The Ultimate Guide
To Work With Clothing Manufacturers
This is a complete guide on how to work with clothing manufacturers.
In this guide, you’ll learn exactly the whole process of collaborating with clothing manufacturers, including:
- Matching Degree Checklist
- Design Process
- Manufacturing Process
- Other Services
Let’s get started!
Which Clothing Manufacturers are The Ones For you
There are thousands of clothing manufacturers out there.
It is hard to find the one for you and it takes time.
But with this checklist, things will become easier.
- Types of Garments
- MOQ (Reason of MOQ )
- Factory Capacity
- Lead Time
Type Of Garments
It is important to find the factory who is making the types of clothing you need.
Clothing manufacturers with certain types of machines can only make certain types of clothing.
If you are looking for wedding dresses, make sure you are not working with a manufacturer who specializes in loungewear only.
A sweater factory is most likely producing only sweaters.
Ask what they are producing first.
MOQ is the minimum ordering quantity.
It is a factor that you should really consider before you make your decisions.
If you are a clothing startup, you will definitely choose to work with a manufacturer who offers a small MOQ.
You may wonder why they are setting a MOQ for me?
The reason is that for clothing production, the factory needs to buy a whole roll of fabrics which is usually enough for dozens of pieces, they set a MOQ to make sure things are cost-benefit.
Make sure you find clothing manufacturers that match with your business scales.
Then comes the vital part.
Business is meant to create values.
It is important to know the price structure of a manufacturer before you start everything.
What prices do you need to take into consideration?
This may cover design, tech pack, fabric, labor, printing, embroidery, label, tag, shipping, etc.
Mass production prices
This may cover fabric, labor, printing, embroidery, label, tag, packaging, shipping Tariffs & VAT, etc.
This may cover design, special packaging, dropshipping, photography, etc.
When you are making a budget for your business, make sure you take all these items into account.
You don’t want to receive your products half a year after your order.
That is why you should make sure the clothing manufacturers are able to make things fast with the right factory production capacity.
This is simple, find out what their scale is and then you know what amount they are capable of.
Lead time is the time between the initiation and completion of a production process.
This is crucial because a fast turnaround time means you can get your investment back as fast as you can, better cash flows guarantee more profit.
At MMS Clothing, it usually takes around 7-20 days to create the samples, 20-30 days to finish the mass production.
5 Ways To Know If It Is Trustworthy
Finding a reliable and trustworthy business partner is important for your clothing brand.
That means consistent supply of quality products for your brand, which is a big deal when it comes to your brand reputation.
How to figure out if clothing manufacturers are trustworthy?
Simple and easy, there are 5 metrics for you:
- Official Website
- Social Media Platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin)
- Exhibition & Trade Fair
- Get A sample
Check Out Their Website
In this digital era, business is passing their values through different media platforms especially the official website.
You can find almost everything on a frequently-updated website:
Dig out whatever you need.
Social Media Platform
Almost every company has a social media account nowadays.
Follow some of them to see what is happening in that company.
In this way, you can have a better understanding of their working styles.
Most importantly, have a glimpse of their existing customer’s feedback on them through social media.
You may also like to have some interaction with these customers, to know how they feel about working with this company.
You can also take a trip to visit the manufacturer and their factories in person.
This could costs a little fortune. However, face-to-face communication conveys more.
And you can check the products the clothing factory is making to make sure if they are the right one for you.
Exhibition & Trade Fair
There are many exhibitions and trade fairs that gather a lot of clothing suppliers, a great chance for you to find a supplier that is reliable.
Usually, most garment manufacturers attend the trade fairs are big ones. If you can find one with small MOQ, you really should learn more about them.
Get A sample
The most effective way is to get a sample from them, you can easily make your choice after seeing the sample, you can see and touch the goods in person, and easily know if that fabric and little details are what you want.
Most importantly, this process can also tell you the quality and service you are going to have in your future cooperation.
You can have a customized sample made for around USD100.00.
Or, if you just want to buy a stock sample, it is usually free.
So, what is the process now?
Let’s start from the design, which is the fundamental of your clothing.
This usually includes:
- Color & Size
- Printing & Embroidery
- Labels & Hang Tags
Fabric selection is vitally important and a basic part of your design. Different fabrics are required for different ages, purposes, and occasions of your design.
For example, wedding dress fabrics will be hugely different from the fabrics for a hoodie.
Make sure you are using the right fabrics for your garment. Because fabrics do convey the messages and traits of your clothing brand.
For some beginners, it’s hard to tell which fabrics to use.
Check out the retailing sites or ask the factories what work for your garments.
Color & Size
What is the color of your design? What size do you want for it?
Afraid that they are not picking the shade you want?
No need to worry, for each fabric you will get a chance to see the color swatches, then you can choose a color without worrying about people mixing “navy blue” and “royal blue”.
As for the size, you may also be wondering what size table are they going to use for your design?
This is not an issue at MMS Clothing.
We have standard size charts for different regions of the world: USA, UK, Italy, international size charts.
Tell us what you want, we will use the measurements accordingly.
Printing & Embroidery
Is there any logo printing or embroidery on your garments?
If yes where is it and how big is it? It is important to be specific on these matters so the manufacturer knows what to do without vague estimation. And you can have what you want just as expected.
This is also important because it is one way to highlight the uniqueness of your design.
Make sure you have some exclusively designed artworks that can really accentuate your brand.
Labels & Hang Tags
Adding these items is also part of your design process.
What size do you want for the labels and tags?
What information are you going to put on them?
Ask for the manufacturer for suggestions if you have no idea about this, they may give you some guidance since they’ve worked with so many brands and are also professional in this.
Another element to consider is the packaging of your clothes.
In MMS we have simple packaging for your production which includes a plastic bag and cartons.
If you want something special for your products, it is also available with some extra expenses.
The best way to know if it is the clothing manufacturer you want is to get a sample first.
A sample tells a lot about the quality of the products.
Now it is time to unveil the sampling process,
- Souring Fabrics
- Buying Fabrics
- Creating A Paper Pattern
After settling the design, you can move on to the fabrics now.
We all know fabrics for clothing is like the fundamental bricks of a building.
It is important to find the right one.
There are some tips for you.
- Find out what fabrics you need: nylon, spandex, cotton, wool, etc.
- Find out what grammage(GSM) you want for your clothes. Usually for spring and summer 200-250g, for autumn and winter >300. For all 4 seasons 260-290.
- find out what requirements you have: stretchy or not.
In MMS Clothing, we will send pictures and color swatches to you once we source the fabrics, we will buy the fabrics after getting your confirmation.
Creating A Paper Pattern
After all the fabrics arrive, the clothing manufacturers will create a paper pattern for the sample, which is later used as a base for producing the sample.
After cutting the paper pattern, it is time to cut and sew the fabrics. If there is some printing or embroidery on your design, they will be finished in this step. This may also include adding labels and hangtags or any accessories.
This is the final step to turn your idea into reality, after some ingenious working, your sample is perfectly done.
After you get the sample and you are satisfied with it, that means the manufacturer passed your test. It is time to order your first collection now.
- Grading & Buy fabrics
- Production sample
- Mass production
- QC & Package
In your order, you are going to specify what quantity and what sizes you want.
Grading & Buying Fabrics
After getting the order, they will grade the size, grading is the process of creating a range of sizes for a single apparel style. Grading will not create shape, but will only increase or decrease the size of the original shape.
After the grading, they will get a rough idea of how much fabric will be needed and they will buy the fabrics.
In MMS for each mass production, we will create a sample and get your confirmation before mass production.
After getting your confirmation, they will begin mass production right away.
QC & Packaging
The quality check procedure must be done before your goods leave the factory.
After that, your products will be packaged in plastic bags and cartons and now ready for delivery.
The products will be shipped once finished. There are terms and conditions in regard to international shipping, such as FOB, EXW, etc.
Some of the manufacturers also provide other services such as:
Dropshipping has been more popular among many clothing manufacturers because of the booming trend in the retailing industry.
Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where a store doesn’t keep the products it sells in stock. Instead, when a store sells a product using the dropshipping model, it purchases the item from a third party and has it shipped directly to the customer.
Most of the clothing manufacturers usually provide OEM and ODM services.
An original equipment manufacturer(OEM) is a company who manufactures products or components that are purchased by another company and retailed under that purchasing company’s brand name.
An original design manufacturer (ODM) is a company which designs and manufactures a product which is specified and eventually branded by another firm for sale.
I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to work with clothing manufacturers.
Now I’d like to hear what you have to say.
Which tip from today’s guide inspires you the most?
Are you confident now to find a trustworthy clothing manufacturer? Or maybe you now have a clearer idea on how this whole thing works?
Either way, let us know by leaving a comment below right now.