How Do Clothing Manufacturing Companies Usually Work?
Clothing manufacturing companies usually work by following a fairly standard set of requirements and procedures. This process starts with the initial contact from a potential new client.
New Client. All new clients will be required to provide specific information about their needs. These will include garment type, materials and trims used, dying techniques, finish and so on.
Design Specifics. All of the specific information about the garments will be sent to the clothing manufacturing companies by the client. The data is compiled into a tech pack that gives all the essential details necessary to produce the garment. A tech pack will include not only the technical sketches but also other detailed drawings, information about and samples of fabrics to be used, trims, stitching, colorways, prints and patterns and so on.
Product Development. The next stage is the development of the product. This is where all the specifics of the garment are checked and agreed in detail. This will involve many different processes by the clothing manufacturing companies, including:
- Fabric quality
- Trim submits
- Lab dips
- Knit downs
- Fit samples
- Sales samples
- Photo samples
- Pre-production samples
- Top of production samples
All of these must be tried, tested and approved or declined before the garment enters the production stage. This ensures the clothing is made to exacting specifications. It eradicates potentially costly faults or mistakes before the product reaches production.
Sizing. Sizing is one of the most significant problems with clothes manufacture today. Articles made overseas are often very undersized, and this is one area that should be clarified carefully between the clothing manufacturer and the client.
Quantity. Different manufacturers have different minimum order quantities MOQ's. Most factories will agree to a minimum run of between 500 to 1000 pieces, although this may be further broken down into product colorways.
Lead Time. Many people underestimate the lead time necessary for a new articles production. It is quite reasonable for a new article to take a year or more to go from initial agreement to supply of the completed product.
Pricing. Clothing manufacturing companies based overseas, particularly those in China and India can often offer significant savings on production costs, particularly for large runs. But it is also true that for small run production this cost can increase to be more expensive than anticipated when shipping and customs charges are added.
Shipping. When the articles are ready for dispatch from the factory, there should already be in place an agreement between the manufacturer and the client about who deals with the shipping. Higher volume orders are often shipped by container ship from overseas to reduce cost. This type of shipping can be very slow and be prone to unexpected delays if a shipment gets stuck in a port.
So as you can see, the way in which clothing manufacturing companies usually work is pretty complicated. This is due to the necessity of getting the product correct. Rushing the process to get product faster, can and often be detrimental to quality and overall customer satisfaction.