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Fashion Start Up Talk: Does My "Simple" Product Need A Tech Pack?

Many fashion start ups think their basic T-shirt, belt or legging doesn't need a tech pack. They understand that complex products need a set of instructions for factory to understand the design but can't see why their basic products need them to. Every brand needs to manage their budget and this is no truer than when it comes to fashion start ups - the problem is that even the "simplest" of garments have a lot of potential to go wrong. And that is one of a tech pack's main jobs; to communicate effectively to factory, to keep production smooth and time efficient and stop things going wrong.

"Simple" is of course subjective too, let's unpack that for a minute - While your designs make look simple because they don't have a lot of surface techniques or trims. But actually the fit of them, making sure the fabric is stretched on the body when it needs to be and has enough ease when it needs to drape, is actually quite complex. The last thing you want is to use a poor quality tech pack (or worse, no tech pack at all!) and to receive a sample you can't build upon and have to start from scratch. I've seen it time and time again and it's such a waste of time, never mind the small budget fashion start ups have to begin with.

You may be able to communicate to factory that you want a basic white t-shirt. Let's say you want the sleeves short and a V neck. You might even be able to tell factory how deep you want the neckline and how wide you want the sleeves. But will you be able to tell them how many stitches per inch is needed to provide adequate seam elasticity? Can you tell them what kind of overlocking you want on the side seams and can you confirm the needle spacing for the hem finish? That's presuming you want twin needle stitch cover but maybe a flat lock finish is better for the garments purpose...starting to sound complex yet? That's not to mention the type of interfacing you need for that chest pocket or even the fact that the neckline is supposed to be ribbed which means you need a different SPI for that seam operation. You see how even a basic t-shirt has some complexities to it. Most start ups expect factory to include these things as standard but that's not the case; if you don't provide factory with this information, it will hold up production or they will guess. Furthermore, you'll pay for every sample, so it's not necessarily in factories best interest to give you what they THINK you want unless you've directly asked for it - and of course unless you have a concrete set of instructions AKA a tech pack, you have nothing to back you up in terms of only paying for what you've asked for. Designing your own label is NOT cheap so don't waste your investment through a lack of instruction.

I advise you all of this based on a presumption that you want quality, bespoke garments for your fashion start up. If this is not the case and you're reading this thinking, well I don't care how well it fits or if the neck stretches out after a couple of washes- this isn't for you. But I would say, don't waste your money designing your own product in that case. Buy blanks and put your logo on it. It's more affordable and things like finishes are all taken care of for you. No, this is for the brand who wants a quality, bespoke fit and finish. For those that can tell the difference between one T-shirt and the next in their drawers even if they can't articulate why they prefer one over the other (I can help you figure out why!)

Yes, your "simple" products need tech packs too and just like your complex products, you will reap the rewards ten fold by investing in high quality tech packs for sampling and production.

Want to chat about fashion start up production for your simple, non complex garments or accessories? I'm your girl, get in touch and let's see how we can move your brand forward.

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