I see after starting my reply that this is an old threat, so I am writing this response for all the people who will stumble across it with a google search like I did.
First I would recommend breaking up the transaction. For custom orders, esp in the thousands, require a 25 to 50 percent deposit. Then charge the balance prior to shipping. Get signed orders. Provide fabric samples, etc. and have the customer sign off on it. Take photographs of your products before shipping. Provide good customer service. That way a customer would have to do two chargebacks and you would have much more evidence to defeat it.
As for a civil action, you would have to research your state's long arm jurisdiction. See what is needed in your state to create long arm jurisdiction. In Florida, small claims is under $5,000. As a general rule an officer of a corporation or member of an LLC can file a civil action in small claims court without an attorney. Lots of caselaw on this and this is a common rule in all states. A few states actually prohibit lawyers in small claims.
Small claims is limited to money damages. You can generally do breach of contract actions. Many things can not be filed in small claims including claims for emotional damages, things like Libel, any injunctive action or action in equity is prohibited, etc. You need to check the rules in your state, although they are often not well spelled out.
The risk for the defendant is that you show up in court with an attorney and you win. Then you file for an award of attorney fees and that is tacked onto the judgment. The defendant has to appear or hire a local attorney to be represented in court. Failure to appear in person or by counsel is a default judgment and you get what you asked for. I have seen attorney fees of $1,500 or more for a standard small claims case.
Collecting is another matter. After you get a judgment signed by the judge you would need to hire an attorney in the defendant's county. The attorney would file and domesticate your judgment in that county with the clerk of courts. Then the attorney would issue a subpoena duces tecum which requires the defendant to appear in the lawyer's office with all their financial records. Your attorney can then execute against their bank account, etc. and there is nothing they can do to stop you.
You could never get $15k on a $4k chargeback. Damages can be not spectulative. You have to PROVE your actual damages. Things that a customer could not reasonably foresee, like your merchant account problems could not be proven and it is also likely such damages can not be maintained in a small claims court.