Sportswear Inc.’s Manufacturing Checklist
Source material, create patterns, order fabric, create prototypes… There are a few things to manage when making your garments. Use this manufacturing checklist to stay on track with your product development without losing yourself in the process.
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You have started up your business, worked on your branding, determined your concept and collection, and finalized the designs. The time has come to materialize your ideas into actual garments. Wether you are experienced or a newbie you want to be in full control of where you are in the production process. Keep track of delays, update your partners on current status, mitigate risks, and stay on top of your game. Use this production checklist to monitor progress and manage your project.
Receive tech pack from designer
This should preferably be in pdf format so everyone can read it. Make sure it contains all the necessary information for a smooth production. Find out more about a tech pack here.
Research and look for fabric, trims, and accessories based on your concept and need. Order fabric swatches and accessory samples from different suppliers so you can see and feel the materials before deciding.
Order fabric and accessory for prototypes
Once you have found your materials, don’t forget to actually order enough to make all the prototypes you want. Typically you’ll need around 3 prototypes per style. If there is a time constraint you can alway make the first prototype in similar fabric that the manufacturer has in stock.
Create first pattern
With the tech pack as input, let a pattern maker create the pattern for your garment. You want the patterns in digital format, which is standard today.
Create prototypes 1,2, and possibly 3
The manufacturer starts with proto 1. If you are in a rush you can do this one with fabric in the manufacturer’s stuck, in case your fabric hasn’t arrived yet. Continue to arrange the making of proto 2 and if needed proto 3.
Fitting and adjustments prototypes1,2, and possibly 3
To make proto 2 and proto 3 you need feedback from previous prototypes. This is done by you or your designer, therefore it is listed separately here on the checklist.
Create SMS, salesman sample
The last sample that looks like the garments you will produce. Everything is as it should be, from labels and accessories to fit and fabric.
Sell collection and finalize orders
Show and sell your collection with your SMSs.
Order fabric and material for bulk production
The sales orders and manufacturer minimums will tell you how much material you need to order. Stay on top of the delivery times and don’t forget to order in time.
Finalize production pattern
Does your pattern need final adjustments? If so create the final production pattern.
Grade pattern for sizes
Grade the pattern for all your intended sizes.
Finalize production prototypes
To include final adjustment and to verify the bulk production, make final prototypes. Preferably in all sizes.
Cut, sew, and trim
Let the manufacturer to their magic and make your garments.
Check the production to verify that it meets your quality agreement.
Pack & ship
The bulk production needs to be packed and sent to the designated destination.