Clothing Manufacturing Process : 14 Steps of Garment Manufacturing Process in 2021

Clothing Manufacturing Process : 14 Steps of Garment Manufacturing Process in 2021

clothing manufacturing process

Every newcomer in the fashion industry must have to know about the clothing manufacturing process. Most importantly, if you are starting your own clothing line, you should learn details regarding the clothing manufacturing process. Often individuals get perplexed by the garment production process. So, before you start learning about product creation and garment manufacturing, it’s a good idea to get a broad overview of all the phases involved in the clothing manufacturing process. 

Now, let’s have a look- 

1. Inspiration Shopping

clothing manufacturing process

The Vintage Show is a great place to start if you’re seeking for design ideas. The Vintage Show has an incredible Instagram feed and hosts vintage apparel trade shows all over the world. Find a vintage garment that hasn’t been sold in stores for at least 20 years and make no adjustments.

2. Garment Design

If the garments find that inspires you, we’d recommend purchasing them if they’re not too expensive. Instead, look for something similar but less expensive on eBay, Postmark or other  apparel outlets. Hiring a graphic artist to draw out the Franken outfits  would be a good option.

3. Print + Color Design          

After that, there is print and color design to consider. Is your collection going to be all sold colors, or will you use a variety of prints? Will you combine the two and do a little of each?

Simply googling is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to predict color and print trends.

clothing manufacturing process
clothing manufacturing process

4. Source and order fabric + trim 

Fabrics should be chosen to complement the garment’s design. A Fabric Data Sheet contains all of the necessary fabric information for a factory to produce your garment. Make sure you acquire an FDS once you’ve chosen your fabric. You can start looking for fabrics and trim after you know how your garment will look. Some important factors to consider – 

CONTENT OF FIBER

The percentage of different fiber types in the cloth

TYPE OF FABRIC WEAVE OR KNIT

Plain weave or 3×1 twill for woven fabrics, and jersey for knit fabrics are examples.

SIZE OF THE YARN

The yarns’ diameters

DENSITY OF FABRIC

Yarns per inch (YPI) or stitches per inch (SPI) for wovens and knits, respectively.

MINIMUM ORDER QUANTITY SAMPLE (MOQ)

In a sample order, what is the smallest amount of cloth you can order?

VALIDITY DATE AND SAMPLING PRICE

What is the cost, and for how long is it valid? As the market changes, so do prices.    

AN EXAMPLE OF LEAD TIME

How long does it take to acquire a fabric sample?

BULK ORDER MINIMUM QUANTITY (MOQ)

For the bulk price, how much fabric do you need to order?

VALIDITY DATE AND BULK PRICE

When you place a bulk purchase, how long will it take to produce and transport your fabric?

SPECIAL TREATMENTS OR FINISHES

Washing, waterproofing, softening, and other services are available.

5. Tech Pack

A tech pack is essentially your garment’s blueprint. It instructs the factory on everything from the sort of cloth to use and the color to use, all the way down to the sewing machine thread. It details where to obtain labels and hang tags, as well as how to pack and ship the item.        

6. Preliminary Costing

clothing manufacturing process

Don’t be afraid to be open and honest with your supplier about pricing. Many new brands believe they will just develop and then begin negotiations when it comes to the time to produce. 

7. Pattern Development

The first step is to create a pattern that will be used to cut the fabric. Some firms choose to collaborate with a local sample maker who can create designs and samples close to their location. Beautiful Connection Group is a clothing manufacturing company who can make any kind of customised clothing item. 

8. Development Sampling

It’s now time to make the sample. The sampling procedure is divided into five steps.

  1. Lab Dips + Strike-Offs

Lab dips and strike offs are used to approve the colors and prints before sample fabric is made. Always make sure to get a swatch, and approve it. If you don’t like the way your color or print looks, this is your moment to speak up. 

  1. Fit Sample

A fit sample is an opportunity to check the pattern, and how a garment is going to ultimately look and fit. You can even take the sample and throw it on a fit model to see how it looks on a person.   

  1. Proto Samples

A proto sample is also known as a production-quality sample. It is a sample that is made with your fabric, printed or dyed with your approved print or colors, and it is made using your approved fit sample. You will need it to make sure that it matches your production samples and production can run.

  1. SMS

An SMS is a SalesMan Sample. Some brands need from 10-20 sets of SMS samples. If you do not have a sales team there is no reason to make SMS. You can use your 1 set of proto samples for everything. It’s free and easy to give away.

  1. Final Costing

If a factory comes back to you with a much higher cost after sampling, run the other way. If a supplier increases the prices, it’s time to break up – but if they don’t increase their prices, that’s ok.

9. Pre-Production Process

It’s time to go on to the production once you have your prototype sample and final costing ready. A lot of brands use this before manufacturing to take orders from retailers and specially if they are doing wholesale business. Alternatively, if they are selling directly to consumers, they may offer pre-sale opportunities. 

10. Grade Patterns

Your samples have only been made in the sample size up till now. The majority of brands provide a small or medium sample size. If you’re targeting plus-size customers, then, you might have to make your sample size the one that is the most selling. 

You’ll need to grade your pattern once you go through into the production process. That is to say, the design will rise and decrease in size as you sell different sizes.

11. Production Samples

There are 4 main types of samples you need to check during the production process. They are –

  • 1. PP sample
  • 2. Sew by sample
  • 3. TOP sample (Top Of Production)
  • 4. Shipping samples

PP Sample Set

You should not change anything after you approve your lab dips, strike offs, fit sample, and proto sample. Be very clear before the factory makes the final samples of any changes.

Sew By Sample

The final approved samples before production are known as sew by samples. This should be a flawless sample that the factory will use to gauge the rest of the manufacturing procedures.

Top Of Production

The first sample made in your production run before the rest of your production goes through the cutting process is known as a TOP sample.

Final Fabric Approval

If your fabric is wrong, you are wasting time and just spending money  on a factory where it can’t be used. It is important to check the fabric before it ships from the mill to the factory. The final cutting of all your fabric, trims, etc. should be checked before it leaves the mill.

If you see something that does not match your sew by a TOP sample then say something to your manufacturer. You can get a discount. If you are not using a third party quality checker, the factory will pull a random group of samples for you. 

12. Quality Control Check

There are a few layers of QC, from factory to third-party inspection. Some companies pay for third party inspectors to go through every single garment in their production run, checking each piece manually, and some do random checks. 

13. Packing

clothing manufacturing process

There are so many ways to pack garments. Be extra careful in your contracts about how things are packed. Don’t be surprised if you get a chargeback because of the wrong color tape on your box for the season. It can cause confusion and time is money wasted.

14. Shipping + Logistics

After your clothes leave the factory, there is still work to do to ensure that they are going where they are supposed to go. There are a ton of legal things to consider when shipping your garments. All of this should be pre-negotiated before you send them off. 

Now the clothing manufacturing process within 14 basic steps has been completed. These steps are essential for the clothing wholesalers who are looking for the best clothing manufacturers. We have tried to make each step clear in short.