Fabric Swatch: How To Create One?

Fabric Swatch

Preparing for a fashion project can be cumbersome, especially when dealing with different fabrics. Sometimes you need to use the fabrics in certain order and specification; thus, the need to sort them in order and based on your needs before you begin the project.  

A fabric swatch will help you sort all the fabrics. You can also create the swatch after you are done with a project to help you keep track of certain fabrics you may need for future projects.  

If you plan to do an upcoming fashion project, you should search for a fabric swatch store near me to access and purchase different fabrics for your swatch, or you can select a specific fabric you need for the project.  

The stores sort all the fabrics based on fiber content, texture, type, and other details to ensure you purchase the exact fabric you need for your project. Alternatively, you can create and customize your swatch and then collect the fabrics from the store. Here is a guideline to create one.  

The purpose of fabric swatch 

Before you create a swatch, you should determine the purpose, which will help you in the selection, organization, and determination of ideal sizes for the fabrics needed.  

If you need it for display, ensure it is large and the background used is tougher to avoid wear and tear. For your private project, you can use a fabric swatch book and print them out to present to your clients or class detailing what you intend to do. You need clear labels for presentation. And for client displays, you must provide information to help the customers with the selection process. 

What information to include in your swatch? 

The first process to creating a fabric swatch is deciding what information you need to include. The information included may vary for different people, but you should ensure you cover all the critical details. The basic information to include will be fabric content, texture, place of purchase, name of the design, type of fabric, name of the designer when you bought it, etc. The information included will depend on the intended purpose of the fabric swatch. 

If you intend to use it to track your fabric usage, additional information will include storage, i.e., whether it is washed or not, storage location, the amount used, and the remaining, etc. If you plan to use it for the upcoming project, you can buy the swatch book from a store and add information such as price, the amount needed, the weight, and other dimensions you deem necessary.  

How to organize the fabric swatch? 

After deciding all the information, you need for your fabric swatch; the next process is to decide on the organization style. There are different approaches you can assume depending on the project and the purpose. For instance, if you plan to embark on a project, i.e., sewing for an upcoming party, you can organize the fabric based on the needs, such as in the order of usage.  

Conventionally, it is much easier to organize them based on the type of fabric, such as cotton, wool, silk, etc. Within these grouping, you can further organize them based on texture, such as smooth, coarse, etc. The other approach is to organize them based on the colors. This way, you get to have pages for blue colors detailing all the types of blue fabric you have or need based on texture, dealer, fabric content, etc.  

The other focus is on the type of fabric, such as knits, stretched, and non-stretch. Finally, you can organize them based on the shop where you purchased them from. This may help you in the future to know where to acquire the same materials and fabric hence maintaining consistency. When organizing your fabric, you should be creative and use an organized method that is easier for you to follow.  

The swatch sizes 

Since you are likely to buy them from stores, you are bound by the sizes specified by the store. Most stores offer fabrics of 5*5 cm. you can create your own size, but that is possible when you buy fabric and then cut a little piece to include in your book. You do not need larger sizes since you have to keep the swatch neat and organized.  

Having longer sizes will occupy more space and overlap with the next swatch. You also do not need shorter or smaller swatches since they can be too tiny to feel the texture by hand or too small to recognize. A good piece should be square, about 8cm maximum, and a minimum of 5cm.  

Maintenance and updates 

While creating a fabric swatch, you need to save or leave some space for feature addition. This is meant to cover the new fabrics you intend for your collection. Alternatively, you can add custom fabrics created for customers by blending colors; such additions may be of interest to future customers.  

Instead of disorganizing the whole collection, the left space will help you keep the neatness. You can also update the collection by removing updated fabric and replacing them with new ones. However, you can create another fabric swatch for the old collection instead of throwing them since some customers may need something old-school and unique.  


Creating a fabric swatch should not be challenging if you have all the needed fabrics. You can create it procedurally as you update your fabrics, or you can buy all the fabrics at once and then create them. Ensure you determine the purpose to help you with the organization, size selection, and other needs.

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