Where Material Inspiration Begins: Inside the Swatch Warehouse
“Before I source a fabric online, I need to see it and feel it. How can I do that on Le Souk?”
It’s a question that we receive frequently and inevitably. And we took it to heart when we launched Le Souk and our dedicated swatch warehouse in the heart of New York’s Garment District, which is why all registered buyers have access to our swatch sampling service.
No more chasing suppliers for their samples. No more traveling to showrooms. And no more hefty international shipping fees for your swatch sampling.
The added beauty of our swatch warehouse is that buyers can access material inspiration from multiple suppliers around the globe in one single domestic shipment.
Each swatch ships domestically within the US for a flat rate of $4 per swatch. For our buyers outside of the US, there is an additional international shipping fee. Because we photograph everything on the marketplace to provide buyers with the best visual experience, we keep just enough material for us to give our buyers access to a variety of swatches. As you search the Le Souk marketplace, you'll see that the vast majority of our materials are available as a swatch. Simply click, "Get a Swatch" and the swatch will be added to your cart.
In this weekly feature, we’ll be highlighting some of the latest additions to our swatch warehouse.
Pictured above are just two of the latest additions to our Supima Pavilion, an exclusive showcase of materials made using Supima fiber. This weeks featured Supima, the finest long staple cotton available on the market today, was produced by Creditex, a vertically-integrated mill in Peru that can support designers from fabric sourcing all the way through production.
These are latest materials from Proposte Srl, our favorite silk supplier in Como, Italy. This season, Proposte experimented with bolder colors & prints, which they’re featuring on their Le Souk showroom. A number of these materials feature Lurex and voluminous weaves, perfect for dramatic cocktail dresses, ball gowns, and skirts.
It's all part of our mission to make direct sourcing more accessible, more seamless and more efficient.
We know this is a new way to source and you may very well have some questions. Below are just some frequently asked questions about our swatch sampling service.
I'm used to getting swatches for free. Why do you charge for them?
Our swatch sampling fee covers the costs associated with operating and managing our swatch warehouse, along with the cost of shipping swatches out to our buyers. The $4 fee includes standard USPS shipping within the US. Our goal is to make the cost more efficient than what you may be spending today on international couriers and wasted time waiting for sample swatches.
We are looking into return programs to decrease cost and the opportunity to credit your swatch purchase to your future orders on Le Souk.
How big are the swatches?
Each swatch is at least 6" x 6".
And how are they labeled?
Each swatch is labeled with the relevant material specs including weight, width, weave, material composition, country of origin, SKU and the supplier name. Please note that the swatch is not labeled with the price, as this is subject to fluctuation. You can always login to Le Souk to view the latest price directly from the supplier.
How long does it take for the swatches to arrive?
All swatches ship from our warehouse in NYC. Orders within the United States should arrive in 2-3 business days with free shipping, unless you hear otherwise from our sourcing concierge. Orders outside of the United States should arrive within 6-8 business days at a cost-efficient rate. In both cases, expedited shipping options are available for an additional shipping fee.
Once I get a swatch from Le Souk in the mail, how do I locate it on the marketplace or get sample yardage?
Each swatch you receive will be labeled with its SKU. You can then search by SKU to find the swatch that you ordered. We also encourage our buyers to take advantage of their virtual swatchbook. You can add a material to your swatchbook simply by clicking the "Pin Icon 📌" on the material image. The material is then stored for easy access later.
What about the materials on the marketplace for which you do not have samples in-stock and ready to ship? How can I get samples of those materials?
You'll notice on some material pages that the button which usually says, "Get a Swatch," instead says "Request a Swatch." These fall into that small percentage of materials for which swatches are not available immediately.
In some cases, you may have to request a swatch because we are replenishing our inventory of that particular swatch. In other cases, the supplier has requested the ability to further vet each of the buyers who is requesting a swatch of their material. This means that your swatch request is being reviewed by the supplier in question. When your request is approved, you will receive an email notification and the swatch will appear in your cart.
If, for whatever reason, your request is not approved, our sourcing concierge is available to recommend alternative materials on the marketplace with similar specifications.