Short Runs

Sustainable Downscaling

Short run production can allow for local sourcing closer to market needs, but also presents a number of challenges that can be addressed through TCBL.

We can identify three groups:

  1. Textile manufacturers willing to produce short run capacity, e.g. during down time, or wish to broaden their offer or have leftover fabric to sell. This might include textile manufacturers which may “over-produce” on purpose with large orders in order to diversify their business positioning, something they are keen to do.
  2. Garment manufacturers who range from the at home sewer to the small Cut, Make & Trim (CMT) unit. This could include the larger scale garment manufacturers who need to down-scale because of pressures to reduce numbers and through skills shortages.
  3. Designers who want to design and sell small lots, potentially by grouping together to increase buying power.

Match making opportunities can be engineered via an online platform created or adapted for this purpose. Such a platform will allow for the development of two options: firstly, CMT manufacturers to bid for jobs posted by designers; secondly, for manufacturers to post any excess stock to sell. Quality standards and kite marks held by manufacturers will be included in an element of quality assurance but the process will be essentially self-moderating and can be achieved using TripAdvisor style feedback. The same model applies for those manufacturers wishing to offload stocks of excess cloth, which could also offer opportunities for designers to aggregate demand.

A special issue of the TCBL_zine is under preparation for all of the Business Cases. A special issue of short runs related articles has been published already. To access them click here to subscribe for free:

For further information on the Short Runs Business Case, contact Bill Macbeth.

Who's involved

Countries to participate: UK, Italy, Slovenia and Romania.


Rita Britton / Nomad Atelier -

Nomad manufactures and sells clothes and accessories for ladies. Rita’s store, The Tobacco Warehouse, has been fully restored as a 21st Century luxury emporium, showcasing the Nomad collection of cashmere, silk, and leather accessories. Sourcing fabric in small quantities is a barrier to production.

Stephanie Hoole

Stephanie is a start-up company of Performance sportswear for ladies to be sold online and as a concession to large stores. She needs to source technical sports fabrics and specialist sportswear manufacturers as well as technical trims and a manufacturer who can make functional bra tops. She would also benefit from support for fits-development stages.

Louise Stocks Young/ LYS Atelier

Louise would like to offer a unique denim smock dress to the 30-50+ woman. Initially in 3x silhouettes with various design details of 3x colour offers: Black/Indigo/Cool grey. Where possible she would like to source the fabric and trims from Europe and manufacture in the UK, she is keen to use organic and ethically sound fabrics and wash processes.


Trafi Creatività Tessile -

Trafi gives the fashion world the opportunity to go beyond the old traditions of the textile industry by offering treatments that allow the creation of innovative textile products. Trafi works with recycled waste and offers dyeing and needle-punching expertise amongst other areas.

Lanificio Paoletti -

Founded in 1795, this woolen mill produces high quality textiles for the most prestigious fashion brands in Europe, America and East Asia. The mill is seeking for innovative ideas on product, production and sustainability. It is also committed in the valorisation of the rough local wool and periodically encourages artists, designers and fashion students in reinventing the tradition and identifying innovative textiles solutions.

Tessitura La Colombina - Nicki Colombo -

The company is a spinning and weaving mill founded in 1895. It produces high quality fashion accessories and products for Italian and foreign brands. Although having modern machineries, in recent years most of the silk and wool fabrics are handmade with looms dated from the 19th century.

A.MA - St.Georges -

This knitwear factory was founded in 1955 and is actually run by a young woman, Mara Collodel.  St.Georges designs women’s clothes using wool and mohair for winter and elasticized viscose for the summer collections. The whole production is local and great attention is given to the quality of fabrics and the wearability of clothes.

Maison De Caro -

This small atelier, run by two young brothers, Elena and Davide, has recently moved into an old abandoned printing company where the full production cycle is assured. Maison De Caro actually produces made to measure men’s shirts and children clothes. Elena and Davide are also willing to cooperate with designers and develop new products.


Tatjana Kalamar Fashion

Tatjana is a textile design expert with special graphic skills (portraits) and interest to innovate new textile products.  She has more than 20 years of experiences in big textile industries and fashion, she has knowledge on textile materials and also works for medium sized Slovenian textile industry producers.

Titera d.o.o.

Titera is run by Dr. Daniela Zavec Pavlinic, president of Slovenian Textile Association and president of Quality association of Pomurje region. She also works in University as professor. Titera is specialized in the textile, especially application kinesiology – that can be important in the different textile uses (for protection, army, workers, firemen, outdoor…). She is also producing natural and health-friendly clothing from bamboo materials.

Komet d.d.

Komet d.d. is specialized in the production of women underwear. Komet is present in Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Germany and Israel. They have two subsidiaries in Croatia and Serbia, actively contributing to the success of the Komet brand. The company's main activities are design and marketing of women's underwear. They are up-to-date with the latest technological innovations when choosing and working with modern materials. Komet Underwear is designed in accordance with the latest trends and aims to please a wide range of customers. From those who believe in elegance and functionality to those who want to follow the latest trends. Today Komet is a synonym for high-quality, functional and fashionable women's underwear, which tries to satisfy the demands of a woman who is confident, fashionable, elegant, and proud to express her femininity.

Dali sport d.o.o.  

Dali sport is specialized in the custom-made textiles. Their services include but are not limited to: embroidery, t-shirt & textile printing,  sport suits (rowing, ski diving...), promotional apparel (earbands, rollis, hats...), –flags, banners, and windsacks, hiking pants, jackets, and other apparel.  They produce FIS and non-FIS ski jumping suits as well as other ski jumping accessories including undersuits, gloves, and souvenirs.

Beti Metlika d.o.o.

Beti d.d is one of the leading European manufacturers of dyed polyamid yarns. More than 90% of sales created by exports on the markets of USA, EU Russia and the Middle East. The company employs more than 150 people and is among the largest employers in Bela krajina. Beti preja d.o.o. is the producer of polyamide, polyester raw and dyed textured yarns, and wrapped elastanes. The company has a long tradition in the production, in the past for the needs of hosier’s industry, fabrics.

Dolejsi fashion buttons -

The company manufactures buttons made of plastic and natural materials and they make 97 % of their plastic button output. The entire process, from injection casting / preparation of materials to the end product, takes place at the company head office. Sales abroad (Croatia, Germany, Slovakia) reach up to 25 % of their annual turnover. The company also makes jewellery under the trademark Le Sasha (Lovely, Elegant, Stylish, Avant-garde, Handmade, Abstract) and there is a growing custom-made capability for decorative magnets, medals and key rings. Finally, laser cutting of plastic and wood is available.


Reginnova -  

REGINNOVA NE is an Innovation, Technological Transfer, Human Resources and Community Support Association that invite all stakeholders in the Romanian North-East Region to create a structured environment for innovation and development in the field of textile and clothing.

Information providers:

Prato Expo (Italy)offers an ecommerce platform selling short runs of fabrics from Italian manufacturers via

Sqetch provides a means of putting textiles and clothing brands and manufacturers in touch with each other via The site has a European focus so is ideal for TCBL members.

Make it British is an excellent source of information on British-made brands and UK manufacturing. It’s an independent company founded and run by Kate Hills. It features a directory including clothing and accessories via

Fashion Enter (UK) offers a fabric selling site via It enables stitchers, quilters, crafters and designers from all over the UK to purchase the extensive array of discounted fabrics. There are over 400 different fabrics to select from at any one time with no minimum quantities. Cottons, jerseys, silks, chiffons, leather, brocade, lace, Lycra and many more in colour blocks and prints are stocked in high volumes with new lines added each week ensuring the FC: Fabric Studio is a continual one stop shop for the latest fabric trends.

Lets Make It Here (UK) is free to use for anyone in the UK or overseas who is seeking UK production. If you are a designer, fashion brand or retailer you can search the database to find companies who can produce for you to your specifications and under your own label, or who can provide services related to the fashion industry such as pattern cutting, printing or grading, or components such as buttons or interlinings. Viewed via

Fashion Valley (Prato, IT)   enables, through the use of an online platform, a network of companies covering the entire supply chain to meet the needs of emerging brands and young designers, plus those of distribution chains needing to produce quickly, in varying quantities and in a personalised way while never losing sight of the quality.

Goals and targets

Key dates

1.       Produce a basic blueprint of the model – end of March

2.       Test the model with the industry in Prato, Italy, mid-April

3.       Design to sale steps identified and agreed – end of May

4.       Working model with example transactions to be demonstrated – end of 2017

The platform shall seek to achieve self-sustainability via fees from either or both of supplier and designer, use of NDA templates etc.


Generating real-life business transactions are key to demonstrating credibility and value to the textile community. Each one shall aim to create new relationships and incremental business with TCBL playing a central role both as a knowledge contributor and a service facilitator. A number of example transactions are in development of which six are presented below:

  1. Yorkshire based Nomad Atelier is providing patterns/sealer samples to specialist short run producer Fashion Enter, of London, with the transaction facilitated by TCBL partner the Textile Centre of Excellence. The two companies haven’t done business before although they knew of the other’s existence. A slow summer season mean that progress is unlikely to be made before September.
  2. Collaboration between TCBL Labs in Britain and Italy has led to a new business opportunity for companies from each country. Yorkshire based Nomad Atelier was introduced to Fabio Giusti, working with Trafi, a specialist dyer and textile recycling house in Prato, Italy. The two businesses were invited to attend TCBL_2017 in Athens where they viewed and discussed samples of needle punched fabrics and printed silk. Rita was interested in a number of fabric lengths and Fabio agreed to send swatches and 3 metre sampling lengths over to Britain for testing and style development. Research will need to be undertaken to fulfil labelling rules and to accommodate scalability.
  3. A designer in Sicily is working with a print producer in the Veneto, facilitated by UCV. Work commitments mean that progress is unlikely to be made before September.
  4. Dusanka Herman is a Slovenian artist who produces small series of arts-fashion. She is willing to work with anyone who would provide silk in order to produce a short run from it and had previously sourced her silk from China, via a German supplier. TCBL’s Darko Fercej talked to his Greek colleagues and they identified TCBL member Tsiakiris, a supplier of organic silk in that country. The next step was to organise the purchase of silk from this company - Dusanka had no idea that she could even buy silk from Greece and was even more delighted when she realised that it would cost her less to do so. The silk arrived in June and was painted by Dusanka soon afterwards. She plans to make a short run of scarves and sell them. TCBL’s British contact, Ruth Farrell, has suggested that the work could also be digitised in order to scale up the collection for additional sales.
  5. Business start-up Stephanie Hoole has been working with TCBL partner the Textile Centre of Excellence to provide her with the skills to develop both her maiden collection and her business acumen. She has been involved in a collaborative development with a short runs CMT unit in London. Now there is the possibility of a connection with a Slovenian based business whose expertise covers performance sportswear.
  6. A chance meeting at TCBL_2017 in Athens set up a knowledge transfer proposal between two TCBL participants. TCBL Associate Prisca Vilsbol, co-founder of Manufacture Copenhagen, was talking to TCBL Lab manager Ruth Farrell about the knowledge and skills involved in clothing design when it emerged that she was seeking to enhance her understanding of costings. What followed was simple but effective. Ruth agreed that TCBL would provide a knowledge transfer session via skype once they had returned from Athens with Prisca then using her enhanced knowledge to pass on the information to some of her Scandinavian contacts in turn.