Dear readers, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Stephanie from Tukatech, the author of this post. Tukatech is on a mission to empower its users to “face the challenges of the fashion industry with confidence”. How do they do this? With their end-to-end fashion technology systems. Make sure to check them out and now let’s learn all about the clothing sampling process!
The design process can be challenging to navigate when you are just starting. Many different parts come together in making a garment, but understanding where each one begins and ends will help you run your business smoothly and efficiently.
The clothing sampling process is one of the most critical parts of the design process. Clothing samples are often the first thing a designer has to make before moving onto production or even showing their designs to clients, so you may be wondering: what exactly goes into this process?
This article will introduce beginners to some aspects of clothing sampling, namely, the steps that should go about sample selection, fabric testing methods for durability purposes (such as washing), measuring clothes, and making pattern adjustments.
Step 1: Conceptualization
The very first step in clothing sampling is to conceptualize your design. Clothing samples should be made with a specific purpose in mind, such as creating an outfit for the runway or perhaps something more commercial like making items for stores and retail locations.
Designers often use mood boards during this step to help them visually conceptualize their design before they even begin sketching.
Clothing samples don’t have to be made with final fabrics during the initial stages of designing. Using inexpensive fabric or fabric swatches can make it easier for designers to think outside the box and try new things without worrying about wasting too much money on samples.
Prepare drawings and concept outlines at the beginning to ensure that your concepts are as apparent as possible. Doing so will get you off on the right foot and allow the pattern maker and sample maker to accurately estimate the cost and time it will take to produce your samples.
Step 2: Pattern Making and Clothing Samples
After the conceptualization stage comes making patterns and samples. Clothing samples are made in various ways, depending on their purpose. As a designer, you want to ensure they fit well based on body measurements taken from the client or model who will eventually wear them for real.
It is crucial to get body measurements and use them when making patterns to make clothing samples that fit perfectly. Clothing samples should be made with the real, required materials, such as genuine leather or cotton fabrics, to accurately represent what the final garment should look like.
It is often necessary for clothing designers who work in fashion houses to collaborate with pattern makers and sample makers to speed up the sampling process. By working together, everyone can be on the same page and avoid any potential problems that could arise during the development process.
An easy way to streamline the process and ensure accurate fit, beautiful design, and efficiency is using the various 3D fashion design tools and software available from Tukatech.
Step 3: Sourcing and Development
After the pattern-making and first sample-making stages are complete, it is time for sourcing and development. This step usually entails finding suitable suppliers for fabrics, trims, buttons, zippers, and other notions needed to make the garment.
It is essential to find reliable suppliers during this stage to avoid any problems later on once the production begins. At this stage, you can also get the initial costing sample on the garment, which can help you decide whether or not this is a project that makes sense for your clothing line business.
Step 4: Production Start – First Fitting of Sewn Sample with Model
Assuming that everything has gone smoothly, the next step is usually production. This is where things can start to get tricky since many different variables come into play, such as factory lead times and minimum order quantities.
In some cases, designers may need to go through a first fitting with the model who will be wearing the garment. Clothing samples should look good and feel great, so it is crucial to make sure that they are perfect before any production begins.
The concept and design of these samples are sometimes tested using less expensive materials such as muslin to ensure that they are appropriate for use. While using a fabric that performs differently than your production quality can help you save money on sample fabric, there may be things you miss if you use a fabric that performs differently than your production quality. Keep this in mind as you go through your first round of samples and decide on the materials you want to use.
What to consider when creating your counter sample for the sampling process
- Overall design: Ensure the sample is consistent with your overall product vision. Clothing should be designed in a way that captures the spirit of your brand while being able to stand apart from other similar products on the market.
- Function: Check for functionality – If your product has a function, make sure to test it during this stage.
- Fit Sample: If you notice something is off with this sample, even though it isn’t a fit sample, please make a note so that your next sample will be closer to being approved when it is.
- Closures: Examine the functions and placement of buttons, zippers, and other types of closures.
As mentioned above, quality control should always be the top priority, even if it’s just your first sample. The sampling process will flow smoothly and more quickly if you pay close attention to the development sample.
Preparing the Prototype with the Sample Maker
The first stage of the sampling process is to prepare pre-production samples, known as prototypes. Sample makers often create a pre-production sample that signals the whole production process. The pre-production sample is usually made to the customer’s specifications and can be used as a sales tool to close a deal with a retailer.
Sample making or creating a proto sample is often expensive, so all details must be finalized as much as possible before the pre-production sample process. The goal is to produce a prototype that accurately represents the final product’s fabric, construction, and fit.
When it comes to product development, the first thing garment manufacturers make is a proto sample. They employ tech packs and photographs throughout this stage to build an accurate replica of your final products with handover meetings. You can give them instructions on exactly what and how the final garment should look.
Sample Making Process
By using TUKAcad, you can ensure accuracy in the sample-making process. This software features the ability to import or key in body-scanned measurements and find the closest fit from standard size ranges.
Check out more features available from TUKAcad.
Step 5: Checking the Samples
After all of the previous steps, it’s now time to check and finalize your samples. This is an important step that should not be rushed – take your time to examine each sample carefully.
First, check the overall design and compare it to your original vision. Ensure all elements are accurate, including fabric, color, and style.
Then you should check the fit sample by ensuring it’s worn in a way that accurately shows how your final product will look on real people. If necessary, clothing pieces can be pinned to achieve this effect (pinning is only recommended for small adjustments).
Next, pay close attention to how garments function: zippers, buttons, and other closures should be placed appropriately and work correctly.
Finally, inspect the quality of the construction details, such as all the materials used, and make sure there are no loose threads or mistakes in construction. If everything looks good, you’re ready to move on to production! If not, go back and fix any issues before approving the final sample.
Step 6: Clothing Sample Approval
The final step in the clothing sampling process is approval. You should always have a sample meeting before approving your samples for production because it’s essential to get all stakeholders involved when making this decision.
Make sure everyone agrees on what they see and that there are no surprises later on during the production run! Once you’ve approved your samples, release them for bulk production and get ready to launch your new product!
The Final Cut
Creating a clothing line is hard work, but following a well-defined process can make it much easier. This article looked at the steps involved in the clothing sampling process, from conceptualization to initial design to the final product. Keep these steps in mind as you create your own line, and you’ll be sure to have a smooth production run!