Garment manufacturing is the mass production of clothing. Manufacturing garments entails a lot of planning and consciousness of schedule. The coordination of contractors and their timeliness plays a large role in meeting deadlines for your production. In most cases the production of garments is very time sensitive in order to ship goods to stores and boutiques for the upcoming season. Having a late order can reflect poorly on your business--keep this in mind and add plenty of time in your schedule.
To create a production schedule, start from your end date and work backwards in order to determine a schedule that suits your needs. Give yourself a week or two of extra time to allow for any delays in the process.
Patterns and Markers
Pattern making, grading and markers are a crucial part in planning for production. Once markers of each style are based, you can easily calculate the yield of fabric needed for your production and in turn order your fabric.
Order fabric based on the yields needed in order to meet your production needs. When planning your production schedule speak with your fabric supplier about the turn around for your fabric and any additional time needed for dying or washing your fabric.
Order other materials such as buttons, grommets and zippers prior to your production. These elements are often overlooked but crucial in the production of a garment.
Meet with your sewing contractor prior to the beginning of the time period you need your production completed. Create a contract with your sewing contractor stating sewing prices, turnaround time, and list what your contractor is responsible for providing and what you are responsible for. Make sure to have deadlines for all these elements.
Once production has begun, you should check on your items regularly to make sure everything is being produced up to your standards. The first item off the line should be given to you for approval, make sure this is stated in your contract. Be sure to immediately check your production thoroughly for any mistakes.
Many sewing contractors also offer finishing services such as pressing, folding, tagging, and bagging items. If this is not the case, allot plenty of time for your finishing needs.
It is commonly known that the garment industry is late with orders, while stores and boutiques expect their orders to be on time. Give yourself a cushion of a few days whenever possible in order to make sure your production is on schedule. Make sure to have a contract with your sewing contractors defining the finish dates and any penalties that apply for a late production.