FYI Friday: A Vocab Lesson

This just in: in addition to all of my services offered, I am also teacher extraordinaire.

More often than not I work with clients that have no clue about anything in the industry (which is great for me, because it’s always fun to teach new things to people!).

So, this week for FYI Friday I put together a list of “apparel industry words/terms” that anyone thinking of starting a brand should know, in regards to process. Happy Learning!

  • Tech Pack – I get asked what, exactly, this is a lot. A tech pack is basically a Bible for your manufacturing partner. It will have all the details regarding any given style you are creating, such as: sketch, color, print, fabric information, construction detailing, measurement specifications, sizing/grading information, trim information, stitch info. Every detail about the garment should be outlined in a tech pack.
  • Bill Of Materials – This will be part of your tech pack. This will outline all of the fabric and trims you are using on your garment.
  • Sample Maker – A sample maker is just that- a person who makes a 1st, 2nd, 3rd sample of your garment. They may or may not be the same person who will be running your actual production. It depends on their capacity.
  • Grading – Grading is when you create the size range you want for your garment. From the base sample size (say, size M) a grader (or your tech packer) will determine the adjustments needed for each pattern in order to have different sizes of the same garment. For example, sizes XS-XL.
  • Pattern – Yes, sometimes I get asked what this is. I am not referring to the pretty floral pattern of your shirt. That shirt didn’t just pop out of no where – it started from a paper (or digital) pattern. In order to know where to cut and how to sew the garment, one must follow a pattern to do so. Like baking star-shaped cookies. You need to use a cookie-cutter (pattern) in order to get the correct shape of the star, yes? Same thing for a shirt (albeit a little more complicated than pressing a shape into dough).

These are a handful of terms I get asked about on a regular basis, so we will start here.

Stay tuned for a deeper dive into the actual process if design & production.

Happy Friday!