WHAT IS TECH PACK?

What is Tech Pack?

A “Tech Pack” or technical packet, is an informative sheet or document that designers create to communicate with a manufacturer all the necessary components needed to construct a product, typically in the fashion industry, this refers to pieces of clothing.

A Tech Pack includes:

Technical Flat Sketches: These are detailed, black and white drawings of the front and back of each garment. They include any design details like seams, pleats, and stitches.

Materials and Hardware Details: This section outlines all the fabric, trims, hardware, and any other materials that will be used to produce the garment.

Colorways: This part details all the different color versions that the garment will come in.

Construction Call Outs: Detailed notes and instructions on how the garment is assembled.

Measurements: This section includes a detailed measurement chart for each size the garment will come in.

Grading: This describes the size variations and measurements between different sizes.

Bill of Materials (BOM): It’s a comprehensive list of components, raw materials, assemblies, subassemblies, parts, and the quantities of each needed to manufacture an end product.

The primary role of a tech pack is to prevent any discrepancies in understanding between the designer and the manufacturer. Its aim is to facilitate a seamless production process, while also guaranteeing that the completed product accurately aligns with the designer’s intended vision.

Technical Flat Sketches:

Technical Flat Sketches, often referred to as “flats,” represent meticulous two-dimensional diagrams that depict diverse perspectives of a clothing item, as though it were displayed flat. They are typically created using digital tools like Adobe Illustrator. Flats are not just regular sketches; they are an essential part of a tech pack and serve as a blueprint for how each piece of clothing will be manufactured.

These sketches are usually devoid of any stylistic attributes like color or texture; instead, they focus on accurately depicting the structure and details of the design. They provide a clear, not stylized view of the garment, showcasing all design details, seams, stitching locations, hardware placements (like buttons, zippers, etc.), pocket styles, collars, and so forth. Usually, the sketches are done for the front, back, and sometimes the side view if the design calls for it. The goal is to make it easy for the manufacturer to understand every construction aspect of the design.

In addition, the technical flat sketches also show all the different parts of a garment that will need to be cut out and sewn together. They might also be annotated with important information for the manufacturer such as specific construction techniques to be used, a special kind of stitch or seam, or any other particular element relevant to the design.

In conclusion, technical flat sketches are highly detailed and provide a comprehensive visual guide that manufacturers use to understand and execute the designer’s vision accurately. These sketches reduce the risk of errors and misunderstandings, leading to a smoother production process and a final product that matches the designer’s original concept.

Materials and Hardware Details:

This section of the tech pack provides a comprehensive list of every fabric, hardware, trim, and all other materials that will be used in the production of the garment. This includes everything from the main fabric(s) used, to the type of thread for stitching, to any buttons, zippers, or embellishments.

1. Fabric Specifications:
This includes the type of fabric(s) (like cotton, silk, polyester, etc.), weight, composition, and any specific weave or knit details if necessary. In instances where various fabrics are utilized in separate sections of the clothing item, each fabric type must be individually detailed.

2. Hardware Specifications:
If the design includes elements like zippers, buttons, hooks, rivets, or other hardware, these should be specified. This includes the material, color, size, and location on the garment.

3.Trims and Additional Materials:
If the garment includes any trims, such as lace, ribbons, or tapes, these should be listed. Additional materials like interlinings, interfacing, or special threads should also be included.

Color Details:

For each material and trim, the specific color or pattern should be noted. This can be defined by a Pantone color or similar system for clarity and precision.

Supplier Information:

If the designer already has a specific supplier for certain materials or hardware, this information can be included in the tech pack as well.

Sustainability and Compliance Details:

In an increasingly eco-conscious world, many brands aim for sustainability. Any pertinent certifications or compliance with ecological or ethical guidelines associated with the materials may also be specified in this segment. Remember, the ultimate purpose of this portion is to remove all potential ambiguities. The greater the clarity and detail in the stipulations, the closer the end product will align with the original design.

Colorways:

Colorways refer to the different color variations that a specific design will come in. For example, a single design of a shirt might be produced in blue, red, and black. Each of these different colors is considered a different “colorway”.

In a Tech Pack, designers need to clearly indicate the colorways for a particular garment. This information is usually provided with Pantone color codes or other universally recognized color systems to ensure the precise color is used in the production process. Pantone is a standardized color matching system that is widely used in various industries, including fashion, to ensure accurate color communication from designer to manufacturer.

Including colorway details within the tech pack can get complex if there are patterns or prints involved because they might require specific color placements. For these situations, a detailed layout or blueprint specifying the color placement may also be included.

In certain instances, designers might wish to employ diverse materials or fabric finishes for various color variations of the same design. Such preferences also need to be articulated in this section.

Therefore, the colorways section in a Tech Pack is vital in ensuring the correct colors (and possibly materials) are used for each garment, which in turn ensures the final product matches the designer’s vision.

Construction Call Outs:

The “Construction Call Outs” are essentially detailed notes and instructions provided by the designer to guide the manufacturer in assembling the garment. These instructions help to clarify how each component of the garment is put together, helping to ensure that the design is executed correctly.

Considerations might involve:

1. Stitching Specifics:
The type of stitches to be employed at each segment of the garment, the thread color, and even the precise stitch length.

2. Assembly Instructions:
This is the sequential order in which the parts of the garment should be assembled. It is akin to a roadmap for the entire construction of the piece.

3. Seam Allowances:
This indicates how much extra fabric should be left at the edges for sewing pieces together.

4. Finishing Details:
Information on how edges and hems should be finished or any other special finishes required.

5. Illustrations:
Sometimes, visual aids are included to illustrate more complex procedures or particular construction features.

6. Material Placement:
Specific instructions on where and how materials should be placed, especially when dealing with different materials in the same garment.

The “Construction Call Outs” section in a tech pack is pivotal in ensuring the manufacturer understands the designer’s vision. This approach eradicates possible mistakes that might stem from miscommunication or misinterpretation, assuring that the final product remains true to the designer’s initial idea.

Measurements:

The assessment of dimensions is not confined to just fundamental sizing categories like S, M, or L. Instead, it extends to precise measurements corresponding to various elements of the clothing item. For example, in the case of a shirt, the measurement section would encompass attributes like collar dimension, sleeve length, chest, and the length of the shirt, to name a few. If it’s a pair of pants, the section would detail measurements such as waist, inseam length, hip, leg opening, and so on.

Each of these measurements would be provided for each size that the garment is going to be manufactured in. This means that there will be specific measurements for small, medium, large, and any other sizes offered.

Typically, the measurements are furnished in a table or graph format, simplifying the process for the manufacturer to comprehend and adhere to. These detailed measurements help ensure the fit and comfort of the garment for the end consumer.

In order to be as accurate as possible, the measurements are often done using a special form or mannequin that represents the standard body measurements for the target customer.

By providing the manufacturer with exact measurements, the designer can ensure that the garments are made correctly, reducing the risk of misinterpretation and mistakes in sizing. It’s crucial to understand that these measurements are also utilized during the quality assurance stage of manufacturing to confirm that each garment aligns with the stipulated measurements.

Grading:

Grading is the process of creating, modifying, or marking a pattern (or patterns) at different size levels. In the fashion industry, this process allows clothing designs to be scaled up or down effectively to fit all intended sizes.

Grading rules determine how much larger or smaller a pattern will be, based on the original sample size. Each specific point on a pattern – such as the waistline, hips, or bust – will have its own individual grading rule.

For example, a shirt’s pattern might be increased by 1 inch in the bust, waist, and hips for each size increase (say, from small to medium). The exact amount varies depending on the specifics of the design and the designer’s or company’s sizing standards.

This process is critical to ensure a consistent fit across all sizes, maintaining the integrity and proportion of the design.

So, in a Tech Pack, the grading section would include the different measurements for each size the garment will come in, such as small, medium, large, etc., and how much each measurement should increase or decrease as the size changes. These grading rules allow the manufacturer to produce the garment in a variety of sizes with the same proportions and fit as the original design.

Bill of Materials (BOM):

The Bill of Materials, abbreviated as BOM, serves as a thorough directory listing all the constituents, components, parts, and subassemblies needed to fabricate the end product – in this scenario, a garment. The BOM denotes the required quantities for each listed item.

In the fashion industry, a BOM may include, but not limited to:

1. Fabric:
This includes in-depth information about the kind of fabric(s) required for the garment, comprising color, composition, weight, and any other pertinent details. It also states the quantity needed, usually expressed in yards or meters.

2. Trims:
This encompasses all the additional elements that are used to complete a garment. These could include buttons, zippers, threads, elastics, labels, hang tags, etc. The type, color, size, and quantity of each trim are specified.

3. Hardware:
Any metallic or plastic elements that could be a part of the design, such as buckles, snaps, or grommets. Again, the type, size, color, and quantity would be detailed.

4. Embroideries, prints, or other details:
If the garment includes special features like embroidery, prints, or appliques, the BOM will detail what’s needed for these, including thread for embroidery, design files for prints, or fabric for appliques.

5. Packaging materials:
Details about any packaging elements, such as bags, boxes, tissue paper, stickers, etc., if they are a part of the product.

The BOM is an essential tool for both the designer and manufacturer. For the designer, it provides a thorough list to make sure nothing is forgotten in the planning phase. For the manufacturer, it offers a clear picture of what’s needed to produce the garment, facilitating the sourcing and procurement process, and ensuring there are no surprises or hold-ups once production begins. It also plays a vital role in cost estimation, production planning, and inventory management.

Finding the right clothing manufacturer for your business is a journey. It requires time, research, and careful planning. But remember, the right manufacturing partner can make all the difference to your brand. So take these five perspective lenses, embark on your search, and you’re well on your way to creating a clothing line that truly reflects your vision.

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