Updated: Mar 26, 2020
Product Development Process for Your Clothing Line:
If you are completely new to the fashion industry it can be hard knowing what goes on behind the scenes and managing your brand. The most important thing that you can do is make sure the manufacturer and factory you plan to work with are professionals and experienced with what they are doing. Most of the time they will help you understand and help the process of pattern makers, tech pack creators and design, materials and production partners.If you have no prior experience in the fashion industry, hiring an expert in that field is highly recommended; they give you an insight and help you create your vision. Below I will discuss what pattern makers and tech pack creators are and how they help you before you go into the manufacturing stages.Researching a manufacturer before you start will help you a lot in the long run. If you choose the correct manufacturer some will offer their expertise in professional product development services; this is especially good if you’re new to the fashion making industry. Always research into manufactures prior to starting off the design process as they can give you estimated rates, if they provide product development services and more.Furthermore, if you are a new start off fashion company and are based in the UK you may be tempted to hire manufacturers abroad like China who offer cheaper prices; this can often be a hit or miss and can come down to how big your order size is.
The general process of clothing product development looks like:
Designs: The initial design concept, whether this includes a rough sketch or a CAD illustration, you have to have a rough design/ sketch of what you want the product to look like. For example, a long sleeve T-Shirt or a short sleeve T-Shirt. What will the pattern be? Floral or a solid colour inside. Do you want to include a logo, is the shirt reversible, does it include labels. These all need to be seen in the initial design/ sketch. Sketching out ideas is important as usually you may need further assistance whether this be with a fashion illustrator or designer. Make sure you write notes and ideas down by the end of the process the designs and sketches will be more refined and realistic. Be careful of who you share your designs with as many ideas nowadays are stolen.
Tech Pack: In the tech pack you will include more specificities, including all details and technical specifications like how big the sleeves in metric sizes, the design, measurements, materials and any accessories (zipper, buttons etc...)
A complete tech pack will include:
-Design -Fabrics -Materials -Trim -Stitching -Artwork -Labels and Tag Information Packaging Instructions
Pattern making and grading: Pattern making is the process of turning your design into patterns which can then go into the production stages. The grading process entails grading the pattern up or down for all the future apparel and sizes in that line. A qualified pattern maker is needed in this step, they will help you design the pattern and print it to you full size to show you if the print will stretch and more. This is really crucial so make sure you enlist a professional who knows what they are doing.