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Beginners Guide To Garment Production
Garment manufacturing is one of the largest industries in the world. It is a complex supply chain system that includes factories, mills, and other manufacturing facilities. It employs millions of people around the world.
Some of the modern fast fashion brands are able to churn out hundreds and thousands of styles of clothing within a few weeks’ time. But smaller brands are not able to achieve such targets. For them, it takes a little while longer to come up with new styles.
Garment production is a rhythmic movement of goods in a pre-planned path. We are going to unravel this path and make garment production easier for you.
Here is the 5 step guide to garment production
1. Pre-Production Stage
Garment manufacturing is more than cutting, sewing, and finishing. Although these are important steps, it is not the only step involved. Pre-production planning is the step before making bulk production. This stage includes the fabric and trims sourcing, pattern making, and sampling stage.
A. Fabric and Trim Sourcing
In a garment manufacturing unit, the sourcing department is responsible ...
... for fabric and trim sourcing. It is basically determining how and where the items will be obtained. The team sends out enquiries to multiple fabric and trim manufacturers in order to receive quotes for the same.
In some cases, the manufacturer sends a collection of small pieces of fabrics and trims to the sourcing. This way they get a hand feel on the item. Once the team finalizes few items, they negotiate for prices and lead time.
It is important to note that price, lead time, and the credibility of the manufacturer play an important role while deciding on a manufacturer.
B. Pattern Making
“Pattern making is the art of designing patterns by making templates from which clothing and craft items can be sewn”. A technical designer, who is an expert in pattern making draws various parts of similar style onto fabric prior to cutting and assembling.
In the sampling process, a prototype of the style is made. Before mass production, it is crucial to understand the variables involved in the production process. In sampling, all the elements of the product are finalized and taken approval from relevant people at the organization.
The main objective of sampling is to eliminate the risk of making a wrong purchase of raw materials and finalize a smooth production process. In bulk manufacturing, making mistakes are not acceptable because a single mistake can cost hundreds of thousands in the loss.
2. Production Planning
Production planning involves planning each and every process involved in the manufacturing process in advance. The planning will be extremely precise in order to deliver goods at the right time. Any contingencies in the production planning will affect the delivery dates and ultimately leading to problems for the brand to which the items are to be delivered. It involves scheduling of tasks, execution of processes, and delivery.
Production planning leads to:
• Low cost of production
• Reduce loss due to problems
• Timely delivery of goods
• Follow up and execution
3. Spreading & Cutting Process
Spreading is the process of laying out the fabrics in order to cut them into pieces before it is forwarded for stitching. Most of the time, fabrics are laid in superimposed layers of specific lengths (plies). Both woven and knitted fabrics are laid in this manner.
Fabrics are often shipped in a roll or other similar form to manufacturers. Spreading is the initial process in garment manufacturing. Fabrics are often laid on a wide table. If it is an automatic spreading, then one worker would unwind fabrics and layer one on top of the other until they reach the desired number. In manual spreading, two workers standing on the opposite side of the table spread the fabric as per their target length. This is comparatively a time taking process than the automatic spreading. Commonly used in small-scale production.
Depending on the number of layers in which the fabric is laid, fabric spreading can be classified as follows:
1. Single Ply: A single layer of fabric is laid. Generally used for making samples.
2. Multiple Ply: More than one layer of fabric is stacked on one top of the other.
3. Stepped Lay: Multiple lays in which groups of layers have different lengths. Generally used for getting the best utilization and consumption of fabric.
Various methods of fabric spreading
In the garment industry, there are four popular methods of spreading. They are:
1. Completely manual laying-up
In this method, a roll of fabric is taken and one end is fixed at one side of the table, and spreading continued without using any mechanical assistance. This method is one of the most extensively used methods in our country because of the availability of workers at a cheap price. It also consumes less time.
1. Semi-automatic laying
A semi-automatic machine is used for spreading fabric. It is electrically powered and has the capability for reversing the travel of the machine.
1. Manual laying-up aided by spreading devices
This system is popularly used for checks, stripes, and other repeating patterns. Here, the fabric roll is supported with a frame and carried along with the table where the end is secured by weight or by a clamp. The workers move around ensuring there are no wrinkles or any extra tension.
1. Manually driven, mechanized laying-up using carriages
In this system, an operator clamps the free end of the fabric in line with the end of the spread, push the spreader to the other end, cut off the ply in line with that end, clamp the beginning of the next ply, push the spreader to the other end and so on.
Things to be careful about during the spreading process
1. Fabric length and weight
2. Fabric tension
3. Fabric splicing
4. Static electricity
5. Fabric ply direction
6. Ply number
7. Stripe and check matching
8. Fabric faults removing
Cutting is the process that cuts out the pattern pieces from specified fabric for making garments. Once the fabric is laid on the table, the cutting process starts. It is one of the crucial and decisive steps in the garment manufacturing process because once the fabric is cut out into smaller pieces, there won’t be much to do in case of any mistakes.
Markers are added to the fabric using the patterns and in accordance with the issue plan to prepare the laid fabrics for cutting. It is the separation of the garment into smaller components that are sent for sewing. There are mainly two types of cutting:
Manual cutting is done by using a knife, scissors, drill, etc. Used popularly by small volume production units and for special patterns. The advantage of manual cutting is that it is an easy process that does not require educated manpower. This is a cost-effective and low-maintenance method.
For advanced garment production units to achieve higher production at comparatively lesser time. In this method, a program is loaded into a computer and the computer performs all the activities resulting in perfectly cut fabrics. It can be performed using a straight knife, water jet, laser beam or plasma torch. The advantage of computerized cutting is that it is a fast process that does not require any markers. It is a highly effective process and incurs little labor cost.
Garment defects caused by the spreading and cutting process
• Drill and Notches Mark
• Frayed edges
• Garment part damaged by careless use of a knife
• Improper knife cut
• Incorrect Tension of plies
• Narrow fabric
• Not all plies facing in the correct direction
• Notches misplaced, too deep, too shallow, angled, omitted
• Plies misaligned
• Scorched or fused edges
• Slits opened inaccurately or omitted
4. Manufacturing and Quality Control
When a style has complex patterns, it will take more time to be manufactured. Time taken is directly proportional to the complexity of the pattern. The manufacturing process can happen anywhere between a month to two months depending on the volume.
The produced garments go through a series of quality check before it is shipped to the customer. It is important to know that in the end, quality is what matters. The customer will also run quality checks after receiving the orders and they have the right to accept the order or return back to the factory for improvements.
Delivery is done via all types of transportation depending on the location and volume. Air, road, rail, and water are all used for delivering the goods to the customer. Either the manufacturing unit can arrange for a delivery or the customers pick up the goods from the factory and they themselves arrange shipments.
For any types of fabric requirements, please reach out to us.
We are one of the leading woven fabrics manufacturer in South India
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