An apparel tech pack is inevitable for garment production. Although it is good to hire an apparel production tech pack designer to assist you, here are some ways you can make your own tech packs. Communicating what you think or visualize in your mind to another person is not easy. As a creative, you do research spending hours making your design concepts. You collect inspiration from different sources and try to put things together. So, there is a certain design idea you have in your mind. If you are good at sketching you are lucky and you can put them on paper. But the challenge comes when you have to explain your idea to another person. In the case of apparel production, the factories need much more detail. They need much more information for converting your idea to an actual product. Only your creative idea in the form of a sketch will not help here.
What does a tech pack include?
A Tech Pack is an Instructional Document for the Clothing Manufacturers to Execute Sample Development and Apparel Production. A tech pack includes Fashion Flat Drawing, Fabric Tyle, and color OPtions with Pantone Code, Stitching and Construction Detail, Measurement Pointers Guideline, Detailed Spec Sheet, and Bills of Material. A Factory needs a minimum of this much information to process the design to a finished prototype.
Effective Communication Through Apparel Tech Pack is The Key to Successful Production
A clothing manufacturer needs complete technical detailing of your garment style. Without the technical details, a factory cannot ensure the accuracy of your style idea. And it leads to a repeat of the process again and again and waste of time and money. This is why most factories expect brands and designers to provide them with a tech pack of the style. A tech pack is a blueprint of a garment style. It gives a plan of action about how to process a style and covers every aspect of the design. It is a tool to present the style idea in a format that every factory can understand. Moreover, be careful about this document. A tech pack is a document to simplify the production process not complicates it. As a technical designer, I have seen tech packs that are more confusing than solving the purpose. Learn more about “Components of Tech Pack” here.
Explaining Idea Through Visual Representation – How Apparel Tech Pack Helps Here
The best way to communicate your creative idea is through a visual representation. Here, the apparel tech pack helps in communicating your idea through a visual representation. You can express your idea and concept through the tech pack and the detailing mentioned in this. So, it requires a detailed sketch with three views of the garment style, to give a bird’s eye view of the style. The point is how you present the sketch that reflects the necessary design outcome. In the tech pack, this is one of the necessary parts. It’s called Flat Sketch, or technical flats or fashion flats. The term flat is used here because it shows the garment as if it is laid on a table or on the floor. The technical designer gives three different views of the garment in a flat sketch. Front view, Back view, and side view of the garment.
So far you have done with the shape of the garment with the fashion flats. But, it’s not complete not even close to half of it. There are many other detailing associated with it. In a broader sense, You can divide a garment manufacturing process into two parts. The first part is Material Sourcing and the Next part is the processing of materials to finish the product. So, let’s discuss them one by one.
Sourcing and Procurement of Materials using Apparel Tech Pack
Not every fabric is suitable for every garment style. So, choosing the right kind of fabric for your style is very important. Moreover, the fabric is a big factor for a garment style to look and fit well. For example, you cannot have jersey knit fabric for a button-down shirt. Similarly, woven fabrics are not used to make t-shirts. So, the right choice of fabric as per your style is a very important factor to get product accuracy.
In today’s complex and challenging fashion industry, color sparks the sale. It defines the brand identity, and space and creates the mood. The Industry follows the Pantone FHI system for choosing the fabric colors. FHI system is based on three important criteria. That is the movement of color trends, the importance of core colors, and the role they play. And last but not the least is choice of colors that are achievable and can be reproducible. This is for greater usability and efficiency. You cannot choose the colors you choose when you are doing any website design or other design. There are certain color codes that every apparel tech pack designer uses for apparel. The Apparel Industry follows a particular Pantone TCX color code.
Apart from fabrics, the other important materials to make a style are trims. Trims we refer to materials like buttons, zippers and other embellishment materials. Those contribute to the aesthetic of design. Although trims seem to be a very small part of the garment detailing, you cannot ignore its importance. In apparel tech pack the designer must mention their detailing with visual example.
Bills of Material:
Bills of material (BOM) are a list that can be useful in sourcing the material for sampling and production. This can be a great tool to organize and streamline sourcing. It represents and lists all the materials that you need to make a garment inside and out. The materials that we include on the BOM can be categorized into two parts. They are the main materials and Auxiliary materials. Fabric, Lining, Rib, etc. comes under the main materials. Other than that embellishment trims, labels and tags, packaging comes under auxiliary material. The designer must mention the materials used in a style with its placement. It may become messy to mention those on one page but if you organize the apparel tech pack in segments it becomes clear. To get a clear picture of how to segment the apparel tech pack in various aspects, please refer components of the tech pack.
Material Processing and Garment Manufacturing :
Once you are ready with material sourcing, the next phase is processing. This is the next phase and most important process in garment manufacturing. So, the blueprint of the processing should be clear. Stitching and Garment Construction, washing, and measurement specs are part of the processing. Going forward we are going to discuss each part in detail. Construction detailing and diagrams are important factors to achieve a good fit. And there can be thousands of possibilities to showcase this. And if you have not mentioned those details, you are giving the factories a freehand here. This may lead to an ill-constructed garment style. Construction details are time taking, but they will surely help avoid bad samples. Construction diagram details in garment tech packs explain the minor details. So, if stress is not given to this part of the tech pack you may end up having a bad sample and production run.
Washing / Dying / Printing / Embroidery
The value addition to a style depends on how we are using prints/embroidery or trims. So, a designer should consider how to use trims in the right proportion in the right place that fits the look. This value addition in a style should be planned well before sample development. And the focus should be on how to give the right placement with colors that go with the style. The aim of this embellishment is to add value to the look of the garment so that it stands out. At the same time, the cost of that value addition should not be so high that it pinches the pocket of the customer. It is the job of a tech pack designer to mention those trim details along with artwork in the tech pack. You will not get those elaborate details if you are using some automated app to prepare the tech pack.
Measurement Guideline and Measurement Spec Sheet Integral Part of Apparel Tech Pack
The most important factor in the success of a style is its fit. And if your garment measurements are not properly made the fits will never come right. Also, it helps determine fabric consumption when you are producing garments in bulk.
How to make Garment Spec sheet? This is the most talked about question when it comes to collection design. Most brand focus on preparing garment spec sheets and give importance to this. Indeed the most detrimental part of the design fit outcome comes from a perfect measurement. So this should be put to test at every step. The first test is to prepare master (base) measurements and test it on a pattern and sample. Once you check the fit of the base sample, the next step is to prepare size gradation. Ideally, the base should be one of the middle sizes like M size or L size. And then you decide the complete size range you would like to offer in that style (e.g. XS, S, M, L, XL, etc.).
Size Grading For Pattern Making
Grading is the technique applied to increase or reduce the size of a garment pattern as per the size chart. It is the process of adjusting the pattern as per garment sizes. The pattern master adjusts the pattern as per the grading rule. It is the process of creating a range of sizes for a single apparel style. Based on the grade rules pattern master resize the fit pattern for different size like XS, S, M, L, XL, etc. You can do pattern grading either manually or by using CAD pattern drafting software.
You must put the above information for a style in an organized and structured manner. The purpose of a tech pack is to make it for the clothing manufacturer easy to understand the style not confuse them. So, It is more important that you keep information in a way that ease manufacturer to read and understand. For this, I have gone through a lot of tech packs making automated software. I found none of them up to the mark as yet. My suggestion is you should take the help of a professional tech pack designer and get the work done. Only a technical designer can structure a raw idea into a factory-understandable tech pack. No automated software has come that can explain your idea in a structured way at least not to my knowledge.
We at Fashion Studio Urban Purple serve Apparel Brands Across the World and We have been doing this for more than 15 years. We have seen a pattern that most brands usually ask from some common styles. To Serve them better and quickly we have come up with an online store for Tech Pack Template. You can visit our store and check out a wide range of styles of tech pack templates.
Consider Reading The Following Posts
- How to Make a Professional Apparel Tech Pack
- Tech Pack Designer: Planning Collection Line-Sheet
- Freelance Fashion Tech Pack Designer
- Tech Pack Design Components