Garment Production Process
Apparel manufacturing process - common steps
Garment production is an organised activity consisting of sequencial processes such as laying, marking, cutting, stitching, checking, finishing, pressing and packaging
Garment production is an organized activity consisting of sequential processes such as laying, marking, cutting, stitching, checking, finishing, pressing and packaging. This is a process of converting raw materials into finished products. It will be difficult to maintain the industry if production is not, up to the mark if the preproduction phase of preparation of material is not properly carried out.
Steps in preparation of material for the production
Laying of paper pattern helps one to plan the placement of the pattern pieces in a tentative manner.
- Lay large pieces first and then fit in the smaller ones
- It is very economical in laying the pattern and cutting. Even a small amount of material saved in a single layer will help to bring about a large saving of money as hundred’s of layers of fabric will be laid and cut simultaneously.
- When laying, the length of the garment should be parallel to the selvedge of the material. Be sure the pattern is placed in the correct grain. Fabrics drape and fall better on the lengthwise grain and also last longer.
- Parts that have to be placed on the fold should be exactly on the edge of the fold.
- All laying should be done on the wrong side of the material.
- When laying the paper pattern, consider the design of the fabric. Care should be taken to see that the design runs in the same direction throughout the garment. All checks and strips should match the seams both lengthwise and across.60
This can be a manual or a computerized technique
- The marker planner uses full-size patterns and arranges them in an economical manner on marker paper.
- This is a specially printed paper having symbols on it which enable the marker planner to visually control the positioning of components according to specified grain lines.
- Markers produced on paper are fixed to fabric with pins, staples or on an adhesive paper which is heat sealed to the top layer of the fabric.
- Marker planning provides details of the spreads. In the cutting room, the fabric is laid manually or a spreading machine is used to arrange fabric inlays 100 (layers) and markers for the production, any in orders planned. Here planning is done also for fusible, linings, trims, pocketing etc.
- The supervisors of marker planner plan and allocates the cut orders to various operations to be carried out in the cutting room.
This is the major operation of the cutting room when they spread and cut into garments. Of all the operations in the cutting room, this is the most decisive, because once the fabric has been cut, very little can be done to rectify serious defects.
- A first planning consideration is whether the totals arrived at in the cutting room are the same as those required to maintain full production in the sewing room and subsequently the planned delivery schedule. Any cloth problems created in the cutting room can affect the output in the sewing room. Assuming all components of fabric, design, and trims are acceptable and correctly planned and cut, the next stage is to extend the cutting room programme to the sewing room.
- All cutting operations are carried out by straight knife cutting machines.
Is done after the cut pieces are bundled according to size, colour and quantities determined by the sewing room.
- The central process in the manufacture of clothing is the joining together of components.
- Stitching is done as per the specification is given by the buyer.
- High power single needle or computerized sewing machines are used to complete the sewing operation. Fusing machines for fusing collar components, button, and buttonhole, sewing machines for sewing button and buttonholes are specifically employed.
It is realistic to assume that however well checking or quality control procedures operate within a factory there will always be a certain percentage of garments rejected for some reason or other. The best way to carry out quality checks is by
- Establishing a standard as a criterion for measuring quality achievement.
- Production results can be measured and compared to the planned quality standard.
- Corrective measures to be carried out if there are any deviations in the plans.
Ideally, any system should detect possible deviations before they occur through forecasting. Work produced with minus defects will produce quality products, enhance economy and productivity.
Fusing and Pressing
Finishing and pressing are two processes which have the greatest influence on the finished look of a garment. Fusing creates the foundation and pressing put the final seal of quality on the garment.
The basic components of pressing are:
- Steam and heat are necessary to relax the fabric and make it pliable enough to be moulded by manipulation.
- Pressure: when the cloth has been relaxed by steam, the pressure is applied which sets the fibres into their new positions.
- Drying: After the application of steam and pressure, the component or garment must be dried and cooled so that cloth can revert to its normal condition. This is done by a vacuum action which removes surplus water from the fabric and at the same time cools it. For some pressure operations hot air or infrared heating is used instead of vacuum for drying;
Machinery used for pressing and finishing are
- Hand irons with a vacuum press table
- Scissors press
- Carousel machines
- Steam dolly
Most garments are packed in plastic bags, either at the end of production or when they enter the finished goods store. Products like shirts and underwears are usually bagged and boxed directly after final inspection and enter the stores in prepacked form. For these and similar types of products, many automatic machines are used.
Other hanging garments such as Jackets, dresses & skirts are usually bagged by manual machines, semi-automatic machines, and fully automatic machines. Some of these automatic machines bag, seal, and transport in trolly; some 500 garments per hour.
When the boxed or hanging garment has to be transported in bulk the garment or boxes are packed into cartons which can be sealed by adhesive paper or plastic Manual and automatic machines are available for both.
Laundering is done by highly sophisticated washing machines if any articles are soiled during the manufacturing process. However, this step is required only if the garments are soiled.