Starting your own fashion business can be filled with unexpected technical complexities and curve-balls. This ‘technical’ side of fashion often causes challenges for brands when they’re staring out – and we’re here to help you avoid as much of this as possible!
Things like sampling and manufacturing have no room for ‘winging it’ and need to be done correctly from the very start. When it comes to the technical side of your label, it’s crucial to either upskill or work with a professional to ensure you are thoroughly prepared and ‘source ready’. This is where your Tech Pack comes in!
So What is a Tech Pack?
A Tech Pack (short for Technical Pack) is a set of informative documents used to communicate your product requirements to a manufacturer. Tech Packs can also be known as Specification Forms or BOM’s (Bill of Materials). The purpose of a Tech Pack is to give detailed directions to produce a product based on your design, size specifications and product details. It also serves as a ‘product contract’ between you and the manufacturer throughout the sampling and production process.
A Tech Pack usually consists of your SKETCH, SIZE SPECIFICATION, MATERIALS, TRIMS, ARTWORK, COLOURS, CONSTRUCTION INFORMATION and LABELLING.
As a rule, the more information you include in your Tech Pack, the less room there will be for error and the better the outcome will be. A Garment Technician, Pattern Maker, Designer or Product Developer is responsible for creating a Tech Pack for each product in a range.
Most manufacturers will request a Tech Pack at the development sample phase. This is so they can review and confirm your requirements to provide an estimate of costs for your garment. Once you have agreed on all details and cost price, you can then proceed in making a proto (or first) sample.
The Format of a Tech Pack
Tech Pack templates can vary and most brands create their own based on their requirements, ensuring they include a version of the documents listed below. A Tech pack or Bill of Materials is made up of the following documents:
Cover / Main Page
This page has the front and back flat technical drawing of the style and includes information such as your Logo or Brand Name, Style Number, Style Name, Season, Sizes, Supplier Details and Date in a heading which is then repeated on every page.
These are a series of pages that communicate all the non-measurement DETAILS and work alongside the size specification.
A key purpose of a detail sheet is for a factory to give an accurate costing based on all the garment inclusions.
The Detail Sheets include your front and back technical drawing with any close-up design details required, along with construction information and stitch details.
They also include detailed information such as fabrics, trims, linings, colours and any reference photographs that will help your manufacturer understand the design and help communicate your requirements.
Size Spec and Graded Spec
The manufacturer will use this document to create your patterns and produce a sample of your product.
On your technical drawing, points of measure are added to each part of the product, with letters referring back to your size spec where the actual measurements are included for that specific point.
For sampling, measurements are initially given for the Sample Size only and then as the sample fit is confirmed and approved, you’ll provide the manufacturer the full graded spec which includes measurements for all sizes.
Embellishment or Trim Artwork Specs
If your product has any type of embellishment (for example; a print, embroidery or specific trim detail) then include a specification sheet for each of these. Include the artwork to scale with all details and colours and any supporting information for placement on the product.
Labelling and Packaging Specs
This section details your Branded Labels, Size labels, Care Labels, Swingtags and any Packaging or Hanger requirements. This may include artwork, sizing, placement, quality and attachment instructions.
Sampling Comment Page
Once you receive your Proto or Fit Samples from your manufacturer, this is where you document the sample measurements and comment on fit, any changes required and comments on quality and workmanship.
1. The Tech Pack is like an instructional manual or contract between the you and your manufacturer, and must contain accurate and detailed information. There should be no guesswork on the manufacturers’ behalf – the more detailed and clear the Tech Packs are, the less room there will be for errors.
2. Technical drawings are not pretty illustrations. They are flat, accurate drawings done on a computer by a graphic or fashion designer to clearly show all details of your product for factory use. These drawings, combined with detailed descriptions and your size spec, are the blueprint for the manufacturer to accurately produce your product.
3. Make sure to add your logo or brand name, style number and item name to each page of your Tech Pack to avoid any confusion with your manufacturer.
4. Ensure you carefully check through your finished Tech Pack before sending to your factory. Any incorrect or unclear information could result in miscommunication and an incorrect sample or costing (which can result in countless emails and extra sampling, all which incur unnecessary additional costs!)
There is SO much more to the tech side of fashion and Tech Packs are just part of it.
Our SYFB course has an entire module on sourcing and dedicated lessons on the Technical Side of Fashion, which includes:
– A tutorial on Tech Pack creation
– A Tech Pack inclusion checklist
– Specification and Detail Sheet templates to get you started
– How to initiate sampling, costings and work through cost negotiations
– How to conduct a fitting and communicate your findings to your manufacturer
If you want to know more about Tech Packs, sourcing or to find out more about our Start Your Fashion Business Online Course, then click here to request our SYFB Programme Guide.
Now is the time to make the Fashion Business YOUR Business!