Possibly the most difficult aspect of creating your own custom fit and sized clothing is getting the correct seam measurements in your tech packs.
Why do manufacturers need seam measurements in your tech packs if all you want is a quote?
Four simple reasons:
- All reputable manufacturers require that you are familiar with the design and fit of your own clothing and that you [mostly] know what you need. Unless it’s offered as a service, they don’t want to design your clothes for you.
- Manufacturers use your specific seam measurements to calculate your exact “fabric consumption”. This is the amount of fabric that each garment consumes when it is being produced.
- The fabric you choose, whether it has to be printed, and/or whether the fabric has to be dyed, are all factors that impact your costs – hence – without your exact seam measurements in your tech packs, we can’t effectively calculate your quotes.
- Manufacturers don’t want to waste time, and we’re sure neither do you. If you don’t provide seam measurements in your tech packs, most manufacturers won’t quote on them. That’s because they prefer to provide a calculated quote. Nobody likes a surprise when they get their adjusted production quotes and it’s higher than originally quoted.
In this post I am going to show you how you need to represent your seam measurements in your tech packs. I recommend creating your tech packs with someone who can help you. Accuracy matters!
Drawing Seam Measurements in Your Tech Packs
There are four strategies our clients employ which works. Choose the method that feels best for you. There are examples at the bottom which highlight how each of these strategies can work.
- You can take an existing garment that is identical/similar to what you want to produce. Lay it flat on the floor and take a photo looking straight down from above. Do this for the back also. Transfer the photos to your computer. Open a photo editing program and draw seam measurement indicator lines directly on the photos.
- You can draw / sketch ‘flats’ on a piece of paper or in Word.doc. These are flat 2-dimensional images of the front and back of your clothing, preferably presented as simple outlines. Then, like the photo example, simply draw seam measurement indicator lines directly on the flats. If sketching by hand, please ensure all lines and measurements are clearly marked and visible.
- You can find images of the exact same garment via Google Images – must be from a straight on and unimpeded view of the front and back of the garment. Download the images to your computer. Open a photo editing program and draw seam measurement indicator lines directly on the photos.
- Some clients set aside a budget that includes the hiring of a tech pack creation service. We do not have any referrals for this but it is a sure fire way to have proper tech packs ready for communicating with reputable manufacturers like those in CMA’s network.
Examples of How to Show Your Seam Measurements in Your Tech Packs
Here are examples of what I mentioned above, with exception of hiring someone to do it for you – they should know how to show your seam measurements in your tech packs.
If you’re not using an online tool, then I recommend using Excel to create your tech packs. It keeps your measurements organised in one place which can easily be correlated with specific seam indicator lines in your technical sketches.
If you want to download CMA’s tech pack templates, simply click here. There is an Example Tech Pack inside this file which shows you exactly the type of information we need from you and how to enter it.
Example 1 – Taking a photo of existing clothing you already have.
Example 2 – Drawing / Sketching Flats
Example 3 – Using Google Images
Embroidery & Printing Seam Measurements in Your Tech Packs
I won’t spend any time on describing this because it seems pretty self-explanatory to me. If you need to print something on to your clothing, manufacturers need to know it’s dimensions, its position on the clothing, and you must submit your artwork for review.
Why are measurements important to have in your tech packs?
- When manufacturers calculate your production costs, they will need to review your artwork to assess its complexity; this helps them determine the best printing method for your clothing. Since there are numerous printing methods available to them, there are also numerous possible costs they need to calculate. Different printing methods have different costs.
- Printing methods such as screen printing require the building of physical screens; they look like large picture frames with a fine membrane inside. It costs money to make these and the bigger they are, the higher their cost will be. This is part of your production costs.
- Exact position and sizing information help manufacturers to better determine the complexity and precise placement of your artwork. If you want it done right, don’t make your manufacturer guess.
Here are some examples of Screen Printing and Screens via our Instagram page. Just click the sentence and it will open the photo we posted:
- Click – there are some pretty big screens.
- Click – here is how the bigger ones are used.
- Click – some are smaller screens.
- Click – here is how the smaller ones are used.
- Click – when exact measurements and position are perfect.
Verifying Your Seam Measurements in Your Tech Packs
I’ve shared with you the best possible basic examples of how seam measurements in your tech packs need to look and be presented.
Some clothing such as evening gowns will be more complex and have more seam measurements to include while others will be more simple like t-shirts.
There you have it. This is one of the most important sections of your tech packs and now you know how to include your seam measurements in your tech packs.
Don’t have tech packs?
Check out TechPacker, they are the world’s best online tech pack creation tool. You can use it right in your web browser, just sign up for free and log in to get started.
Aren’t sure how to fill in the rest of your tech pack?
No problem. You can click on the following link and get automagically transported to CMA’s tutorial page on How to Properly Create Clothing Tech Packs.
Just in case you’re curious, Step 5 is the section of the tutorial that discusses how to include your seam measurements in your tech packs.