The Importance of Fabric Swatch Books in the Swim Industry

The Importance of Fabric Swatch Books in the Swim Industry

The variety of fabrics in the swim industry is never-ending – there are multiple fabric production processes, structures and materials with thousands of colors and patterns that go with them. 

There will always be someone who’s drawing the next trendy pattern. Also, change the slightest details on a fabric’s production process and you might receive a slightly different output from what your customer ordered. This might lead the produced material to get rejected by your client and leave the mill with headstock fabric. 

In most cases, deadstock fabric is a perfectly fine fabric; it’s just not in exact accordance with what the clients ordered. So if you consider these mishaps, the infinite variety of fabrics really turns into a fact.

If you’re sourcing fabrics, remember to feel the texture and drape and look at their live colors, as the lighting on an image may also be misleading. This is where swatches come to play.

What is a fabric swatch?

A fabric swatch is a common and easy way to keep a record of the materials available in your catalog. The important details of every fabric are written next to it for future reference. A fabric swatch also effectively demonstrates how colors and materials will look before the cloth comes into existence. Swatches offer the advantage of showcasing how colors and patterns appear on the fabric. This may not seem great on paper or a computer screen.

Why do you need fabric swatches and why are they important?

If you haven’t started your project, a fabric swatch is an excellent way to check if the fabric matches what you’re working on before buying several meters of the fabric. This is mainly for you who are shopping online. 

You’ll never know how the fabric feels, what the colors actually look like, or how the fabric handles, drapes and washes until it’s in your hands. Indeed, it’s okay for some projects to take a gamble, but when you’re working, if you’re working expensive fabrics, that’s not a risk you’re willing to take.

If you own a piece of fabric or if you’re already used it all up for a project, it’s still a good idea to save a swatch for your fabric. You can use it as a reference for upcoming projects or when you’re looking for similar qualities online.

What information can you include?

There are endless possibilities, but it all depends on your needs. Here are some ideas that inspire your own fabric swatch library.

  • The type of fabric (batiste, denim, poplin, gingham, tweed, jacquard, boucle, double gauze, taffeta, etc.)
  • Name of the design (prints usually have a name)
  • The designer’s name (prints can have the designer’s name in the description)
  • The place you bought it
  • Fabric content. For example, 100% cotton, 95% cotton + 4% elastane, 100% tercel, 100% linen, etc.
  • The place you’ve stored it
  • If you’ve pre-washed it or not
  • How much you have left
  • The fabric’s weight
  • Care instructions
  • The price


Fabric swatches are an essential step towards placing a fabric order for your swim line unless it’s a recurring order from the exact fabric. Luckily, we at Bali Swim provide you with various fabric swatches book. We are confident with the quality of fabrics we offer with our newest launch WS Prints Swatch Book. This is mainly for you who are sourcing fabrics. Browse through our wide range of fabrics and add them to your cart.


Your Bali Swim Team