As we begin, please understand that if you need your new chairs quite quickly, you are going to be very limited in your mystical teachings of jesus chair fabric choices. Several church chair manufacturers and importers have “church chair stocking programs” with “ready to ship” chairs (some more than others) in a few limited fabrics. Most of these fabrics are very basic in color and quality. But for churches with immediate chair needs, it is fortunate there are at least some solutions they can avail themselves of.
Now, if you have several months to work with before you need your chairs, there are a plethora of church chair fabric options available to you. These will primarily though be available from an actual manufacturer versus an importer purchasing church chairs from an Asian factory, importing them to the USA, and then marketing and selling them. A manufacturer will tend to offer many more fabric choices and options than a low-end importer. So let’s focus on the fabric options available from a true church chair manufacturer.
Most church chair manufacturers will have several families or “grades” of fabrics available to your church. Perhaps they will have 50-100 different fabrics that you can choose from within their “standard collection”. They will also have some collections that will essentially be upgrades to their standard collection. These will carry with them additional costs though normally those costs will not be excessive as the manufacturer is involved often in the production of these collections and additional costs are kept lower than one might expect.
The upgraded collections will each have different looks and often the texture of the fabric itself is unique. Church chair manufacturers will be able to provide your church small samples or “swatches” of these fabrics. Also quite important is that the lead times for the manufacturer to acquire any of these fabrics, assuming they do not already have them in stock tends to be very reasonable. We like to encourage churches to choose, if at all possible, from fabric collections that the manufacturer grades in as they tend to be reasonable priced and readily available.
There is though one more significant choice for your church to consider for your new chairs. Fabric mills across the country produce hundreds, even thousands, of additional fabrics each year. Most of these can be chosen for your new chairs. However, if your church chooses a fabric from outside the fabric collections the church chair manufacturer carries, your cost will likely climb significantly and likely also the lead times needed for the production of your chairs will be far greater. This process is often called “COM” which stands for “Customer’s Own Material”.
In essence, your church as the customer, is providing your own fabric to the chair manufacturer. The manufacturer will let your church know how many yards of fabric they need per chair. If there are design patterns in the fabric your church has chosen, that amount of yardage may increase to allow the chairs to all be manufactured with the same “repeats” on your chairs. There are a great number of very attractive and unique fabrics available from these fabric mills, but again, be prepared for extra cost and far longer lead times if you choose the COM route for your church.