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Standard Apparel Construction Guidelines

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Description-The standards specified are minimum standards, and provide guidelines for apparel construction and performance to achieve consumer satisfaction.This knowledge will be helpful for buyers, suppliers, and Agents.The standard’s objective is to deliver quality merchandise to the customer. It applies to all categories of apparel and textiles.


Buttons and Button Holes Standards
  • All buttons must be in accordance with the relevant fabric performance standard and the care instructions selected for the garment.
  • Each button must be securely attached to garments with at least 16 stitches.
  • Fast dye all buttons to prevent dye from running.
  • Stitch density of buttonholes must have full edge cover with no fraying.
  • Cleanly cut buttonholes and trim all threads.
  • Tie off and secure stitches, where using a single thread chain-stitch buttonhole. Do not use slip stitches in the sidebars.
  • Position buttonholes correctly to prevent unfastening, dragging and gaping.
Buttons and buttonhole positioning
  • Buttonholes must be the correct size for the button.
  • Position buttons for horizontal buttonholes at the end closest to the edge of the garment.
  • Position buttons for vertical buttonholes central to the buttonhole.
  • Align buttons and buttonholes to match from the top to the bottom of the garment.
Collars/neck opening
  • All interlinings used in collars must be in accordance with the relevant fabric performance standard and the care instructions selected for the garment.
  • The top collar must cover the under the collar when it is finished.
  • Linking used to attach neckbands and collars must stretch to achieve the neck opening specified.
  • The collar must cover the back neck seam when it is turned down.
  • Collar and lapel points must be symmetrical and match.
Cuffs and basques
  • Distribute the gathering evenly where the body fabric is gathered into cuffs and basques.
  • Ribbed cuffs must have sufficient extension to accommodate the wrist and recover to original size. For example, to be reinforced with elastane.
  • Stripes, checks, and borders must be the same on the right side cuff and left side cuff.
Drawcords (children’s wear size 00000 to 16-year-olds)

  • Drawcord ends must not extend more than 25 cm from the garment.
  • Elastic and stretch cord is considered as a high-risk material when used as a drawcord.
  • Mock drawcords are acceptable.

To guarantee safety is a priority, ensure all drawcord guidelines are followed.

  • Neck Openings: Secure the drawcord at the center back neck to prevent movement.
  • Hood openings: Secure the drawcord at the center top of the hood to prevent movement.
  • Waist openings for pants, shorts, and skirts: Secure the drawcord at the center back of the waist to prevent movement.
  • Pant, short and skirt hems: This is a high-risk area of the garment. Safety and garment design for the individual must be considered at all times when drawcords are used.
  • Top and sleeve hems: This is a high-risk area of the garment. Safety and garment design for the individual must be considered at all times when drawcords are used.
Facings Facings must not roll outwards.
Fitted waistbands Waistbands must not buckle or roll outwards.
Fly and zipper openings
  • Securely back-stitch or bar-tack the base of the fly.
  • The excess fabric must not restrict slider movement.
General appearance
  • Twisted panels or seams are unacceptable.
  • Where garments have full front openings, the fronts must finish level at the hem opening.
  • All gathering must be evenly distributed and even from side-to-side.
  • Garments must be properly trimmed, cleaned and loose threads removed.
  • Shading from panel to panel, within the same garment, is unacceptable.
Head openings (neck circumference stretched)

Size 00000 42 cm
Size 0000 44 cm
Size000 46 cm
Size 00 48 cm
Size 0 50 cm
Size 1 52 cm
Size 2 54 cm
Size 3 and above (toddlers, boys, girls, men, ladies) must stretch to a minimum of 56 cm.
  • Hems are flat and even in depth without twisting or roping.
  • Blind stitched and welted hems must have the correct depth of needle penetration to minimize strikethrough and the visibility of stitches on the outer fabric.
  • All interlinings must be in accordance with the relevant fabric performance standard and the care instructions selected for the garment.
  • The dark color fabric must have dark interlining and light color fabric must have light interlining.
  • All fused interlinings must be securely attached to the base fabric.
  • Conceal interlinings and ensure they do not show beyond the base fabric.
  • Interlinings must not show through the fabric (strikethrough).
  • Twisting of the lining is unacceptable.
  • The size of the lining used must be consistent with the dimensions of the outer garment shell. For example, the crotch length of a pant lining must be correctly graded to ensure a comfortable fit and be compatible with the body of the pant.
Metal press studs and buckles
  • All metal press studs and buckles must be in accordance with the Standard Fabric Performance Requirements for Apparel—Revised Specification.
  • Metal press studs and buckles must:
    not rust not have sharp edges or burring.
Pile fabric (not for pile fabrics)

  • pressing marks
  • presser footmarks
  • feeder damage
  • glazing
  • crushed pile.
  • The fabric pile of each panel in the garment must lie in the same direction to avoid shade defects.
Placement prints All garments with placement printing, puff or plastisol prints use the following statements in the care instruction label:

  • ‘Warm iron on reverse side’
  • ‘Do not dry clean’
  • Ensure pocket flaps are securely attached.
  • Completely conceal all drill holes and chalk marks used for positioning pockets and flaps.
  • Do not allow puckering to occur when attaching patch pockets.
  • The fabric used in pocket bags must be of relevant weight and strength. Refer to Standard Fabric Performance Requirements for Apparel—Revised Specification for more information.
  • Minimum openings for sideseam pockets are:
    children—10 cm
    adults—15 cm.
  • Ends of sideseam pockets must be caught into seams or reinforced at the top and bottom.
  • Pocket facings must not roll out or show the lining.
  • Pocket jet welts must not gape or be stretched when finished.
  • Pockets are symmetrical.
  • Pockets must match left and right side
Pressing The following is unacceptable when pressing garments:

  • Creasing, glazing and harsh pressing.
  • Pressing marks.
  • Reinforce any cuffs, basques or ribs with elastomeric yarn.
  • The elasticity of rib must be acceptable to stretch and recovery.
Seam construction
  • Seams must be strong enough to withstand a reasonable pull.
  • Refer to Standard Fabric Performance Requirements for Apparel—Revised Specification for more information.
  • Threads must match the color of the base fabric.
Seam finishes
  • All cover stitches must be even and the density properly balanced.
  • When working with knitted or stretch fabrics, use a ball point needle to avoid causing needle damage.
  • When working with stretch fabrics, choose a suitable stretch thread and sewing procedure to accommodate the stretch of the base fabric.
  • Latch back yarn or sewing thread at the end of seams.
  • Secure all plain machine starts and ends by back-stitching.
  • Seams must be free of puckering and grinning.
  • Cracking of seams (breaking) is unacceptable.
Sewing threads
  • Do not use monofilament thread.
  • The sewing thread must be compatible with the fabric and the intended end use of the garment in the following areas:
    breaking strength
    shrink resistance
    heat resistance.
  • Use the same yarn for the base fabric in knitted garments for linking unless the tensile strength is insufficient. For example, jumpers and cardigans.
  • Match all sewing threads to the body fabric unless otherwise specified. In case of prints or splicing, match the thread to the predominant color.
Shoulder pads
  • Do not use yellowed or discolored shoulder pads.
  • Correctly and evenly position shoulder pads.
Splits Reinforce the top of the split to prevent tearing.
Stitching (minimum number of stitches required for each class of garment)

Fabric construction or fabric type Garment examples No of stitches per 2.5 cm (minimum)
Woven fabric; for example, crepe, voile, fugiette, twill, drill, gingham, gabardine, jacquard, Madras and flannelette Shirts, blouses, dresses, pants, skirts, shorts 10–12
Denim Jeans, trousers, skirts, shorts, overalls, jackets, shirts 8–10
Canvas Jeans, trousers, skirts, shorts, overalls, jackets, shirts Two rows of 8–10
Knitted fabric; for example, jersey, rib, interlock, terry, waffle and fleece T-shirts, leggings, shorts, sports and gym gear, dresses, pajamas, rompers 14–16
Fabric with elastomeric Swimwear, sports and gym gear, leggings 16–18
Tactel fabric; for example, lightweight parachute Track pants, tracksuits, shorts, jackets 14–15
  • Produce straps on overalls/pinafores with folded edges or turned through.
  • Ends must be neatly finished and attached securely to the garment.
  • Back-stitch straps securely at the point of attachment.
Studs, eyelets and button sewing
  • Firmly attach all studs and eyelets without damaging the surrounding fabric.
  • All metal fastenings must be smooth-edged, free from burrs and sharp edges.
  • Securely attach studs and eyelets through two or more layers of fabric, ensuring the fabric is not pleated or damaged.
  • Studs and eyelets must be rust proof.
Tolerances Measurement variations of more than + 2 cm are unacceptable
Waistband hook and bar The waistband hook and bar must:

  • last the life of the garment (item)
  • correctly align to avoid gaping of the waistband
  • not crush during pressing
  • not rust, if metal.
  • Zippers must be rust proof.
  • All zippers must have a secure locking mechanism on the slider.
  • When a slide fastener is attached to a garment:
    avoid stretching the opening
    the hem on either side of the opening must be level
    the insertion method does not restrict the slider movement.
  • Slide fasteners must be in accordance with the relevant fabric performance standard and the care instructions selected for the garment.
  • Do not use aluminum zippers
1 Comment
  1. Katie says

    This is very helpful. What do you base your head opening sizes on? For example size 00000, 0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3.

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