The future of fabric sampling is changing. Instead of investing in large swatch books that contain pieces of every fabric in production, manufacturers are opting to use swatch memos instead.
A swatch memo is a single fabric sample that is used to confirm a designer's choice of fabric.
A few different types of swatch memos are available, and each offers unique benefits that you can take advantage of when manufacturing fabric in the future.
1. Ticketed Swatch Memos
The most popular type of swatch memo being used today is the ticketed memo. A ticketed swatch memo is created when an identification tag is attached to a piece of fabric. The identification tag serves as a marketing tool by letting designers know who manufactured the fabric being sampled.
Ticketed memos tend to be one of the smaller types of swatch memos since the identification tag only obscures a very small section of the sample.
2. Backprinted Swatch Memos
Another type of swatch memo you might use to give designers access to fabric samples is a backprinted swatch memo.
In this type of memo, any identifying information you want to provide is printed directly on the backside of the fabric swatch. This approach allows you to reduce production costs and makes it easier for your clients to avoid losing a separate identification card.
Backprinted memos only work for fabrics that are able to accept lithographic inks so that your information won't smear or fade.
3. Labeled Swatch Memos
Labeled swatch memos offer an alternative to backprinted swatch memos. Instead of printing information about a fabric swatch directly on the back of the fabric itself, a paper label is attached to the backside of the fabric.
This paper label must be attached using a special adhesive to prevent the label from curling as the glue dries.
You can use a labeled swatch whenever you want to enjoy the benefits a backprinted swatch can provide without risking the potential for fading or smearing.
4. Chain Swatch Memos
Chain swatch memos can be extremely useful when a designer wants to sample a fabric that comes in multiple colors. Instead of providing a single swatch, a chain memo includes small samples of all color options.
The fabric pieces are joined together by a fold-over ticket that includes all the information needed to identify the manufacturer and product number of the fabric.
It's more cost effective to send chain swatch memos to designers debating fabric color than it is to send larger swatch memos of each available color variation.