Feb 18, 2023

Steps in Tech Pack Design Followed in Garment Industry

Clothing designers and brands may wonder why they need a tech pack and spec sheet, but these tools are crucial for successful clothing manufacturing. In this post, we'll provide a clear overview of the steps involved in designing a clothing tech pack, which is not only important for tech pack designers, but also for brands. A fashion tech pack serves many purposes for an apparel brand, helping them save money in the production of their clothing line. Additionally, it acts as a de facto contract between the client and the clothing manufacturer throughout the apparel production process.

At its core, a tech pack serves to clearly communicate the design and style requirements for a particular garment. It provides a set of instructions for the clothing manufacturer to follow throughout the production process, which includes everything from pattern design to finishing. Because each step of the process is important and requires proper instruction, it's essential for the tech pack designer to provide clarity in their instructions, as this directly affects sample development and production. Each tech pack is unique and tailored to the specific style and design requirements of the garment. In the following points, we'll outline how to create a tech pack and spec sheet for garments to ensure that all important details are included.

Tech Pack Design Steps

1. Fashion Flats: A Fashion Flat, also known as a Flat Sketch, is a front and back view of a garment that showcases every detail. It serves as the foundation for the tech pack design, so it's important for the tech pack designer to include all necessary information in the Fashion Flat. Both the designer and the client should cross-check the Fashion Flat throughout the design process to ensure that all details are accurately represented.

2. Color Options and Pantone Code: Garment styles are not complete without color options. Clients often request color variations for each style they design, and this also allows the brand to offer variety to their customers. Therefore, the tech pack designer should provide 2-3 color options for each style to ensure that the final product meets the client's expectations and offers flexibility for the brand.

3. Fabric Details: Fabric details are a critical aspect of any garment tech pack. This information includes the fabric's yarn count, weight, GSM, and composition, and is essential for the garment manufacturer to estimate fabric consumption during production. The fabric details also determine the optimal quantity required at a particular price rate, which can impact the overall cost of production. Therefore, the tech pack designer should ensure that all fabric details are accurately included in the tech pack to avoid any issues during the production process.

4. Stitching and Construction Details: Stitching and construction details in a tech pack provide guidance on how a clothing manufacturer should stitch and construct the garment. The stitching and construction details show the step-by-step process of assembling the garment, and a tech pack designer with factory experience can provide the necessary expertise to ensure that these details are accurately conveyed. Therefore, it's crucial to include stitching and construction details in the tech pack to ensure that the garment is produced correctly and meets the client's expectations.

5. Graphic and Print Details: Graphics and prints are an essential part of garment embellishment, and any garment style is incomplete without them. When incorporating prints and graphics, the placement and technique of the design are crucial to achieving the desired look. The tech pack designer must provide clear instructions for the print's color, size, and placement in the garment. Therefore, it's important to include these details in the tech pack to ensure that the final product accurately represents the client's vision. A separate post will be dedicated to discussing print and graphic details in further depth.

6. Graphic/Print Placement Details: Print design is a crucial aspect of tech pack design, but it's not enough to simply create a design. Decisions on the placement of the print, such as whether it will be printed on a garment or a panel, are essential and should be made with the guidance of a technical designer. It's important to remember that even a good print can look like a disaster if it's placed in the wrong location on the garment. Therefore, the tech pack should include detailed measurements and the exact position of the print from a specific point to ensure that it's accurately executed during production.

7. Embroidery Details: Embroidery has become a popular trend in high-end fashion, and any garment style that features an embroidery design requires detailed instructions. The tech pack should include information on the type of embroidery, the number of stitches required, the color of the thread, and other relevant details. The number of stitches required for a particular embroidery design is a crucial factor to consider. There are several embroidery techniques, such as puff embroidery, stiffly, and plain lock stitch, and it's essential for the tech pack designer to specify the type of embroidery to be used in the design. Including these details in the tech pack ensures that the embroidery is executed correctly during production.

8. Trims Detail: In addition to fabric, garments also require other materials such as trims, including buttons, zippers, clip hooks, and more. Each garment style requires different trims, so it's essential to provide complete details for sourcing and usage in the garment. The technical designer must mention the trim details along with its specifications in the tech pack. For example, for a shirt, the tech pack should specify the button size to use, and for the bottom, the zipper length should be mentioned. Including these details in the tech pack is crucial to ensure that the garment is constructed accurately and the style is executed as intended.

9. Branding Details: Every style that a technical designer creates is typically for a brand, and as such, it should reflect certain branding details. Labels, hang tags, loop labels, size labels, and more are all part of a brand's identity. While these details may not be part of the tech pack design, it is important to specify where to attach or stitch them in the tech pack. The most crucial branding trim is the care label, which provides instructions on how to handle the garment. Including these branding details in the tech pack ensures that the final product aligns with the brand's identity and guidelines.

10. Washing Details: Apart from stitching, every garment has its specific processing needs. For example, some garments need to be washed to reduce shrinkage, enhance the shine, and soften the fabric, which can improve the overall look and feel of the garment. Therefore, washing instructions are an important part of sample development and mass production. The tech pack designer should clearly mention the washing instructions for each garment in the tech pack to ensure that the garment is processed correctly.

11. Measurement Details and Size Chart: The measurement spec sheet includes all the key measurements of the garment, such as the chest, waist, hip, sleeve length, and inseam, along with the tolerance range for each measurement. The size chart and grading rules are also important to ensure the garment fits properly across all sizes. The tech pack designer needs to work closely with the pattern maker to ensure that the spec sheet is accurate and that the size chart and grading rules are appropriate for the target market.

12. Measurement Guideline: The measurement guideline is an important part of the measurement spec sheet, as it provides clear instructions on how to take the measurements. It typically includes illustrations and descriptions of where to start and end the measurements, as well as how to position the measuring tape. This helps to ensure that the measurements are consistent and accurate, which is crucial for achieving the desired fit of the garment.

13. Bills of Materials ( BOM ): Bill of Materials (BOM) is a crucial document in the production process, as it lists all the materials and components required to make a garment. A Bill of Materials is an essential source of information used for production cost estimation. This includes not only the fabric, trims, and hardware, but also things like labels, thread, and packaging materials. The BOM is used by the production team to estimate the cost of making the garment and to ensure that all the necessary materials are ordered and on hand before production begins. It is also used to keep track of inventory levels and to ensure that there are no shortages of any critical components. Preparing an accurate BOM is an important part of the tech pack design process, and requires careful attention to detail and thorough knowledge of the garment's construction and materials.

Urban Purple offers a comprehensive set of services for fashion brands, including design, sampling, production, and shipping. This can be valuable for brands looking for an end-to-end supply chain solution. Additionally, Tech Pack Template Store can be a helpful resource for brands in need of design spec sheet templates. Having a one-stop shop for all of these services and resources can be a time-saving and cost-effective option for fashion brands.