An overview of the garment manufacturing process

by Anindya on 12/12/2017
We all wear garments but hardly ever wonder how they are made. The process is long, but in a nutshell, here is an overview of the garment manufacturing process in a large-scale unit. The actual production is preceded by several pre-production activities. Let’s have a look at them.

Pattern making: Paper templates of body parts are made by a Pattern Master (a technical person) based on design sketches and product specifications. These templates are called patterns and would be used to cut the fabric for different garments. These days designs are made mostly on CAD systems.

Garment sampling: Every garment has to be prototyped and approval of samples taken from the buyer. Without signoffs on samples, the design won’t be taken into production. The pattern and prototype making process goes through several product development versions. The sampling process also acts as the R&D department, contributing to new sample developments.

Fabric development: The garment manufacturer gives specifications of colour, texture, fibre content, hand feel, physical and chemical properties to the fabric/textile manufacturer and prices are firmed up at the same time. After samples are developed, approval is taken from the buyer without which production doesn’t start.

Bulk fabric and trim sourcing: The quantities of fabric that will be required to fill orders are figured out by CAD team/Pattern Master to place bulk orders. Various trims for garments like laces, twill tapes, draw cords, zippers have to be quality tested and approvals of samples have to be taken.

Pre-production meeting: A very important part of the process, in this meeting all the activities are planned and scheduled in advance. All factors affecting production like approval of prototypes, production responsibilities, buyer specifications, fabric and trim stocks, completion deadlines are all discussed so that everybody is on the same page.

Production planning: The production planning team executes and controls the production activities. Keeping track of actual production, keeping in mind the delivery schedules. A time and action calendar is prepared and monitored by the production planning team.

Cutting process: Fabric being a valuable commodity, the cutting process is closely monitored to avoid wastage. A cut order plan is issued before bulk cutting is done by machines, The cutting process involves activities like fabric spreading, marker making, lay cutting, quality check, sorting and bundling and finally dispatch to the stitching department.

Garment stitching: The garment stitching process involves parts preparation, for instance for shirts you have to prepare and mark collars, pockets, cuffs and sleeves before you move them to the assembly section where they are all stitched together. This is followed by a quality inspection, which is then followed by garment pressing, and a final check to ensure quality is done.

Garment finishing: All garments go through the finishing process where uncut threads and loose ends are trimmed. Paper stickers placed on garments at the time of marking and grading are removed and all garments are inspected for the finish. Stringent checks are made to ensure that they are defect free and strictly adhere to the specifications.

Garment folding and packing: The garments are folded according to specified dimensions by using templates. Price tags, sizes and brandings are attached to the garment. Sometimes whole garments are packed in hangars without folding. The folded garments are packed in polybags and put in paper garments. Several types of accessories are used to keep garments in shape till the time they are sold.

Now that you know how garments are manufactured, you must also be thinking about how to sell your garments. These days, online garment sales are doing very well and you can also think of selling your products online. As you must be aware, Amazon is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the world. To sell on Amazon, please register as ‘Seller on Amazon’.

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