Does a pattern give a manufacturer all they need?

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 information

General make sheet for a first sample- includes image, hem and seam details and basic measurements at approximately $20

Onshore 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 $60

Offshore 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 details.

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