Simplify your Production with a Tech Pack
Garment production begins with a tech pack. From products of high fashion to the ones for everyday use, a tech pack translates how a seller sees the product to how it actually takes shape in the factory. Here is all you need to know about how to use tech packs to streamline your production.
In conversation with India Sourcing Network about tech packs is Belinda Jacobs. With her years of experience in garment manufacturing, she observed that even top brands faced many production issues with the factories making their products. She started Tech Packs Co to provide technical design services to fashion brands, retailers and to e-commerce sellers. Belinda lists out the A to Z about all you wanted to know about tech packs.
Watch the full interview here or read a summary below:
What is in a tech pack
A tech pack or technical packet is the blueprint of your fabric or textile based products. It is also known as a specification sheet and includes all details like material, color, dimensions, images and descriptions of the product. There is a construction section that holds information on stitching, seams and joints. Printing, labels and decorations that need to be stitched into the product is also included along with the details of packaging and folding with the tags.
- Tech packs should be efficient in explaining the garment’s A-Z to the manufacturer, so that minimum samples are needed and faster production happens.
- A tech pack also showcases a garment’s uniqueness.
- A tech pack assures that there is no communication gap between you and your supplier, who may be of a different cultural background or speak a different language. The end result will be 100% of what you need and instructed.
- Technical drawing, list of measurements, sizing, dimensions, color , fabric, written specifications are all part of the tech pack.
- A tech pack is more elaborate if it has a picture or a diagram of your garment. A written text can be misread or mistranslated but images are less likely to be understood incorrectly.
- A tech pack allows revision in a seller’s requirements right from point of inception to the course of production.
Why use a tech pack
Making a tech pack is time consuming, requires a lot of details and is an expense for the brand before production. However, using them is beneficial in the long run.
Costs: Product development costs will reduce because the factory doesn’t have to second guess your requirements.
Sourcing: Sourcing and RFQs can be sent to different factories across the globe and can get the best quote for manufacturing.
Quality: Quality control is achievable because when the product is consistent then even if there are different factories from different parts of the world, the uniqueness of your brand is assured.
Accountability: Accountability is ascertained when your design is in writing. The suppliers and all your team are on the same page with regard to what is the end product.
Speed: Time is of essence as a few weeks quicker to market can mean that your listing gets to number one before somebody else’s. With the use of a tech pack, fewer mistakes will be made and the end product will be churned out faster.
Expertise: Hiring a professional to make a tech pack can help in making a more cost effective product and save money in the long run.
Communication: With a tech pack, manufactures are clear of what you need from your product and the same clarity is given to the factory, and specifications are not lost in the cascade down to the factory floor. No long discussions are needed.
Which products use a tech pack
All products that are made of clothing and textile are included in the tech pack. Home décor items made from textile and fabric like cushion covers and furnishings are a part of a tech pack. The term ‘tech pack’ comes from the fashion industry and mostly covers products used in the fashion industry.
How do you validate a tech pack
To validate a tech pack, ask for a sample from your supplier. If the sample made is the same as mentioned in the tech pack, it means the supplier has understood your requirements.
Errors in reading the tech pack are possible because the supplier is either relatively new or the factory, may be located out of the country or there is a language gap. It can also be possible that the factory has not dealt with textile products before. To avoid any such discrepancies, changes can be made in the tech pack at any time of production.
How to use your tech pack
- Sourcing: You can approach suppliers with requirements of your order and they will come back with their quotes to make your product.
- Sampling: Changes can be made to the tech pack during the sampling process.
- QC: You can use the tech pack during production and ensure that all things are working according to the producer’s requirements, with no errors. This can be reused for production and purchasing in the future. A tech pack is like a circular document that can be used around the manufacturing process.
Q. What is needed to create a tech pack?
A. The most important thing needed is a reference sample. It could be anything that is near to what you want done. This can be purchased from the market or a rough prototype can be made by the client. The next step is talking about measurements or dimensions of the product followed by discussing the design, choosing the materials and then working on other parts of the product.
Q. How long does it take to make a tech pack?
A. It normally takes three to four weeks. The client can then review the tech pack and if there are any additions or changes needed, then that can be done by the company.
Q. What are some common mistakes to avoid when sending a tech pack to the supplier?
A. The biggest mistake is that the tech pack is not detailed enough. The factory owners can misinterpret a tech pack as they may be located out of the country or having a language gap or that they are fairly new to the production of garments using a tech pack.
Q. Is there a template for tech packs for all kinds of products?
A. There is one tech pack for one product. A garment, dress or a cushion cover will have different tech packs. Even when there is a variation in the same design, a new tech pack is needed. If the product is the same but the fabric or color or the sizes vary then the tech pack is the same.
Q. What can I do if I have sent a product to a manufacturer without a tech pack?
A. There are many people who have not heard about tech packs and are already in the production stage of their product. If they are now facing a problem with their suppliers or factory workers, then they can approach tech pack companies to make a tech pack and fix their problem and get back on track.
Q. Who receives and interprets the tech pack for the line managers?
A. It depends on the size of the factory. If it is a big factory then there may be a whole team of people who read and translate the tech pack. If it is a small factory, it is possible that the owner is himself doing this work.
Q. Is there a need to send the entire tech pack to the QC company?
A. The entire tech pack is sent to the QC company because the tech packs are carrying important information about the product. Big companies have a quality manual which is a book on quality rules and regulations that need to be followed. A small factory owner may deal with it himself.
Q. What is “tolerance” in a tech pack?
A. Tolerance is a kind of leeway that the company can take on your product. For example, a sizing of a zip of 5 inches can be tolerated to five and a quarter inches and four and three quarter inches. This tolerance level is mentioned in the tech pack.
Q. Should sample fabrics be part of the tech pack?
A. Tech packs should include images of the material with the description of the items. If you are looking for a special finish, then a physical sample like a cut piece of a material can be sent to the factory.
Q. How do you send the tech pack to the supplier?
A. The templates are available in Excel, PDF, Google Sheets, Adobe Illustrator. You can save the tech pack on PDF and email or share online. Google Sheets should be not editable otherwise the supplier may make changes accidentally.
Q. Where can I learn more about making tech packs?
A. A free workshop available on the Tech Pack Co. online store. This is for people who are completely new to the textile and clothing business and want to learn the basics of tech packs. Register on bit.ly/TECH-PACKS
Q. How can I get a tech pack made?
A. Tech Packs Co creates tech packs for you that are suitable for overseas contractors and are designed to be understood by factory staff who may not necessarily speak the same language as you. They will communicate to your factory all necessary components and construction methods needed for production.