Ever wondered 'How much does a Tech Pack design cost?'. Here's what you should expect to pay for a tech pack in 2024.
Here's our guide with everything you need to know about how much it costs to design tech packs in fashion, and how to make sure that you're getting your tech packs made properly.
First things first, we'll start with explaining exactly what a tech pack is. We'll then guide you on the different costs associated with different types of tech packs, and what to look for in a good tech pack.
In short, a tech pack is the 'recipe or instruction guide' for the creation of your garments. Bad instructions equals bad clothing samples and bad bulk clothing manufacture. So, it is ABSOLUTELY VITAL (sorry for shouting) to make sure you have a solid tech pack for every item of clothing that you want to sample or bulk produce for your fashion brand.
Different methods for designing tech packs (tip: one way is much better than the other!):
There are two main ways of designing tech packs in the fashion industry, and although most tech packs generally look fairly similar, there is one process that is much more effective, and leads to much better clothing.
The standard tech pack design process:
The standard process, which is used by most companies, is that you will send your tech packing or clothing manufacturer some rough mock-ups (that mostly indicate what you'd like), and they will then generate a tech pack based on what they think you're requesting. There will be lots of emailing back and forth and nothing is fully explained to you. Getting your tech packs to accurately reflect the vision that you've got for your clothing over email is a serious challenge (to put it mildly), as there are so many fine points of detail that it takes ages to get it properly on-point.
The better tech pack design process:
The second process (which only a select few designers, including Hook and Eye UK use) is to have your tech packs created in a live design session with you and your tech pack designer. By doing things this way it means that every detail of your tech pack is discussed with you, and fully explained. It also makes your tech packs much more precise, fully tailored to your needs and produces clothing samples that properly match what you have envisioned. Remember that your tech packs are your recipe for the creation of your clothing. A better recipe = better food. A better tech pack = better clothing.
At Hook and Eye UK we always create your tech packs live in front of you, either in our Birmingham UK studio or online, as it's by far and away the better way to create your tech packs, and leads to much better clothing.
The image above shows how a fairly simple tech pack from Hook And Eye UK would look. These are made with absolute precision to make sure that your tech packs are airtight when you take them to manufacture.
How much does a Tech Pack design cost in 2024?
Fashion Tech Pack Pricing Explained
Fashion tech pack prices vary massively, and there are a few factors that affect the price. These include; the complexity of the clothing, the level of detail, and the level of experience of your tech pack designer.
For a small volume production, using a fairly basic fashion design and an experienced designer, a tech pack can cost anything from £100 – £400 each.
A more complicated tech pack can cost up to £1500, or sometimes even more for a technical garment. Average pricing across the fashion industry is £250 per tech pack.
How to get better Tech Packs at a lower cost
At Hook and Eye UK, not only are our tech packs made in a much better way than the industry standard, our pricing is much cheaper.
Unlike most companies, we charge by the hour instead of by the tech pack. More complex tech packs obviously take more time and therefore cost more but as long as you have a good idea of what you'd like, and have rough mockups or reference imagery and your graphics in vector format (read here all about vector format) then the average time we guide for a tech pack is 1 hour, this equates to just £94 (inc VAT) per tech pack (pricing as of December 2023).
Our minimum Tech Pack and Design Time is 2 hours (as the minimum sample requirement is 2 designs - this can be the same item in two colourways or two totally different designs.
An average of only £94 per tech pack is very cheap, you might ask how we achieve this. It's simple - we have pre-developed over 80 different tech pack bases, and in your session we simply adapt these to your needs.
This saves loads of time and gives a great result as we've thought about everything for you already, with options laid out. If there's something you want that we don't already have, we simply draw from scratch, live in the session with you.
You can get even more value out of your session simply by preparing for it well (we even tell you exactly how to do that: read here).
Factor in Sampling and Pattern Cutting Costs
Remember that there may be additional charges when it comes to sampling for pattern cutting if you choose to have custom patterns made.
But with us, even these prices are under half of the standard industry rate. A simple pattern for a T-shirt will usually cost around £150-£200 + VAT, whereas we charge £75 + VAT.
This discount simply comes from the experience, volume and speed of our pattern cutters. If you choose a shape from our pre-developed range we will give you access to the pattern free of charge!
Now that we've looked at how much a tech pack can cost, it's also important to be aware of what to look for in a good tech pack, and how to make sure that your tech packs have all the information that they need.
What makes a good fashion tech pack?
Here's a few pointers for what a good tech pack for clothing should include. In our Tech Pack and Design Sessions we will discuss and guide you on all of the below (and more):
1. Fabric choice / colour
There are lots of fabric options to choose from and its vital that you have this information on your clothing tech pack. The last thing you want is your clothing manufacturer to use the wrong type of fabric, or the wrong colour for your big, expensive bulk clothing order!
If you'd like to see what kind of fabrics are available, we've got lots you can choose from at Hook and Eye: see our standard fabrics list here (we're always adding to this so if you don't see what you're looking for just ask us).
2. Brand / Style Details
A good tech pack for your clothing always needs details such as;
Brand Name - this helps the manufacturing team easily identify your order.
Shipping country - both for sampling and for bulk production units this is super important as the shipping location can affect costs greatly.
SKU CODE - this is the unique code that is connected to each individual style.
Style Name - this helps you and your manufacturing team easily communicate about styles and usually also indicates general fit of the garment.
This information is all really important, as good clothing manufacturers work with hundreds of styles at a time, so this info stops styles being confused across different designs / brands.
We also include the required sample size for each design along with the total number of units required in bulk production (this information is crucial for pricing).
3. Construction notes
There are lots of different ways to finish a garment and this needs to be clearly noted in your tech packs. It can be quite technical, so we will guide on this in your Tech Pack and Design Session.
4. Pattern Instructions
A clothing pattern is essentially the digital blue print of an item, it governs exactly how the garment will fit. Some tech packing companies will just give a measurement chart instead of a pattern but this is never as good as it leaves a lot of guess work between measurement points (this is why we insist on full digital patterns).
The above infographic shows all the pattern pieces needed to create a hoodie.
At Hook and Eye UK there are two different ways to get to the fit you want.
You can of course have completely custom patterns (taken from an existing garment you love the fit of) but the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to get to the fit you want is to pick from our pre-developed patterns. We have made one of each of these and photographed them so you can see the fits (you're also welcome to try them on if you have an in-studio Tech Pack and Design Session).
Our pre-developed garments are not stocked items – they are just perfected shapes to give you a guide. You can change colour / fabric / add graphics etc. All these shapes are developed from the brands we love like Palm Angels, Represent, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, Fear of God etc.
We have added a bit of H&E magic into the base shapes and made really cool bases to help you out! Using these shapes dramatically reduces your pattern cutting costs as the patterns are already done.
5. Graphic application / sizing / colour
Another key piece of info to include on your tech pack is the way you want your graphic to be attached to your garment. This could be; screen print, embroidery, badge or label application etc. We always discuss and explain best graphic application types in your Tech Pack and Design Session.
We also size your graphics for you and create specific graphic codes to ensure the right graphic is always used.
6. Reference imagery for shape / construction
A really good tech pack makes it as clear as day how you want your clothing to come out. We always add in reference imagery for fit to visually show the type of fit you're looking for.
If you want to dive even deeper into what makes a really good clothing tech pack, here's our guide on how to make your tech packs properly.
The benefits of creating your tech packs with an experienced designer
Maybe you've read all of the above and have been left thinking, 'I could do that on my own'. There's nothing stopping you, but when you use a team like Hook and Eye UK with experienced designers you are paying for their knowledge and experience that will save you time & money in the long run.
You may be able to use adobe illustrator, but what you're actually doing when you have a Tech Pack and Design Session is discussing all details of your design to check the viability of the design as well as ensuring what you envision is what you're actually going to receive in a clothing sample.
In our team, a designer draws up your tech pack for you and once you're ready to go into sampling, our garment developers are the ones who actually oversee the process of sampling and bulk production. The developers knowledge of garment construction even outweighs the designers knowledge and this is where the real gold is to getting the perfect garments!!
To sum up, tech pack costs can vary a lot depending on a few different factors. These include the quality of the tech pack design itself, the complexity of your garments, the detailing required, and the level of experience of your designer.
For a fairly basic design, a tech pack can cost anything from £100 – £400 each.
A more complicated tech pack can cost up to £1500, or sometimes even more if it's a very technical garment.
Average tech pack pricing across the fashion industry is £250 per tech pack.
At Hook and Eye UK, our method for creating tech packs is significantly better than the industry standard, and our average price for a tech pack is just £94.
If you'd like to create excellent tech packs that save you time, money and a lot of headaches, we can help you! We offer various Tech Pack & Design Sessions for startup and growing clothing brands so that you come away with the perfect tech packs. Here's the link if you'd like to create a tech pack for your brand.
And just FYI, tech packs are always the property of the purchaser (you), and after every session you will be sent your tech pack in Abode Illustrator and PDF format. This means you will have the editable version incase you ever wanted to amend your tech packs with another company in the future.
Love Hook and Eye UK x