What is a garment tech pack? A tech pack, also known as a specification sheet, contains detailed information about your garment design. It includes size measurements, care label instructions, artwork placement, fabric specifications, packing instructions etc. Factories use your detailed tech pack to quote prices and make samples.
Below is a list of detailed questions that are answered in a complete garment tech pack. Creating a garment tech pack is an important part of the product development process. If you're wondering what goes into a professional tech pack or how to create one, keep reading!
I like to think of a tech pack as a contract between a fashion designer and a garment manufacturer. If you want to have your clothes made in Bangladesh or Vietnam, you will need to communicate your design ideas across different languages and cultures. All the specifics of your garment must be conveyed, understood, discussed, and brought to life by a team of people from a different culture who speak a different language. Tech packs assist with this procedure by putting all of the design information onto paper in numbers and pictures to help garment manufacturers understand what the designer wants.
Then, when issues arise, you'll be able to easily identify who is at fault by referring to the garment technical packs.
Quality control planners work with garment tech packs to develop garment specifications, inspection criteria, and testing methods before production begins. This is an important step to ensure that your products are made according to your standards.
Let's say you have an idea in your mind for some new fashion brand. You need to communicate your idea to a Vietnamese merchandiser. The Vietnamese manufacturer can not read your mind. This is why you absolutely must write down your ideas in technical terms in a pdf ready tech pack. Otherwise gross misunderstandings are guaranteed which wastes time and money.
Why is it necessary to use a garment tech pack or spec sheet?
A competent sewing shop will provide you with a price and a sample right away. They'll require the thorough, detailed information in your tech pack to do this. The factory must first guess what the specifics are, and if they get it wrong, they will be losing time and money. Factories enjoy working with fashion companies that are clear about what they want and can express it plainly once. A well-designed technical pack establishes the factory's trust in the designer and demonstrates that he or she knows what is needed. Both sides are wary of change. Know what a garment tech pack or spec sheet is and how to use it to convey all the design details effectively.
The role of the garment technologist
It's usually the designer or the garment technologist (garment tech) who provides the clothing tech packs as well as the garment spec. Our garment technology team's job involves managing all aspects of garment manufacturing, from assembly to final production. Many garment techs have specialized experience in patterning and sample production. they also know how to do these jobs. They also need extensive knowledge of a standard size for creating a correct scale.
To garment technologists, a garment is like a puzzle. All of the different elements must come together in order for it to work well and look good. Different garment techs will have their own way of solving the puzzle. The best garment techs are those who can think outside the box to solve problems quickly and effectively.
The entire product development process from concept to approving the clothing tech pack to be sent to the garment factory can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
What's included in a factory-ready tech pack?
- The name of the apparel brand. Including the brand name in the tech pack is important because it helps the garment manufacturer understand who you are and what you want. For example, if you are a high-end fashion brand, the garment manufacturer will know that you expect a certain level of quality.
- What is the garment designer's name? The garment designer's name should be included in the tech pack so that the garment manufacturer knows who to contact with any questions.
- Contact details for the garment technologist. The garment tech's contact information should be included in the tech pack so that the garment manufacturer knows who to contact with any questions.
- What is the short description of the garment? The garment tech pack should include a description of the garment, such as "men's button-down shirt." This is important because it helps the garment manufacturer understand what type of garment you are making.
- What season does this garment belong to? For example, "Spring/Summer 2020."
- What is the name of the collection? The name of the collection should be included in the tech pack so that the garment manufacturer knows which collection the garment belongs to.
- What is the date this tech pack was created? The date the tech pack was created should be included so that the garment manufacturer knows how current the information is.
- What is the tech pack version number? The version number can be used as a double-check to make sure the garment manufacturer is using the most up-to-date information.
- What is the technical description of the main fabric? Modern fabrics are available in a huge variety of fibres, weaves, and finishes. The garment tech pack should include the technical description of the main fabric, such as "100% cotton twill, garment-washed."
- A list of all the materials and trims used in the garment. The garment tech pack should include a complete list of all the materials and trims used in the garment, such as "buttons: plastic, white, size: 18mm."
- What is the garment style number? The garment style number is important because it helps the garment manufacturer keep track of all of the different styles that you are making.
- What is the size range? The bane of all fashion brands, and indeed the whole fashion industry is the sizing. There are so many different sizing systems and garment techs need to be aware of them all. The technical designer should be ultra-specific when it comes to garment sizing and should be more detailed than simply listing the size range, such as "size: S-M-L-XL.", and include the actual body measurements as well as the finished garment measurements.
- What is the sample size? The garment tech pack should include the sample size so that the garment manufacturer knows which size to use when making samples.
- Do you have an image for the sample fabric swatch that shows details like artwork, pattern or texture? Having a visual reference for the garment is important, and a fabric swatch image helps the garment manufacturer understand what the garment should look like, and will act as a point of reference for quality control.
- Do you have a technical drawing (aka flat sketch) of the garment? A technical drawing, or flat sketch, is a detailed illustration of the garment that shows all of the garment's pieces and how they fit together. The garment tech pack acts as a technical drawing so that the garment manufacturer knows how the garment is supposed to look.
- Do you know the item name, item description, colour, SKU #, quantity and supplier name for every item in your bill of materials? The garment tech pack should include the item name, item description, colour, SKU #, quantity and supplier name for every item in your bill of materials. This is important because it helps the garment manufacturer keep track of all of the different components that are used in the garment.
- Do you have pictures that show the details of each trim like, buttons, zippers, labels or patches? A comprehensive tech pack would always include pictures that show the details of each trim like, buttons, zippers, labels or patches. This is important because it helps the garment manufacturer understand how the garment is supposed to look.
- Do you have pictures that show the details of each accessory like hang-tags, poly-bags or carton boxes? Understanding how the garment will be packaged and presented is often just as important as understanding how the garment itself is supposed to look, especially for fashion brands. Branded labels, hang-tags and packaging can be just as important as the garment itself in terms of conveying the brand identity.
- Does your technical drawing call out all the special elements of your design like velcro strips, snaps, secret pockets or waterproof seams? The garment tech pack should include a technical drawing that calls out all the special elements of your design like velcro strips, snaps, secret pockets or waterproof seams.
- Does your construction diagram list the sewing operation, stitch type, stitch width, stitches per inch, seam orientation and seam allowance, topstitching, hanger loop or interfacing? Detailed tech packs will always include a construction diagram that lists various garment construction details within the specification sheets. Technical drawings should also include garment styling details such as pleats, tucks, ruffles or other garment embellishments.
- Do you know the exact Pantone colour code for every element of your design including fabric, lining, buttons, zippers and thread? For garment techs that are working on garments that need to match a specific colour, it is important to include the exact Pantone colour code for every element of your design. Using a colour finder palette can help, as well as having a good understanding of the printing technique that will be used.
- Do you know the garment measurements for bust, waist, hips, length (shoulder to hem), sleeve length (shoulder seam to cuff), inseam (crotch to hem) and garment width (measured flat)? Technical specification packs will illustrate all these actual measurements in a clear and understandable format which will make pattern making a much easier task.
- Do you have garment measurements for each size in your size range? The garment tech pack should include seam to seam measurements for each garment size in your size range.
- Do you have the original artwork for any printing that needs to be done on the fabric, trims or accessories? The garment tech pack should also include the original artwork for any printing that needs to be done on the fabric, trims or accessories.
- Do you have all the correct wording for your main labels and care labels? The brand labels and care labels are an important part of the garment tech pack and will dictate whether you are perceived as a reputable, quality clothing manufacturer. Woven labels, printed labels and care labels should all be included in the garment tech pack.
- Do you know the exact materials, dimensions and placements and desired colour for all your main labels and care labels? The same rules as above apply here.
- What type of card stock and print quality do you want for your hang-tags? Does your brand require hang-tags made from sustainable materials?
- What material and thickness do you want for your poly-bags? Do they have an adhesive strip?
- What are your folding instructions? Helping the factory to understand how you want your garment packaging to look when it arrives at the store is important.
There are many other specific questions that tech packs answer, such as, do you want a bi-fold, tri-fold or quad-fold garment bag? Do you want tissue paper? If so, what colour and how many sheets per garment? Do you want a garment box? If so, what are the dimensions of the box? Do you want adhesive garment labels? If so, what size and shape? Do you have a barcode for your product? If so, what format do you need? Do you have a UPC code for your product? Do you want to include a thank-you note or some other insert? Do you want to include a garment bag stuffer? Do you want to include a hanger loop or garment hook? And so on.
As you can see, there are many detailed questions that need to be answered in a garment tech pack. These questions will help to ensure that your garment is produced to your exact specifications and that you are happy with the final product.