Readymade Garment Manufacturing – An Overview
Part – 2
Sourcing of fabrics, trims and packing accessories
You might know that fabric is the primary raw material for making garments. To make a garment we need various kinds of trims too depending on garment design. Common trims are like stitching threads, buttons, zippers, twill tape, laces, hook, snap buttons, etc. Factory source fabrics and all other items from the local market or from the buyer nominated suppliers. Prior to using these items, the factory checks the quantity and quality of the items. Checking of raw materials is done to ensure that only quality materials are used in the following process. This ensures to get quality garments at the end of garment production.
Cutting garment parts
As mentioned above, to make a garment factory cuts fabrics into garment parts. In mass garment production numbers of garments are made for the same design and same size. Multiple fabric plies are cut together after layering fabrics on the cutting table. After fabric layering, the marker is made manually on the top ply using pattern paper or CAD generated maker sheet is laid on the top layer. A trained cutter cuts fabric following pattern outlines by means of cutting equipment. It may be a straight knife cutting machine, or a round knife cutting machine or an automatic cutting machine. The cutting process involves various sub-processes, like fabric relaxation, layering, marker making, cutting, re-cutting, shorting and bundling, numbering of plies, etc. Cut components are checked prior to sending the garment to the next process.
Printing and Embroidery
You might have seen printed designs or/and embroidery designs on your clothes. Printing and embroidery work are value-added but an optional process. All designs may not have print and embroider work. Printing or Embroidery is only done if the customer asked for it. Printing on garments is done either on full-length fabric or on garment panels after cutting garment components. There is a number of printing method and printing techniques for printing fabrics and garments. Even printing is done after making the complete garment. In the case, the factory doesn’t have in-house print/embroidery machines this process is outsourced.
You might have seen tailors stitch garments in a tailoring shop. They normally use 2-3 types of sewing machines and one person makes the whole garment. In industrial production things are different.
Cut components are taken into the sewing section. Garments are stitched in assembly lines. Large numbers of stitching machines are installed in multiple sewing lines in the stitching floor. Stitching operators stitch garment parts together and assemble garments. One operator sews only one or a couple of operations. Hence numbers of operators are involved in completing the stitching of a garment.
Just stitching garment parts are not enough. All garments must be defect-free. To ensure a stitching quality factory involves quality checkers to check the stitched garments in the line and end of the line. All defective garments are repaired in the line prior to sending garments to the next process.
Just for your information – different types of industrial sewing machines are used in industrial production. Lockstitch, overlock, flatlock, chain stitch, profile stitch, bar tacking, button attaching and buttonholing machines are to name some of the industrial sewing machines. Nowadays various technologies are used for joining garment components (making seam). To learn more about garment manufacturing, you can refer to this blog part 1.
Being a customer we would never buy a soiled or stained garment. Brands know this. So the factory takes care of garment presentation and finishing. The factory cleans all oil stains, pencil/chalk marks, dust by spotting or washing. Garment washing is done to remove dirt and dust from the garments. Washing of the whole lot is done only if the buyer needs washing for their orders. More than just cleaning garments, washing is also done to give a washed look to the finished garments, to improve softness and hand feel. For jeans and sweaters, garment washing is a must. Industrial washing machines are used for bulk garment washing.