Jobbers : Textile Jobbers, Fabric Jobbers, Clothing Jobbers - Fashion Terms of Interest to the Fashion Industry
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The word "jobber" is a common term in the fashion industry. Although there are similar, but varying definitions according to different sources, Apparel Search credits Denverfabrics.com with a clear definition that truly describes the role of a jobber. According to the site, very little fabric, apart from quilting prints, is actually made for retail sale. Most fabric is produced for garment manufacturers. When people refer to wholesale fabric, what they are talking about is fabric sold at prices that manufacturers pay.
When garment manufacturers finish cutting and sewing, they invariably end up with surplus fabric. They place orders for their fabrics many months in advance of production, and it is simply impossible for them to accurately estimate their needs. Their estimates can be over or under—but are usually under.
Manufacturers sell their surplus fabric to middlemen called fabric jobbers. These jobbers are typically expected to make large purchases—often the manufacturer's entire fabric surplus. The jobber is willing to make this kind of purchase, even though it is likely to include some fabric that is not very desirable, because it is buying it for a fraction of the original wholesale fabric prices.
When the jobbers sell to retailers, they put their markup on the below-wholesale price paid to the garment manufacturer. The retailer then puts a markup on the jobber’s price. Even with these two markups, the price to the consumer can still be near or even below the original wholesale fabric price paid by the garment manufacturer.
Other common words that are often used to describe a jobber include middleman or wholesaler. According to Dictionary.com, a jobber is a manufacturer, tradesman, or wholesaler who deals in small lots of goods or "jobs" or acts as an agent, middleman (intermediary), or a sub-contractor, and usually does not deal directly with the principal customer.
A jobbing house is a type of wholesale business.
Written for Apparel Search by Regina Cooper
Please note that a jobber should not be confused with a company that can help you find a job. Companies that help the fashion industry find jobs are considered fashion employment agencies. If you are looking for a fashion job, you may want to try the fashion job search site.
Learn more about apparel industry jobbers.
Read the discussion at the Fashion Industry Network regarding, "What is a jobber?".
Did you know that textile jobbers are also can be considered brokers?
I assume textile jobbers can help reduce the amount of textile waste. If they can sell the small yardage of fabric left over from fabric manufacturers, that small amount of fabric does not go to waste..