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Working with your manufacturers simple check list


Here are some of the comments we received:-


“It was such a insight into the sample making process – thank you. I never realised it could be so simple!” Andrea Byerley


“I now know where I went wrong thank you!” Anonymous


“I have followed the advise and it does work. Plus I get on with my manufacturer much better now too!” Joy Prime.


The systems outlined are for guidance only but it is a start. We have received other comments whereby designers have adapted the framework to fit in line with their own business operandi….what ever is right for you! We are just glad it helped.


Following on from the last article we know need to review garments that are in production and methods that again can help to ensure that risk is minimised.


When there is a sizeable order that is put into work with a garment manufacturer the production process can still go wrong even though you have a formalised red/green sealing process e.g.


·                     when bulk fabric is laid on the cutting table there are a host of problems that may result with the fabric such as

·                      it is off grain,

·                     there are a high ratio of flaws in the fabric,

·                     shading between dye lots

·                     inconsistent print run (shading)


·                     even though seam allowances may have been expressed machinists are only human and some may take more than others resulting in the incorrect fit.


·                     Incorrect positioning of dart markers on the pattern


·                     Poor cutting or tight cutting. There are instances whereby a unit may try and squeeze patterns together to gain cabbage (overmakes) that are then sold on after the order has been delivered.


·                     Blunt needs causing needle damage on delicate cloths.


·                     Incorrect interlining on collars and cuffs causing delamination (bubbling).


There are literally a whole host of potential problems that would not have been picked up at the red/green sampling stage.


To eleviate these potential problems you need again to set up a system that can catch these problems in the bud and not affect total production.  Organise an in work check meeting whereby you see first of the lay samples and/or garments in work.


Inspect the garments down the line to ensure that garments are being made consistently. Machines are clean. Talk to the factory representative who is responsible for quality control and talk through any concerns that you have. Revisit the red/green seal to ensure that garments coming off the line are in accordance, or at least in tolerance to, your agreed sample for production. By inspecting early you will ensure that if there are any problems they can be rectified immediately and the bulk production will correspond to the sample.


A black or gold seal is the standard that you are happy with for the rest of the order to equate to. If a problem has been detected and it can not be rectified e.g. centre back length coming short to spec you may have to agree to the new length providing that your buyer is happy with the revised length. If the buyer is not happy then it’s time to start negotiating and find out where it all went wrong, why and how compensation can be agreed for both parties.


You could write books about production planning and the pitfalls and positives of manufacturing. The simple fact is there is no substitute for experience but you can make the process as painfree as possible by following some simple guidelines.


Just one final comment. Remember good units are VERY hard to find. Production is very much a two way process between the designer and the manufacturing unit. Work together to grow together. As with life you only get out what you put in. Try and get it right first time but always listen to the voice of experience and advise. Manufacturers do not want dockets that give them grief they are just trying to earn a living like the rest of us!        








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