Complete garment production process steps is more than cutting stitching checking finishing pressing. Is there anything else that you don’t know?

Complete Garment Production Process Steps Explained in Simple Words.

Garment-Production-Process-Steps
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What is garment production process?

A complete garment production process steps involves some things most people don’t think of. A proper FPP clothing manufacturer takes all these steps in the production process:

Product Development Stage

1. Developing the Tech Pack

A proper complete garment production process steps should begin with the development of a complete tech pack. A complete Tech Pack contains the design (sketches), patterns, sample of fabrics used, size chart, and all of the manual instructions on how to make a garment.

A Tech pack ensures that the final product is going to look and feel exactly like how it is designed to be. It could also reduce the overall production cost by reducing the number of samples that the manufacturer has to make before they get the approval from the customer.

Worryingly, in reality, in favour of speed, it is common that a clothing manufacturer for start up chooses to skip the tech pack developing process, and instead immediately start with the sampling process. The manufacturer then makes a good sample with cheap price and this is exactly what start-ups expected from the idea of clothing production in Bali.

But because the manufacturer does not do a proper research before making the samples (fabrics availability, best sewing technique for the design, garment supply chain, etc), potential problems are not calculated and included in the sampling cost. So, when problems that could’ve been anticipated eventually arise, some delays in production take place and it’s the customers who have to pay for the extra costs.

So, a clothing factory in Bali could offer cheap sampling cost without developing tech packs, but customers would have to be aware of the risks involved.

2. Sampling Process

Once the tech pack gets the approval from the customer, then the sampling process can commence. There are quite a number of different samples that could be produced by a clothing manufacturer, but only 5 types of samples are actually essentials.

In short, once the samples are approved by the customer, the clothing manufacturer then wait until the customer returns with the Work Order that contains:

total amount of orders
styles
sizes
colours
date of shipment

The clothing manufacturer would have to adjust its production schedule to accommodate the work order.

3. Preparing Packing List

Upon receiving the Work Order, the clothing manufacturer then calculate the requirement for fabrics, accessories, trims, brand labels, hang tag labels, packing bags, packing boxes, etc.

The results of the calculation are used for:

fabric sourcing
preparing packing list

In reality, for some clothing manufacturers, preparing the packing list is among the last things they would do in the complete garment production process steps. However, by doing it this way, they are risking themselves for chaos on the shipping day caused by:

not enough boxes for the shipping
inaccuracy in which items being packed in which box
wrong labels being attached on the boxes
etc

Production Run Stage

4. Sourcing

The data collected from previous step (no 3 above) is then used for sourcing (the process of procuring the required fabrics, trims, accessories, etc).

In the complete garment production process steps, sometimes an owner of a brand label could actually source the fabrics for herself. However, a professional clothing manufacturer should know how to source fabrics more efficiently than its customers.

Due to its long term relationship with fabric mills and big fabrics suppliers, it is only natural that the manufacturer could get bargain price.

The manufacturer could also get a good terms of payment for the order. This would be beneficial for the customer because paying upfront for all the fabrics, trims and accessories is very risky and not good for the customer’s cash flow.

5. Pattern Grading

Garment-Production-Process-Steps-Designing

In the complete garment production process steps, this step could be conducted concurrently with the processes of sourcing or fabric treatment. The pattern maker produces the grading of the patterns and pass them to the cutters who are going to use the panels as guidance.

6. Fabric Treatment

Depending on where the fabrics are sourced from, treatment might be required before the fabric get cut and sewn.

In the complete garment production process steps, the treatment of the fabric could be in the form of:

dyeing
washing
printing (screen or digital)

When the treatment is completed and returned to the clothing manufacturer’s facility, the fabric will be unrolled, measured and examined for any defects. Some parts of the fabrics will then be used in a shrink test to find out how much of it will shrink after getting washed. The staff responsible for the treatment then collects the data and store the fabrics away until they are ready to be cut and sewn.

7. Cut, Make, Trim

After getting treated, the fabrics are then ready to be cut. The cutters use the panels of the patterns and their gradings as guidance for cutting. They also use the cutting sheet of the tech pack as the instruction of how many to cut and how to cut them.

The cut panels then bundled together with the required accessories and trims as per the information on the tech pack.

Using the sewing instruction in the tech pack as a guidance, the sewing operators then sew the bundles into pieces of garments. The Sewing Operators also apply the zippers and labels on the clothes.

Finishing Process

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7. Quality Control

The Quality Control staffs then examine the garments using the Points of Measure outlined in the tech Pack as the guideline.

The products that do not pass the Quality Control would have to be fixed by the Sewing Operators. If the products can’t be fixed, then they would be put aside and labelled as rejects.

8. Finishing

Finishing staffs then clean the threads on the garments that the Sewing Operators made. They also apply the buttons, and sometimes when required, also the sequins.

9. Packing & Shipping

The finished products then packed accordingly using the packing list that have been prepared in advance (step no 3 in this garment production process steps).

The finished products then sent to the designated address arranged by the brand label owner.

Potential Problems during the Complete Garment Production Process Steps

Even the most professional clothing manufacturers face potential problems during the complete garment production process steps.

Fabric Treatment

Most clothing manufacturers have to source out the fabrics and their treatment. They purchase the fabrics directly from textile mills or from fabrics distributors. They also send the fabrics out to third parties who specialize in printing, dyeing and washing. But sometimes, clothing manufacturers could face the following potential problems:

The colours don’t really match the samples despite multiple trials
Defects getting discovered right in the middle of the fabric roll and there is no time to order the replacement
Specific fabrics are no longer available and textile mills required high MOQ for new order of the fabrics

If a clothing manufacturer is unable to come up with a solution, then the customer have to face the following risks:

Wasting money on paying for fabrics that can’t be used for production
Inconsistency of the quality that puts the label’s reputation at risk
Late shipment, making the customer missed the windows of opportunity for sales or promotions

Human Factor

Sometimes despite meticulous preparations and very good Standard of Procedures, mistakes still happen due to human factor. For example:

Wrong calculation of fabrics consumption that causes the fabrics to run out in the middle of the production run
Sewing operators being given the wrong sewing instruction
Using the wrong packing list for the shipment process

Flow Chart of Garments Manufacturing

The flow chart of a complete garment production process will definitely explains what is garment production process? However, there are some other steps that a regular person doesn’t know about, not to mention the administration side of the process.

Developing a complete Tech Pack (the one which includes but not limited to calculation of fabrics consumption) before the start of the production is highly recommended. This Tech Pack covers the complete garment production process steps, so any potential problems could be anticipated.