Garment Production & Manufacturing: Processes Explained

May 18, 2022
Are you wondering about the various garment production and manufacturing processes used for your clothes? Here are the basics you’ll want to understand.

Are you curious about all of the essential steps used in garment production and manufacturing for major fashion brands and businesses? Our specialized team of fashion experts at Silq will explore the vital basics you should understand in the article below. Please continue for more information and consider exploring our wide selection of other educational resources!

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The Garment Production Process

Garment production is a specific process of organized activities leveraged to design, manufacture, and package clothing and accessories for sale on the market by various fashion businesses and brands. The process is divided into several critical steps essential for maintaining an effective flow of industry production. If any process step fails or lags, the entire manufacturing process can slow substantially or even grind to a halt.

The garment production process involves so many stages that we won’t be able to discuss them all in the span of this short article. Instead, our experts will explain the essential elements of some of the most crucial steps involved in creating fashion apparel below.

The Key Steps of Garment Production & Manufacturing

Ten critical steps come into play when it comes to the production and manufacturing processes of fashion garments and apparel. These include;

1. Product Design and Pre-Manufacturing Processes

This first essential step is a combination of several important tasks that serve as the starting point for garment creation practices. During this stage, fashion experts create baseline product designs and make critical decisions that will impact the rest of the design process. They’ll often need to select the kinds of fabrics, patterns, and colors involved in the garment and determine basic sizing options for the product. 

2. Receiving Fabric

This second step serves as the first phase needed for the manufacturing process. Garment factories have to receive the specific fabrics required to produce particular garments. Materials are typically sourced in large bolts from overseas textile manufacturers and arrive at factories in steel shipping containers. Most garment factories leverage large warehouses for fabric storage and inspection before production kicks into high gear.

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3. Relaxing Fabric

The process of “relaxing” fabric causes the material to relax and contract before going through garment creation. This step is essential because the fabric will undergo constant stress throughout the different stages of the manufacturing process- such as weaving and dying. Relaxing the fabric helps prevent accidental tears and damage and also reduces the risk of clothing items shrinking when used by consumers.

4. Spreading, Cutting, and Layout

After the fabric is relaxed, it’s transferred to a cutting area where it’s divided into the different pieces needed for garment creation. This process involves a spreading stage where workers can inspect the fabric for defects while controlling slack and alignment to prevent potential mistakes. From there, manual or automated patterns are used with cutting systems to shape the garments.

5. Laying 

Paper pattern laying can help manufacturers devise a practical placement of pattern pieces to help ensure that as much fabric as possible is used. This tactic helps prevent waste, ensures the maximum amount of garments can be produced with the provided material and reduces the chance for production mishaps that could result in deformed or unusable clothes. 

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6. Marking

Marking can be done via automated or manual means and typically involves using full-sized patterns that help markers add fusible elements, linings, trimmings, and pockets to garments. This part of the manufacturing process often involves arranging fabric into several layers to help facilitate speedy, mass production. 

7. Embroidery, Sewing, and Screenprinting

Once the needed marking has been applied to the garments, the fabric can go through screen printing, embroidery, and additional sewing operations to add unique details. While most companies use automation for these three tasks, some rely on trained artisans to hand-create designs, especially for embroidery. This process is significant for custom garment manufacturers who allow customers to request unique logos and embellishments. Once all required details are added, some final sewing and stitching complete the clothing creation process. 

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8. Checking and Spot Cleaning

After production, new garments undergo a thorough checking, spot cleaning, and laundering process to ensure quality assurance and prevent clothes with manufacturing defects from being shipped to stores and customers. During this stage, workers look for cosmetic flaws, spots, and stains in the garment that may have developed during the previous steps. Steam, hot water, and chemical stain removers are often used, along with highly-sophisticated washing machines.

9. Fusing and Pressing

These two processes have a significant impact on the finished look of the garment by creating final seals of quality. Generally, steam, pressure, and specialized drying methods are leveraged using various tools, such as hand irons, vacuum press tables, scissor presses, steam dollys, and carousel machines.

10. Package, Shipping, and Delivery

The final step of the garment production and manufacturing process involves packaging, shipping, and delivering the finished garments. Clothes are carefully folded, tagged, sized, and packaged according to customer order specifications before being sent to the appropriate destinations- including shops and warehouses. Most garments are packaged in plastic bags and boxes either by hand or by automatic machines before being sealed and transported out of the factory. 

Final Factors to Keep in Mind

Our fashion production experts at Silq sincerely hope that the above information has helped expand your understanding of how the garment production process operates and the various critical steps involved in ensuring operations run as smoothly as possible and without delays. If you have a growing fashion brand or business that you’d like to take to the next level of production ingenuity, please consider contacting us today to learn about our various services

Is your fashion brand or business searching for new and innovative ways to customize its sourcing, on-site merchandising, and QA/QC operations based on its unique needs? Contact our team of specialized experts at Silq today to learn about our services and what they can do for you.