Crowdsourcing Fabric Sampling

My design friend Dick Gentry did this blog post recently about crowdsourcing fabric samples for the design industry and posing the question- What is the perfect way to sample fabrics?  After reading it; it reminded me of the design charette that we did 10 years ago on the same subject.   I remember designers vehemently telling us there was no way their clients’ would give up stack books- they “needed” to touch and feel their potential choices. Looking back, it really had more to do with the designers not embracing change and their “need” to touch and feel.
Fast forward 10 years  and the new design client is shopping online, buying custom products sight unseen and working with professionals virtually.  So what do you think is the future of sampling in this industry? The way we’ve been doing it is inefficient, expensive and unsustainable.  Will augmented reality be the wave of the future? Will our clients put on a pair of goggles and “walk” into the the rooms we’ll be designing;  or actually navigate your mood boards touching the swatches, and feeling the surface choices.  So, What’s your million dollar sampling idea?
If you have a winning idea: we’ll help you bring it to market.

Crowd Think on Fabric Sampling

Posted by Dick Gentry
I would love your input on fabric sampling, an issue I’ve been working on for years at Wesco Fabrics.  Sampling our customers is a huge expense made more difficult with rapidly changing styles and colors, shorter availability from fabric mills and the ways in which designers work on their projects. Old fashioned “stack books” have been used in the industry forever…but is there something better that fits the needs of today’s interior and window covering designer? You may have a totally new idea or variation on the traditional “stack book.” Please send your thoughts to
We have many different types of customers, some with fabric libraries, some using a showroom when they are sourcing fabrics for a project, and others who go online to view fabric images and to order swatches, as with Wesco Online at
If I could dream up the perfect sampling idea it would include ease of use, something which helps sell a client, and would also be cost effective for the fabric supplier to produce.  I just feel there must be a new idea out there.  Maybe you’ve been thinking about this as well. I can’t wait to hear from you at
Related Posts with Thumbnails
0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment