You have created your fashion brand, tested and researched the market and designed your fashion collection; now is the time to bring your ideas to life. You begin the search for clothing manufacturers and enquire about prices. You are excited to start moving forward and... you hit a brick wall: the tech pack.
The tech pack nightmare has started: clothing manufacturers do not speak to you without a tech pack and neither are they willing to provide any production quotes.
Naturally, at this point, you do not want to stop. With hope and determination, you turn to Google for help. Pages upon pages are consulted and hours are spent online, yet you feel even further away from understanding tech packs.
If this sounds familiar, continue reading.
We have put this article together to answer the most common questions about tech packs from start-up fashion brand owners.
A tech pack is an essential communication tool between a fashion designer and a clothing manufacturer. It is a set of instructions that the sewing factory requires and has to follow in order to produce your garments. Fashion designers use this powerful tool to inform sewing factories of specific information about their garments.
The purpose of the tech pack is to explain to your sewing factory, using visual guidelines, what you expect to see at the end of the production line.
I understand that, but why are sewing factories unable to give me a production quote without a tech pack?
Based on the instructions fashion designers provide in their tech packs, clothing manufacturers estimate the production time per garment. Your tech pack should include all the information necessary to enable a clothing manufacturer to do so.
A traditional tech pack should include:
The above enables fashion designers to set standards and clothing manufacturers to gauge the designer's expectations.
What should a tech pack look like?
Currently, there is no universal format. On the one hand, this makes our lives easier, allowing us to adapt according to the manufacturing conditions and budget. On the other hand, this can be confusing for fashion designers who are unfamiliar with this subject. Our Fashion Designer Toolkit provides you with a standard industry tech pack template and a tech pack example.
Exactly what information should fashion designers include in their tech packs?
At times, a neat and detailed garment illustration with annotations is sufficient, especially if you are working closely with your sample makers and cutters at a pattern cutting or sampling stage. However, if you require a tech pack to accompany your garment production, it will need much greater detail.
Traditionally a tech pack will include the following pages:
A cover page, which consists of a brief introduction to the style, a log of all the amendments to the tech pack and any other related administrative information.
A garment construction page, which is a detailed description of the internal and external elements of the garment. It will include all the information about stitches and seams. Even though it is called a page, it can actually range from 1 to 6 pages in length, depending on the complexity of your garment.
Bill of Material (BOM), which is a list of all the materials required to make the garment and must include colours, SKU numbers etc .
Points of Measure (POM), which is a sample measurement page that includes base size pattern and garment measurements including the points of measure.
A grading specifications sheet containing measurements of all the dimensions with points of measure. It should include increments and tolerance.
Those are the main pages that any full production tech pack should consist of.
There are also optional pages that you may or should include depending on your style. They are:
After reading our brief description, we hope that you now have a much clearer picture of tech packs and what they should contain. However, many of you may now have even more questions than when you started! Therefore, we have created another blog post where we drill down into this subject and answer further questions that you may have. Follow this link to carry on reading.
Alternatively, if you are ready to take action and set your business on the road to success, we have created a Fashion Designer Toolkit that has already helped many start-up fashion brands like yours navigate the manufacturing process with ease and improve the relationship with clothing manufacturers.
After this blog post was released we had an unprecedented amount of inquiries to go deeper into this subject, so we created a masterclass to dive in on the subject. Click here to find out more