It can be a minefield trying to get the right fit for your clothing samples! Never fear, we're here to tell you how to get the perfect fit, first time round!
In this article we'll explain exactly how to get the perfect fit for your clothing samples, on your very first attempt.
As always, we're here to save you time, money and plenty of headaches, on your journey to starting a successful fashion brand, so we'll also run through some of the pitfalls and the key things not to do when getting your fit perfected!
First things, first though, what actually are 'samples' in fashion?
Samples in the fashion industry are basically a physical prototype of your clothing designs, showing you exactly how your clothes will look and feel once they've been manufactured.
Getting your samples made properly can be a complex process that can so easily go wrong - if you want more info on how to do sampling the right way - here's a useful article that explores clothing sampling in more detail
Now that we're clear on what samples are, let's look specifically at how to make sure that you get the perfect fit from your samples, first time round.
Let's start off with what not to do...
MEASUREMENT CHARTS NEVER WORK!! SO DON'T RELY ON THEM!!
Clothing manufacturers do not want you to know this, but it's true. There is no standardised point to point measurement system in the fashion industry, meaning one garment developer will measure in a slightly different place to another.
This makes it almost impossible to guarantee the accuracy when creating the fit of any garment sample.
Most clothing manufacturers will ask you to provide measurement charts because they can use it to their own advantage. Manufacturers will take any measurement charts that you give them, pick the key points from it, and match it to a base pattern they already have in order to create your fit.
This means they hit some of the measurement points you have given, so you can't exactly say the fit is 'wrong', but it won't be perfect. This ensures that you have to pay to sample with them over and over again until it's right! Great for the manufacturer, not so great for you, or your bank balance.
Keep in mind that no measurement chart can give every single measurement point, and that means there's always going to be some ambiguity on the points that are not given. Any information not given by you to the manufacturer will side in the favour of the manufacturer.
So, you may be thinking 'how do I make sure there's no room for error with my measurements?'.
Don't worry, we've got you...
FULL CLOTHING TECH PACKS ACCOMPANIED BY DIGITAL PATTERNS IS THE SOLUTION;
If you've read any of our previous blog posts, you'll know how important it is to get really good tech packs made for your clothing brand. So, of course, it's vitally important that you give your clothing manufacturer a full tech pack with as much info included in it as possible.
Alongside this, you'll also need a digital pattern. As mentioned earlier, a 'pattern' in fashion is a kind of digital blue print for the exact size you want for the fit of your garment.
Here's an example of a T-shirt pattern:
You can see that each pattern piece that collectively makes up the T-shirt pattern.
By providing your clothing manufacturer with a great tech pack, and a digital pattern, you give way less room for 'interpretation', helping to make sure that your samples are spot on.
But there is one more thing you can do to make sure that you get the perfect fit first time round...
PROVIDE A 'SAMPLE REFERENCE'
THE EASIEST WAY TO GET TO THE FIT YOU WANT ON YOUR CLOTHING SAMPLES is to provide a 'sample reference' and have the fit taken from that.
A sample reference is a garment that you already have (or purchase) that has the perfect fit already. From this garment a pattern cutter can create a full digital pattern that has the perfect fit and has no ambiguity in measurements.
It's that simple!
There are lots advantages to having digital patterns created, not only does this mean the fit of your clothing sample will be right the first time, it also means you have control of who you choose to manufacture with.
If you have your digital patterns it means you can move manufacturers without having to go through long, painful sampling processes each time you have a new clothing manufacturer.
Here's how to get the perfect fit for your clothing samples, in one go!
1. Don't rely on sending your manufacturer a measurement chart
2. Make sure you've got water-tight tech packs and digital patterns
2. Spend time finding the perfect reference samples so you already have a garment that the fit can be taken from to create your own digital pattern
3. Keep your digital patterns safe incase you need to move to another manufacturer.
I HOPE THIS HELPS.
If you'd like some guidance from us on your next clothing collection and you're new to Hookandeyeuk simply fill in our enquiry form. The form will guide you through steps to see if we can help you and then tell you exactly how to contact us.
Love, Joss H&E xx
P.s. Don't forget - if you'd like to know about how to price your next collection properly follow the enquiry form and then ask us to send you our 'Estimated Pricing Guide'. In this guide we tell you an estimated production price based on brands like Stussy, Palm Angels, Fear of God and Represent along with a RRP and estimated profit level - it's mega useful!