Here's how to get clothing samples made perfectly the first time round...
Getting sample garments made for your fashion brand is a crucial step towards getting your clothes manufactured. But sometimes sampling can feel endless...you sample and resample and the manufacturer just cannot get it right.
That ends up costing you both time and money and causes untold amounts of stress.
This is where all that stops! We're going to show you how to get your clothing samples done right in just one go.
Firstly, a key question: 'what is a clothing sample?'. Clothing samples are essentially a physical prototype of your clothing designs, showing you exactly how your garments will look and feel when manufactured.
Getting your samples made is a tricky process that can so easily go wrong but here are the steps you need to take to make sure your samples are spot on from the first go.
1. Make sure your tech pack is on point and is as detailed and transparent as possible.
Hands down, this is the easiest and absolute best way to make sure your samples are right first time! Your tech pack forms a contract between you and the manufacturer for exactly how you want your sample to turn out, this makes them VITAL. NO GOOD MANUFACTURER WILL WORK WITHOUT A TECH PACK!
Ensuring your tech packs are very detailed and outline all your garment needs is imperative! If you need help putting a detailed tech pack together, we can help you - just pop over to our tech pack & design sessions page.
2. Send a sample reference garment along with your tech packs.
Sending a physical sample reference piece of clothing to the manufacturer is a fantastic way to ensure the fit of your sample is correct. This could be just an old piece of clothing you have that you love the fit of. Wherever possible, make sure the fit reference you send is a similar fabric to the end garment you've designed in your tech pack. This will give the clothing manufacturer even more clarity on how your sample garment should fit.
3. Measurement charts alone hardly ever work and manufacturers usually only take note of the 'main sizing points'.
Below we can see a measurement chart for the Hook and Eye UK Unisex Boxy Fit Oversized Hoodie. Although this is really useful for grading purposes (creating the different sizes), without the full pattern for at least one of the sizes this chart would never be able to create your fully desired fit for a sample.
You can see that the chart above only takes into account the main measuring points (chest, length & sleeve length). This does not tell the manufacturer the measurements of the waistband, cuffs, pocket, hood etc. Unfortunately even if you did provide all of the necessary measurements, clothing manufacturers tend to just pick the main measurement points and align those with a pre-existing pattern block they already have developed.
This means you will not get the exact fit you desire. Moral of the story is its's always better to send a physical garment for manufacturers to take the fit from.
4. A garments' fit changes with the fabric used so keep this in mind...
The amount of stretch or weight in any particular fabric can make a huge change to the end fit!
If your manufacturer offers several different fabrics for the same garment its always a really good idea to get the same sample in a few different fabrics so you can decide what's best for you!
It's also worth noting that most clothing manufacturers will apply discounts for bulk sampling of the same garment shape when sampling at the same time, so it can be more cost effective to get a few samples made in the same order.
All of the fabric types above can be used for a teeshirt, all of them will create different looks and feels!
5. Use vector graphics to get the best results from any graphic application
For any graphics on your clothing samples, it's always best to use vector graphics rather than pixel graphics.
Vector graphics work with lines and pixel graphics work with squares. Vector graphics are created in Adobe Illustrator and pixel graphics are created with Photoshop.
Vector graphics give much better resolution when magnified - that means you won't end up with a pixelated design on your samples.
Conclusion: How to get the perfect samples made for your clothing brand
Getting to a prefect or almost perfect clothing sample in one fell swoop is possible if you follow the tips above. I know I'm always banging on about building your foundation in these blog posts but it is SO VITAL! Put the hard work into a garment at the start and you will be able to use the shape for the garment over and over!
In our tech pack and design sessions we help you utilise all of the tips above, and the great thing is, we do all the hard work for you! If that sounds good, click here to book a tech pack and design session.
Love Joss H&E xx
P.s We're here for you of you have questions. Just drop us a WhatsApp on +447939591255