price is honoured ensuring you’re in a mutually beneficial relationship.
It might take you a while to find this partner, but in the long-run, this is a significant step in building a profitable business.
At the heart of everything we do at Ricamour Embroideries is to conserve the fine craft of hand embroidery. We create exquisite pieces of art across Couture, Prêt-à-Porter and Bridal and 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.