Some designers, however, don’t like to leave anything to chance. They take delivery of the fabric themselves, and then send it to the manufacturer.
Nicole Baxter of Nicole Baxter Designs explains, “Have the fabric sent to you first, so you can stop any problems before you see the sofa. This will add an extra 2-3 weeks to your lead time estimates, but you can send an ugly purple fabric back for a 25% upcharge. Once it’s on the sofa, though, you have a much bigger problem. Also, if you love the look of a fabric you receive but notice that it’s too thin for your use, don’t be afraid to get it backed!”
Yaron Linett of Formal Traditional follows the same practice. “First we make sure to secure CFA's,” he said. “We order two, one for our files and one for the client's final binder. We make sure these are actual cuttings of the exact dye-lot, not memos.
“We prefer to take delivery of the fabric roll first and inspect it ourselves rather than having it shipped directly from the mill to the manufacturer. It’s inconvenient, but best practice.
“Once the fabric arrives, we inspect it to ensure that it is the correct fabric, matches the dye-lot of the CFA, and is free from flaws. Then, we mark the face and the direction to be used. We once received a piece that was printed upside down (opposite of the arrows printed on the selvedge), so you have to be very clear.”