Living and hustling in the city that never sleeps isn’t short on challenges – but ask any New Yorker, and they’ll just tell you how much they revel in the curveballs. One thing that doesn’t have to be so challenging, however, is finding a nearby factory to keep your workload manageable and your production process hyper-local. Whether you’re in the heart of the Hudson or the bustle of Brooklyn, here’s a selection of factories that work with emerging, scaling and established brands to turn your ideas from 2D to 3D.
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1. Modern Vice
Flexibility? Check. A seamless supply chain? Check. Exhaustive knowledge of all things shoe? Check. If you’re a shoe designer looking to scale, Modern Vice offers a comprehensive approach to the manufacturing process, culminating in an exclusivity agreement that will see your shoes distributed solely as your own brand.
In Greenpoint, Brooklyn, you’ll find Dynotex, a full-service hub for apparel manufacturing. As fluent in pattern making as they are in grading and marking, Dynotex works closely with brands of all sizes for a transparent product development process – and don’t have a minimum order requirement. Plus, they’ll work with woven and knitted fabrics, silk and stretch – just name your poison.
Leather mavens Pergamena work with the double whammy of apparel and furniture, so if it’s handbags or upholstering you need, the Montgomery-based factory is your new go-to. Their Hudson Valley tannery is the site of all leather and parchment production, where they use domestically sourced skins and environmentally-friendly process for a high-quality finished product.
Pattern-making, sample making, and production are the Custom Sewing Services bread and butter. With over 30 years experience in all facets of garment making (from everyday casual to bridal wear!), Custom Sewing Services is another Brooklyn factory that works with established brands, but is also a great resource for students and beginners looking for smaller production volume.
Representing a return to retro style, Genil Accessories conjures up images of Don Draper- sophistication. For ties, bowties, pocket squares, suspenders, cummerbands and more, this Brooklyn-based factory (that lives right under the Manhattan Bridge) knows its way around all manner of fabrics, and they’ll work with brands big and small. Oh, and they don’t just deal in men’s accessories – women’s and children’s are definitely in their wheelhouse.
For your knitwear needs, The American Knitting Company will be your new best friend. Using the latest multi-gauge knitting technology from Stoll, the factory can assist from ideation right through to production – including pattern-making, sourcing and storing yarn, and providing an in-house designer to assist with all facets of sample making.
For vibrant, enduring screen printing, check out the team at Rochester’s Tiny Fish Printing. With an emphasis on Water-based and Water-based plus printing (as well as Standard options), Tiny Fish can work with hats, t-shirts, bags, belts and more. They’re also equipped for foil and metal printing, and will ship worldwide. Oh, and be sure to mention Maker’s Row – they’ll knock 10% off your order.
Primarily using hardwoods cut and milled in the Hudson Valley region, Clean Air Woodworks is a design-build-manufacturing firm that works to produce high-caliber products, equalled by their customer service. They also use reclaimed and sustainable wood and finish items with zero-VOC formulas, for those looking for an environmentally-friendly woodworking option. Clean Air Woodworks can custom make pieces in-house, and will also welcome large production runs and smaller prototyping requests.
When fashion is the name of the game, The Factory.212 works with emerging designers to bring sketches to life. Based in New York’s aptly-named Garment District, The Factory.212 team has over 20 years of experience spanning design, pattern-making, sourcing, sample making and production. They’ll lead the charge on small production runs – up to 100 pieces – and help you gain a clearer understanding of the steps that lead to a finished product.
From apparel to signage, decals to posters, the Lesley Rothwell Design Studio will deliver high-quality custom printing in-house. They’re particularly enthusiastic about working through the ideation process, with a design team ready to refine and build your ideas. They’re also equipped for sample printing for apparel, and will ensure that all measurements, technical callouts, and fabrications are listed accurately. Finally, they’re just as comfortable with small productions runs as they are with large, eliminating some of the stress that comes with small batch orders.