(pronounced like the letters C.O.M.: see-oh-em)
COM is an acronym of “customer’s own material.” (Similarly, COL stands for “customer’s own leather.”) In most cases, manufacturers offer a rather limited range of fabrics on a particular piece, be it a chair, bench, sofa, etc. They do so for a variety of reasons, such as pre-testing of fabrics for durability / safety, mill contracts and capacity, and availability of financial resources. Sometimes to make a design scheme work or just to make a client happy, COM orders are unavoidable – if the manufacturer even allows and approves them. A gentle word of warning: occasionally, with freedom of choice comes increased cost, a longer lead-time, and more opportunity for mistakes and finger-pointing. Why? The material will need to be pre-purchased and shipped to the manufacturer, and future add-on purchases could find the material out of production.