Garment Manufacturing – Step By Step Process
We mostly wear clothes made of textile fabrics. Weaving and knitting create textile fabrics from yarns. The garment manufacturing process converts fabrics into wearable garments. The process of manufacturing a garment involves multiple steps. The top fashion brands can produce thousands of garments within a few weeks after designs are approved. A smaller brand may have a longer time to manufacture its garments.
To learn how to manufacture garments, follow this step-by-step guide:
In order to make garments, garment factories typically purchase fabric from different fabric suppliers. Pre-production processes are handled by factory merchandisers before fabric is sourced.
During pre-production, fabrics and trims are sourced, fabrics are developed, patterns are made, and samples are made.
FABRIC AND TRIM SOURCING
In addition to helping with the finalisation of designs, the garment manufacturer will also assist with acquiring the fabric needed to make them a reality. Several textile manufacturers offer a variety of materials to experienced garment manufacturers.
It is the role of pattern makers to break down designs into 2D pieces based on their technical expertise. Using advanced software, they separate a garment’s components. A technical person (also known as a pattern master) creates garment patterns from the design sketch and product specification sheet. It is necessary to make body part templates before cutting fabric for making apparel products. The paper templates are called patterns.
At the time of prototyping, the first pattern of a design is made. A pattern is modified and corrected as the sample development progresses, and it is graded during the preparation of size set samples. Following the approval of the pre-production samples, the final patterns are approved.
CAD systems are used by most designers and garment factories nowadays to create patterns. Another advantage of the CAD system is that, instead of manually making mark papers, a plotter prints them. It is possible to improve fabric utilisation by utilising CAD systems to make markers more efficiently.
Prototypes are the first versions of products. A test garment is sewn individually to determine if any pattern adjustments need to be made. Factories develop garment samples and take approvals on the samples from their buyers. A factory cannot begin bulk production without sample approval. At different stages of sample development, factories must develop different types of samples.
In order to prepare the garment sample as well as bulk production, garment manufacturers follow the product tech pack. By sampling, the factory learns how to construct a garment and what type of material will be required for a given order. Besides sampling, the department also acts as a research and development department. In order to start the bulk production without many issues, the production team needs to conduct sampling.
It is the merchandising team’s responsibility to conduct pre-production meetings at the factory. The agenda for this meeting will include discussions about product design, production schedule and responsibilities, buyer needs in terms of quality, and production completion deadlines.
2. PRODUCTION PLANNING
In the garment factory, all activities will be scheduled in advance by the production planner. All activities will be completed on time by the planning team. During production, the team will create a time and action calendar for logging the details.
Production planners plan and schedule all processes and activities in advance. Execution and control of production activities are handled by the production planning team. Their goal is to ensure that orders are completed on time by keeping track of the actual processes. For scheduling and controlling production, the planning team prepares a time and action calendar.
3. CUTTING PROCESS
The most expensive component of garment manufacturing is fabric. The garment manufacturer must ensure that the fabric purchased is utilized to its full potential. In order to minimize wastage when cutting fabric, pattern makers and cutters must ensure there is minimal waste. Laser-cutting is used by modern garment manufacturers for greater efficiency and to eliminate waste. The sections of the cutting process that are involved in the garment manufacturing process are listed below.
The lay is then cut using a cutting machine after markers are made. Hand scissors are used to cut a single ply and a few plies.
There is a ply numbering process applied to all garment components. The purpose of this process is to prevent colour variations between garment components within the same garment. Bundle numbering is not required in single piece production systems. For numbering the cut plies, a hand machine is used.
Sorting and Bundling
Sizes, colours, and bundle sizes are used to sort cut components. As soon as the bundling is completed, it is stored in the cutting room. The ticket (bundle tag) identifies the component and style details of the bundle.
Dispatch cuttings to stitching section
The cut bundles are sent to the sewing section and loaded onto the sewing line according to the needs of the sewing floor. Most factories prefer to stitch the whole lay and bundle the layers on the production line, rather than stitch it all together.
Quality checking in the cutting section
A quality check is made in the cutting section regarding notches, pattern shapes, component measurements, as well as defects in the fabric (holes, cut marks, etc.). Patterns, shapes, and parts measurements are compared to the actual patterns.
The most expensive item in garment manufacturing is fabric. Fabrics account for about 60-70% of the garment’s cost. As a result, garment makers use fabrics wisely. It is certain that some of these fabric saving tips can help garment makers to save both time and money in the cutting room.
A cutting machine is used to make the bulk cuts. For bulk fabric cutting, different types of machines are available. A cut order plan is prepared before the fabric is cut, and the fabric is purchased from the fabric store based on the requirements. The cutting section follows the following steps.
- Fabric spreading
- Marker making
- Component numbering on the marker
- Lay Cutting
- Ply numbering
- Sorting and Bundling
- Dispatch cuttings to the stitching section
- Quality checking in the cutting section.
4. GARMENT STITCHING
The cut components are sent to the sewing department after they have been cut and printed. Garment components are stitched and assembled one by one by operators. Quality checkers inspect garments during sewing. Whenever a stitched garment needs to be washed or finished, it is sent to the washing or finishing department.
Following are the sub-processes involved in garment stitching.
- Part preparation
- Folding and pressing
- Quality checking
As part of the sewing section, operators also receive stitching threads, sewing machine needles, trims, and guides specific to their operation.
Before assembling a garment, it is necessary to prepare each part of the garment. A shirt’s collar, sleeve cuffs, and sleeves, for example, are prepared in the preparatory section and then loaded into the shirt assembly section.
There are some garment components that require marking in order to attach them precisely to each other. The most common method of marking is with chalk or magic pencil, but laser rays and templates can also be used. In a formal shirt, the front plackets are manually marked to indicate the correct position of buttons for the buttonhole and attachment. Operators use the marking process to determine precisely where they need to work.
Part folding and pressing
The operator may have to fold the component and press it using a template, depending on the requirement. For example, before attaching the chest pocket to the chest, it must be folded and pressed.
Assembling garment components is performed step-by-step by operators. Sewing machines of different types are used to sew garments.
Quality inspection on the floor
Sewing floor checkers inspect stitching quality. To detect stitching errors, semi-stitched garments are normally checked. In order to correct the defects, the checker suggests a solution to the operator. Sewing floor quality inspections include inline quality checks, roaming quality checks, and end-of-line quality checks.
Production line set-up
The stitching floor in a garment production unit requires a maximum number of workers, such as sewing machine operators, helpers, pressmen, alteration tailors, feeders, data collectors, work-study officers, quality checkers, and line supervisors.
Every new style of garment is loaded onto the production line after the layout and line setting have been completed. Operations bulletins and line layouts are prepared by industrial engineers. During the production of the target quantity, the operation bulletin estimates manpower and machine requirements.
5. MANUFACTURING AND QUALITY CONTROL
Manufacturing time depends on the complexity of the line’s designs; the more complicated the designs, the longer it will take. A quality check will be performed by the garment manufacturer during the manufacturing process and a report will be provided to the fashion house. Checks for quality are necessary to catch and fix errors as soon as possible.
A review and quality check will take place once the production process has concluded. Rejected items can be returned to the factory if they do not meet standards.
In garment manufacturing, the delivery process involves the following steps:
Following completion of the garments, they are folded in a specific manner. Templates can also be used for folding. Tags, such as price tags, hang tags, and other kinds, are attached to the garment after folding. The type of folding a garment depends on the article and the buyer’s requirements. In some cases, the garment is simply hung on a hanger without being folded.
In order to keep the folded garment fresh until it reaches the retail showroom, it is packed into a poly bag. It is necessary to pack the garment in a way that keeps it in the desired shape by using different types of packing accessories. Paperboard cartons are sometimes used instead of polybags to pack certain products.
Larger cartons are used for transporting the finished garments.
The packed garments are then inspected to ensure that the finished products leave the factory in good condition. To ensure there are no defective garments packed into the cartons, this process is followed for internal quality audits.
Finished and ready product
As a result, the garments are finally ready for shipment. Manufacturers prepare standard operating procedures (SOPs) based on their products and machines. All the steps described above do not need to be followed.
It should be the goal of garment manufacturers to produce quality products in the shortest amount of time possible. There is no one process flow that applies to all products. It is the factory’s responsibility to decide how to complete the order. The items will be delivered to warehouses after they have been reviewed by the fashion company.