Fabric and Printing

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer, Sample Room Solutions |

 Photo: Sample Room’s WorkroomAs an emerging designer, how do you know what to do to achieve the look and finish for your designs? And if you want prints or logos on the fabric, whether small or all over, which is the best way to go ahead with that? Is it easiest to purchase the type of fabric you’re after with the prints already on them? But what about your logo? How does that get printed? What if the print is a specific design in itself – which is the best way to have it printed?So many questions! So many possibilities! It can be more than enough to discourage a start-up!I am hoping that the information below will help guide you, at least with a few things to think about, although I am aware that it might confuse you more. When we work with a client, we can help guide them and answer all the questions that arise. It may be just a few key questions that narrow down the choices to the one that suits your design, brand and label.Most often, we’ve found that the answer to these questions lies with the individual designer, you may have the vision but just don’t know what it is called and how to go about the process to get the result you are looking for. It really will be dependent on how much money is at your disposal.If you are looking at adding prints to your designs, there are quite a few choices and different reasons for each choice.The type of fabric, the final use of the garment, the finish you are looking to achieve and the quantity of garments you would like to make, all have an input into the final decision you will make.For example, if the stretch of the fabric is important to the design such as sportswear then the print finish will have an effect on the stretch of the garment. Choose the wrong print and you will find the print will restrict the fit and pull, resulting in a poor finish.However, there are some rules when it comes to printing. Let’s take a quick look at some of those options.Yardage Printing This type of printing is all over the fabric and is best suited if you are designing a garment that has an even all-over design. If you are looking to design your own print or have a surface print designer to design one for you then be mindful to choose a 2 way print (can have 2 panels cut in different directions that look the same) over a 1 way print as this will give you better fabric usage, reducing your garment costs. Often a yardage print is the right choice but depending on how you print it, you might be up with a large initial outlay depending on the number of colours, the detail of...

Read More

5 Top Specification Tips

5 Top Specification Tips

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

It has again been so long since my last blog, sorry. As a perfectionist I am waiting for the right thing to write instead of the latest question I have been asked. As always these blogs are developed as little messages to you, based on what we have seen in our work room and what we have explained to our customers to make their life easier and help them understand a small sections of the technical side of the industry.Specifications are a mystery to many and through the development of the fashion industry over the last 10 years, they have lost their way a little. Originally a specification was created after the pattern was made to assist the manufacturer and ensure that any noticeable shrinkage or discrepancies in the pattern making process where caught through the aid of measurements.With the change in processes 10 years ago, and more people moving offshore for their development and manufacturing, the process and reasoning behind a specification got a little bit lost.The change meant specifications were created by measuring garments and guessing numbers. The idea being that a pattern could be created from these measurements and then through fitting, the correct sample would develop.For those who have worked with offshore manufacturing you understand that very little interpretation of these measurements is taken and no consideration to balance or fit is understood.From the pattern makers’ perspective it is important to note that a range of numbers do not make a pattern any more than a dot to dot makes the image of a kangaroo.I have seen very few specifications created in a way that a pattern maker can correctly interpret.In light of this we have found that when designers who traditionally work with overseas manufacturers move to local pattern makers they still feel the need for specifications.The general process plays out like this:A garment is brought in to the meeting and discussed, including what changes are needed and what the desired result of the design is.A specification is presented.What then happens from a pattern maker’s perspective is a pattern is made and then just as much time is taken to try to fit back to the specifications that often goes against what was discussed and against the desired result.I will then ring the designer and ask permission to use the garment that we have and my pattern knowledge to create the desired look and then create specifications after approval of the sample.I understand that many of the designers we work with have never worked in an industry where you have direct and easy contact with technicians to discuss their needs. I also understand the need for some sort of control to keep the range consistent and for the buyers of their product to understand how they came to this desired result based on past sales and company design culture. However, I feel it is...

Read More

Personality testing

Personality testing

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Emerging Designers, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Today I stumbled upon a website called 16personalities.com – a free personality test. It does not take very long and was very accurate. I would have been more surprised by this had it not been for the fact it was not my first personality test. I don’t binge on personality tests but I love it when I come across one that opens my eyes.I think if you are serious about starting your own business it is vitally important to know yourself, both good bits and bad. The first test I did years ago left me a bit confused. I thought I could do everything and was not yet ready to look at the results constructively and work with them for good. My first eye-opener was the Wealth Dynamics Test. I highly recommend that you invest in this one, which you can do by clicking here. It is very different to the 16 personalities test, but both complement each other.It just so happens that I have created a business and a dream job. This allows my creativity and natural people skills to combine with my big picture vision and passion for systems. As my own business has grown, I have found a great team whose personality traits complement mine (read- are amazing at all the things I am not). We all have a bit of laugh at each other’s nuances and everyone works in a harmonious environment.But what do you do when it is only you and you cannot afford a team of people around to support you? I am in the process of writing up another module into our ever growing mentoring program, for those in that situation. In this module I go into detail on how to structure your day and get the most out of every minute.Without a doubt when you first start in business you will be working part time or even full time. With limited hours you need to keep to a plan to reach your goal. Below is an overview of 5 steps to help you get started:1) Write your To Do List for the whole project. It is important to know what is involved in the complete project so you can assign your time accurately. Educate yourself on what needs to be done so you can be realistic on your timeline.2) Work out what needs to be done each week in detail – as they say, the only way to eat an elephant is one mouthful at a time. It is easier to do small tasks.3) Divide up into time allocated. If you only have 30 minutes a day then what can be done?4) Tick these things off your list. Very important step! There is nothing more satisfying than crossing things off a list.5) Find an external team to work with who can complete the tasks that are not your strong points. You wont be...

Read More

What every retailer wished you knew before you tried to sell to them.

What every retailer wished you knew before you tried to sell to them.

Posted by on Jul 17, 2015 in Emerging Designers, Industry Know How | 1 comment

I know I am in a pretty lucky position. I get to meet hundreds of amazing creative business owners with a wide variety of work history and skills. Every now and then a client comes to us for an initial meeting and they have a skill from a previous ‘life’ that I don’t have, and so I ask away. Today was one such meeting.I had a great meeting with Glenda. Glenda used to be a retailer before moving into her own range of soft furnishings and is now looking to make the move back to fashion. It was lovely to meet her and to chat about the way the fashion industry used to be in the 80’s.I delved into the world of retailers with Glenda to test and confirm some of my own beliefs around range planning. Lately we have had a number of young designers wanting to just make a shirt. Just one shirt. I have my own beliefs around why this is not a good idea but I was interested in Glenda’s point of view.Back in the 80’s/90’s Glenda had a very successful boutique selling some very well-known Australian labels. They produced great ranges and were consistent in design and quality. They and Glenda did quite well out of this business relationship. One of the reason was because with a range of clothes to sell that matched to each other it was very easy for Glenda to upsell and cross sell so even if the customer only came in for a single top they would walk away with five things on lay-by to complete their purchase.When the financial crisis on the late 80’s hit some of these labels changed their tactics and started to produce individual pieces, thinking that the customer could not afford to by five pieces at once. And they were right that the customer only bought one piece at a time. Unfortunately this was the nail in the coffin for Glenda. Selling one piece at a time was just not viable and was not much fun either. ‘There are not many people out there who know how to put an outfit together, that is up to the designer and the store owner to show them the way.’ I love this quote. Even as someone who works with clothes all day, I love nothing more than a great sales person who sees me as a valued client and uses their designer flair to style me up. It is our job as designers to provide the tools for these store owners. If you are designing one piece then please don’t expect a store owner to invest in you as they will see that you are not investing in them to make their job easier or enjoyable.So why not go crazy on some designs and then use Pattern Room patterns to fill out your range? You can...

Read More

Does a pattern give a manufacturer all they need?

Does a pattern give a manufacturer all they need?

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

I had a new client come in the other day. They have a very successful business in home wares and now are looking to branch out into clothing. With a brief stint a few years ago in fashion they came to me with the need for patterns but no need for specs. They said their manufacturer would do this.This is very unusual and as our conversation continued I had to break this process down for the other member of the partnership as I had not heard of a product developed in this way and this is why.A specification gives the manufacturer the details needed to translate the pattern into the finished garment needed. Throughout our conversation the client mentioned the position of labels inside and out side of the garment to which I replied, this would go on the spec sheet. If we are to produce the pattern and write notes all over it (which is possible) it will only result in confusion, especially for an overseas manufacturer.You see a pattern is like the pictures of a magazine and the specification is the words. Whilst you might think the pictures alone can give you the complete story, it is only when in a foreign country that you understand how frustrating it is to see images and not be able to read the detail. (I am writing this from Starbucks in Guangzhou) Visa versa, words (or specifications) can give you a lot of details but it still leaves a lot of room for interpretation. Or literal translation.It is only when we combine the pictures (pattern) with the words (the specification) that the result is as everyone expected.A specification can tell the manufacturer the seam and hem finishes, the machines to use, where labels are placed, trim detail lengths and quality like elastic and basic measurements of the patterns so you can determine shrinkage of fabrics etc.At sample room we offer 3 different level of pattern informationGeneral make sheet for a first sample- includes image, hem and seam details and basic measurements at approximately $20Onshore production Sheet- includes manufacturing information such as seam details, hem detail, trim requirements, fabric usage and cost sheet- Perfect for a local maker at approximately $60Offshore graded specification- includes graded nest of measurement- trade sketch with ref lines, make details, BOM, colour grid, Perfect for your offshore manufacturer at approximately $150.Please contact us on 03 9041 3488 if you would like more...

Read More