stages of the manufacturing process
Although the majority of our clients are independent fashion brands that would typically approach us with finalised designs and first samples completed, we are also able to work from sketch helping you develop products intelligently and with integrity. We are able to advise on the cost effectiveness of your range, fabric sourcing, fabrication, fit and overall suitability for production.
Fabric and Trim Sourcing
Because the choice of fabrics and trims available will depend on the ability to meet minimum order requirements we advise all our clients to explore their fabric options at the Design Development stage. It is important to be price conscious and select a fabric that sits within your budget and is fit for purpose.
The sourcing of materials an trims is the responsibility of the customer unless otherwise agreed at the initial assessment stage. Based on graded patterns and fabric width, a grader is able to calculate the fabric and trim consumption per garment, which will enable you to source sufficient material for production.
Pattern Cutting and Tech Packing
Most of our clients are fashion designers that prefer to create first patterns and garment samples in-house. We are however able to recommend freelance specialist pattern cutters and technical designers that can generate patterns based on your Design Sketch or Benchmark Garment.
Tech Packs are an industry standard requirement and are essentially you product blueprint used to communicate with the manufacturer all the necessary components needed to develop your product. At the very least the Tech Pack should include either Base Size Patterns or a Benchmark Garment, detailed Technical Sketch with style information, construction details (such as finishing, stitch type, materials..) fabrics and trim. Once a style is approved for production a Spec Sheet is generated with garment specifications that includes points of measure and grading info.
Sampling and Fitting
Sampling is one of the most important stages of the process. Its the first chance to see if what you envisioned lives up to reality, to check you are happy with the fabrics you have used and the aesthetics of the product. These samples (prototypes) are corrected until approved for production. Prototypes and Tech Packs are then sent to the factory for Counter Sampling, so that the factory can provide a realistic cost of manufacturing, identify potential issues in production and suggest alternative fabrication methods that would work best for the style and fabric. This is also chance to check you are happy with the quality of the factory before going into production.
More returns happen because of garment fit issues than any other reason, especially among online sales so it is important to get it 100% right! Depending on the complexity of the garment, several pattern changes could be needed. For efficiency purpose, we advise that the fittings are done by the designer in-house or with the assistance of an independent garment technician.
Once production samples in the base size are approved and pattern sealed, you can proceed to pattern grading. A fit approved sample sets the parameters for the measurements of all your sizes (grades) for the style which are then entered into the Specification Sheet ( Spec Sheet ). The paper master pattern is then digitised so that the measurements can be increased or decreased to required sizing standard an a set of patterns for each of the sizes is generated. Depending on the specifics of selected factory we will advise what pattern format is required. If required, we can arrange grading for you at very competitive prices!
Cut - Make - Trim
It is the clients responsibility to ensure correct tech packs, fabrics, trims and patterns are supplied to the factory in time prior to the agreed production commencement date. Ideally a final pre-production sample is made in all sizes in order to check fit and the appropriateness of the fabrication methods, fabrics and components. This stage is typically bypassed when order quantities are small. Cutting is the final stage before production. Once your garment is cut, you can no longer change the style, fabric or fit of the garment. We’ll oversee that that manufacturing is handled properly by monitoring and communicating with factories for quality and on-schedule deliveries.
Quality Control and Shipping
This is the last stage of production to ensure labels, hangtags, are applied correctly and to your specifications. Our factories perform this service as standard, however we always encourage our clients to visit the production unit, at least for the first order, to oversee the final stages personally.