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Fashion merchandising: tech-pack

Introduction

Tech pack is an instruction guide for procedure of the garment manufacturing. This is a graphical and written document which indicates the design specification, fit specification, procedure for manufacturing the garment, measurement and sizing of the garment. Buyer communicates the tech-pack with production merchandiser in order to get the desired outcome with the desired quality and aesthetics. The provision is made in tech-pack to control the quality of the product throughout the production procedure.

Specification sheets provide important details to ensure the correct execution of garment patterns into finished garments. It helps to produce accurate samples, which improves turnaround time and simplifies communication during all stages of manufacturing and quality control. Tech pack includes detailed technical diagrams, construction notes, finished garment measurements, fabric yields and material and trim details. It is normally tailored in terms of the format and information provided to suit the company’s needs.

Tech-pack provides base for communication to everyone related to production purpose by providing the information about the measurements and technical design, product development by providing the information about the silhouettes and measurements etc. For quality department it provides the point of measurement and seam specification, fit specification.

Once tech-pack for any style is frozen, the production department must be able to go ahead with the manufacturing process without having to refer back to the designer for any aspect of production. The merchandisers are thus able to go ahead and ensure that the required material as per the tech-pack is made available to the production department, in the right quantities at the right time.

The marketing department can use this document in their presentation, particularly to the large format stores and their key customers. The preparation of a tech-pack and using it to manage and co-ordinate various activities in production brings in efficiency within the company as, various departments refers to the common document for discussion or carrying out any activity.

Generally buyer gives tech-pack to merchandiser or manufacturer does have the in-house capacity of design and product development, then tech-pack is prepared by design and technical team and approved by buyer. It is the most important communication tool for the garment manufacturer.

Importance of tech-pack

  • Tech-pack is important from merchandiser point of view as in absence of tech-pack merchandiser will be clueless for order processing.
  • Tech-pack provides the direction for manufacturing of the particular style.
  • Tech-pack provides guidance to quality department for judgement of quality of the garment.
  • It makes the process smoother for both production as well as quality department.
  • Buyer specifies all aspect of garment manufacturing like stitch and seam specification, size and garment construction details, graphic placemen. With tech-pack manufacturer can understands the buyer’s expectation with tech-pack.
  • Tech-pack is design in such a way that it eliminates many problems before they come in existence.
  • With tech pack sampling process will be smoother as; samples are designs according to tech-pack hence capacity of manufacturer will tested with tech-pack.
  • If information in tech-pack is not proper or is not understandable then it will lead to poor quality of the garment which will affect the sales of the buyer directly.
  • Tech-packcontains procedures, forms, approval schedules, and responsibilities required of sourcing partners.
  • If tech-pack is applied throughout value chain of the apparels effectively, then there will be success to everyone in the value chain.
  • If it communicates poorly then, it is very difficult to convert designers perception into actual 3D format.

Contents of tech-pack

  • Measurement sheet
  • Garment technical design or flat sketch
  • Fabric specification
  • Colour specification
  • Trim specification
  • Embroidery design scan or sample
  • Embroidery placement
  • Seam and stitch specification and placement
  • Point of measurement
  • Testing methods
  • Graphic specification
  • Graphic placement
  • Colour combo
  • Style no.
  • Other technical data related to garment construction

Along with tech-pack buyer provides the following things which depend upon buyer and situations:

  • Sample of the garment developed by buyer for reference (depends upon buyer)
  • Scan copy of the printed fabric
  • Trim sample (depends upon buyer)
  • Hard pattern
  • Soft copy of pattern

Merchandisers perspective of tech-pack

Tech-pack is the most important aspect of the any export order.  Production merchandiser must know how to see and what to see in the tech pack. The important aspects of the tech-pack can be given as

  • Style no.

From merchandisers point of view style no. is very important. The style number is a unique identifier for the merchandise and it may be numeric or alpha-numeric. Style number also helps to indicate the classification or product group to which the product belongs and the season. Style no. refers and sends by the buyer which is one of the most effective ways of communication in apparel merchandising. Style no. indicates the style, year, season, colour and one specific reference no. which show the specific style. The main significance of style no. is, every time it is not necessary to describe the whole garment while writing the mail or telephonic conversation. Only style no. will serve the purpose of both buyer and merchandiser. E.g. MH44SP 1101 depicts MH is the brand name — Mother Hood, SP is the spring Season, 44 will be garment size and 1101 is the identification number for the style.

  • Fabric specifications:

Fabric specification is important aspect from production merchandiser. As the fabric specification contains EPI, PPI, Yarn count, fibre content, blend specification, design of the fabric, GSM, width may be given by buyer or suggested by production merchandiser with the help of sourcing department and supplier. Merchandiser must give immediate reply to buyer if buyer does not specify width of the fabric. Colour combination and shade card is sent by buyer separately or along with the tech-pack for colour development. Along with this information additionally buyer may provide swatch of the fabric in, scan of the print design depending upon the style and situation. Buyer also specifies the testing methods of fabric like fastness properties, strength measurement etc.

  • Trim specification

Trim specification  have the particulars about all of the trims, which may include zippers, buttons, thread, lace and other trim, interfacings, and labels used in the product.  The trim specks contains colour of button, size, raw material etc. Labels specifications like woven with a unique design of jacquard or printed. For thread, the spec includes the twist, colour, structure, fibre content, source, and price of the thread. For zipper, type of zipper, length, raw material, colour fastness properties requirements. For interfacing raw material, GSM, shrinkage requirements etc. are the criteria. Trim specifications are equally important as to develop the samples.

  • Sewing specification/ production procedure

The sewing specs are of primary concern of the product manufacturers; the sew spec contains detailed information about the stitches, seams, and order of assembly for the product. The merchandiser sees the stitch class, stitch length, and seam class and SPI specified by the buyer and give the information to IE department to decide the operational break down and thread consumption pre garment. Along with that Pictures, either 2D or 3D, of the stitches and seams are provided can further illuminate the communication among merchandiser, plant manager, and sewing operator.

1 2In addition to the basic stitch and seam information, the sew spec may include detailed descriptions or pictures about specific design areas on the product. For example, the back pocket on blue jeans is often stitched with a pattern that is unique to the brand of jeans. The sew spec can contain a sketch of the stitching pattern, including a count of the stitches from corner to corner on the pocket or the embroidery on premium jeans. The colour of the thread, the stitch length, and other information are specified to make every pocket on every pair of jeans.

  • Sizing specification

In tech pack buyer specifies the different sizes of the garment. The size wise breakup of the order may not be given by the buyer with the tech-pack. Size specification also contains gender of the customer, size range, size classification etc.

  • Fit specification

Size and fit specs may be considered together because of the integration of information about these two product features; however, they are two distinctly different features. Size involves a standardized set of dimensions for the product, whereas fit defines how the apparel product relates to the body. Fit is how the product feels to the wearer when wearing the garment and is often a factor not only of size classifications but of cultural forces and fashion. Fit specs include descriptions or pictures, illustrating the placement of the product on the body, and the looseness or tightness of the product relative to the body. The amount of ease, or the difference between the body dimensions and the garment dimensions that is built into the product, will dictate the fit. This ease can come from the size of the pattern pieces or from the stretch that is natural to the fabric. What is considered a close fit for one segment of consumers may be too loose a fit to satisfy another segment of consumers. Circumference is the first point of fit that most consumers consider; however, lengths of sleeves, pant crotch positioning and leg lengths, and placement of seams are also important in fit.

  • Point of measurement

From merchandisers point of view point of measurement is an important issue. Most of the miss understanding is happens with this respect. When it comes to garment quality then measurements are bound to check, hence in tech-pack buyer advices the point of measurement either in pictorial format or in coded format. Buyer gives the instructions e.g. use the flexible measurement tape; measurements are to be taken by keeping garment flat on the table etc. which are needed to follow at sampling stage and at production stage as well. If merchandiser or quality persons miss something while measurements are taken then, it will not acceptable to buyer.

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  • Placement details

From merchandisers point of view placement of graphics, embroidery and applique is important. Tech-pack provides all the details about the graphics design, size, font (if applicable), colour combinations and placement details on garment. The thread of embroidery, colour, SPI, font (if applicable), size of design etc. are provided by tech-pack. Merchandiser need to give instructions to its production personalities accordingly, if printing, embroidery are outsourced from sub-vendors then, the same information should share with sub-vendors, so that error free production can be possible.

  • Final inspection specification

The final inspection specification ensures that the product will be packaged and delivered to the customer as dictated by a contract agreement. Contents of final inspection specification for apparel products include the placement of hangtags, the fold of the product, bagging or hanging information, and packaging of the products. For apparel manufacturers, the final inspection spec for fabric could include the size of the fabric roll, the placement of rolls within the delivery truck, and the types of inspection information that will be delivered with the fabric rolls. The final inspection spec may also include any information needed about finishes that are applied to the product after it is sewn. Some of the “washes” such as stone washing or acid stripping are done on the finished garment to develop the desired streaks or seam shading that may be popular.

Conclusion:

Tech-pack is the most important aspect of export merchandising process. Buyer gives detailed tech-pack; accordingly merchandiser is expected to act. Tech-pack is a bible of the running style, which gives all necessary information about the style. Without tech-pack it is impossible to move further. If there is any doubt in tech-pack, it should be communicated to buyer immediately. Merchandiser should read the tech-pack thoroughly, the specifications related to sampling, production, construction, fit and measurement. It is advisable that merchandiser must understand the technicalities in tech-pack, problems related to tech-pack should clarify at early stages of order.

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