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Small batch manufacturers in the US

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windchaser

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Hi Fastlaners,

I already have some prototypes of my product and I am currently looking for small batch manufacturers in the US.

I am having a lot of trouble identifying the relevant ones and I was wondering the process that others in the same situation have followed to find the right manufacturer for you.

I would love to hear your insights and experiences with this process.

Many thanks in advance!
 

oldirty

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What typing of manufacturing will it need to be (investment casting, cnc machining, waterjet, etc)? Do you have mechanical drawings of your product that will show the manufacturer exactly what you need?

The answer to your question varies greatly between manufacturing method. It could be as simple as bring your prototype to a machine shop and show them what you want.
 

windchaser

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What typing of manufacturing will it need to be (investment casting, cnc machining, waterjet, etc)? Do you have mechanical drawings of your product that will show the manufacturer exactly what you need?

The answer to your question varies greatly between manufacturing method. It could be as simple as bring your prototype to a machine shop and show them what you want.

Thanks for your reply. It is clothing and knitting with specific type of fabrics.

My trouble is more with finding the right type of manufacturer, the listings I found and information in general is not very promising, for example, I have only been able to identify a couple potential manufactures and only across the country.

I was wondering if some search tools already exist that I haven't found (maybe a quality listing or lead generator) and what approach other entrepreneurs follow (ex: lead generators, listing, industry trade shows, etc).

Even from people in other industries, hearing the way you approach it is still helpful :)
 

Eskil

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I would start out searching on ThomasNet; ThomasNet® - Product Sourcing and Supplier Discovery Platform

Google can also be your friend. Try terms like "contract manufacturing". A quick search I just did came up with some like these;
Integrated Textile Solutions - manufacturing solutions for industrial, military, and specialty textile products and apparel
Weckworth Textile Capabilities | Contract Sewing

I'm sure there are lots more. Put them in a list, gather contact info, and start reaching out about capabilities, quotes and terms :)
 

windchaser

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I would start out searching on ThomasNet; ThomasNet® - Product Sourcing and Supplier Discovery Platform

Google can also be your friend. Try terms like "contract manufacturing". A quick search I just did came up with some like these;
Integrated Textile Solutions - manufacturing solutions for industrial, military, and specialty textile products and apparel
Weckworth Textile Capabilities | Contract Sewing

I'm sure there are lots more. Put them in a list, gather contact info, and start reaching out about capabilities, quotes and terms :)

Many thanks for your help!! That platform you recommend is very useful :)

I will definitely keep trying different search words as well, my issue is that English is not my first language and I stick to more basic words or even omit ones that would be obvious of most people ☺
 

OldFaithful

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Remember to network as you go. If you contact a mfg and they don't sound like a good candidate, ask them for a recommendation...they will know their industry and the players. If you have established a good rapport, they will be glad to help and usually provide good info!
 

oldirty

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Thanks for your reply. It is clothing and knitting with specific type of fabrics.

My trouble is more with finding the right type of manufacturer, the listings I found and information in general is not very promising, for example, I have only been able to identify a couple potential manufactures and only across the country.

I was wondering if some search tools already exist that I haven't found (maybe a quality listing or lead generator) and what approach other entrepreneurs follow (ex: lead generators, listing, industry trade shows, etc).

Even from people in other industries, hearing the way you approach it is still helpful :)

I would start by creating detailed drawings of what you need. Break out the pencil and paper and ruler and draw something that details the item, and makes all of its features and sizes clear. Or have a professional make CAD model and print you some nice mechanical drawings (even for clothing). These drawings will serve as a guide for the manufacturer to build your item from.

With drawings in hand, go shopping. Think of anyone who could possibly make what you want (not just clothing). The first things that come to mind are tailors, sail-makers, rope makers, etc.. They don't explicitly have to be "garment manufacturers" to make what you need. They just need the proper equipment, happen to need business, and like money.
 

windchaser

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Remember to network as you go. If you contact a mfg and they don't sound like a good candidate, ask them for a recommendation...they will know their industry and the players. If you have established a good rapport, they will be glad to help and usually provide good info!
Thanks for the advice! It is true that everyone knows who is who in the their industry and despite being competitors if they actually are not a good fit for capabilities, scale, etc, they might refer someone! I will certainly do that.
 

windchaser

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May 24, 2017
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I would start by creating detailed drawings of what you need. Break out the pencil and paper and ruler and draw something that details the item, and makes all of its features and sizes clear. Or have a professional make CAD model and print you some nice mechanical drawings (even for clothing). These drawings will serve as a guide for the manufacturer to build your item from.

With drawings in hand, go shopping. Think of anyone who could possibly make what you want (not just clothing). The first things that come to mind are tailors, sail-makers, rope makers, etc.. They don't explicitly have to be "garment manufacturers" to make what you need. They just need the proper equipment, happen to need business, and like money.

That is actually very good advice. I am working on the patterns that details the characteristics as much as possible. I was approaching my search very specifically and that was why I was not finding a lot. It is an excellent idea to think more broadly about who might have the capabilities to create the product in other industries.
 

Donna_Lee

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Sep 1, 2016
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Hi Windchaser, I know you were looking for a US manufacturer; but you might be interested in looking to The Great White North for your production.
I found a company you might possibly contact. They make custom designs and also do private label. I'm not sure of their minimum order, and I have no personal experience with them; but they look reputable.
Their website is Jerico.ca You might also contact some of the fashion industry schools like FIT.
I wish you much success, as I know venturing is not easy; especially in the fashion industry.
 

windchaser

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May 24, 2017
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Hi Windchaser, I know you were looking for a US manufacturer; but you might be interested in looking to The Great White North for your production.
I found a company you might possibly contact. They make custom designs and also do private label. I'm not sure of their minimum order, and I have no personal experience with them; but they look reputable.
Their website is Jerico.ca You might also contact some of the fashion industry schools like FIT.
I wish you much success, as I know venturing is not easy; especially in the fashion industry.
Many thanks for your suggestion! I will definitely ya me a look at them :)
 

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