story by Charles Beckwith
photography by Aeric Meredith-Goujon
Douglas Greenwald’s grandfather got into silk screening down on Spring Street decades ago. Today, a third generation garment businessman, Doug manages Preview Textile Group, a massive silk and print wholesale operation headquartered upstairs from Mood Fabrics on the eleventh floor at 225 West 37th Street in Manhattan.
Although the company is only eight years old, they have access to a twenty-five year archive of print designs brought in by one of the company’s founders. Stocking 11 grades of silk, “from charmuse to organza, and chiffon to satin,” in 96 standard colors with additional custom dying options available, Preview is really a one-stop shop for a tremendous number of materials. Not only that, but if you come in with artwork they can make a print from scratch, in relatively short or very large runs.
Preview’s facility on 37th Street is just the tip of the iceberg. They source from dozens of not just silk mills, but garment production facilities all across Asia, and an in-house production expert here in New York can facilitate mass production for a designer from a couple hundred units and up. Overall the entire staff is friendly and quite knowledgeable.
If you only need 30 copies of a garment, it’s generally cheaper to do the short runs here in New York with one of the many smaller production shops. Hopefully it will eventually again be cost effective to do more massive runs locally. The garment business was not too long ago New York City’s largest industry, and if fuel and overseas labor costs continue to rise, it may yet be again.
Preview has no minimums or surcharges for anything in stock, and generally most of their 11 grades and 96 colors of solids are continually in stock. This dependability has made them a go-to resource for many of the top designers, and their flexibility has made them a favorite for many of New York’s elite cadre of quiet couturiers.