A small piece of any material with a reference that you are given to look at, feel, test, match, to decide whether it is right for purpose, before placing an order for a larger amount.
There are various sample designations:
Cutting: a small sample from the general stock
Swatch: small sample from the general stock
Snippet: a tiny sample of the actual piece, more suited for handbag reference than to order from
Returnable or ‘Appro’ sample: a larger piece from the general stock sent ‘on approval’ and chargeable if not returned
Stock cutting: a small cutting from the actual piece currently in stock, which should but may not closely resemble the general cutting.
Hand trial: a hand made sample of a bespoke rug or woven design provided for approval before commission.
Strike off: a hand made sample of a bespoke printed design provided for approval before final commission
Sample sign off: a signed agreement form, quoting the sample reference to confirm the order or commission.