Garment Manufacturing

Our facilities, staff and range of services enable us to deliver on garment manufacturing whether the need is full-scale or no-minimum manufacturing.

In-house garment manufacturing services

Get a step-by-step guided experience, and access to no-minimum manufacturing, when you sign up for an Apparel Entrepreneur Membership and use our professional roadmap to create a sewn product.

Garment Manufacturing

Fashion design

Concept Development. Technical Flats. Specs.

If you would like to manufacture, you'll first need to get through development so that you've got tech packs with technical flats, specs, wholesale material/trim sourcing listed in a Bill of Materials (BOM), and graded production-ready patterns.

It all starts with technical flats. These are the blueprints for your product. We can't even give you a price estimate until you at least have a flat because a flat shows all of the construction details that help us understand what it will take to make this product. Along with flats, you'll need spec measurements for every point of measure on the product. Our roadmap guides you through development.

Fabric and Trim Sourcing

Search our sourcing library or hire the expert.

FABRIC offers a free material/trim sourcing library. Apparel Entrepreneurs can save months of time and thousands of dollars in travel expenses using this library to find their wholesale material/trims.

If this sounds intimidating, take a class in Understanding Textiles and/or hire a sourcing expert to help you. Our roadmap guides you through sourcing and includes resources and the info you need to know.

Pre-production

Patterns. Tech Packs. Samples. Grading. Marking.

Once you've got flats, specs, and wholesale materials/trims sourced, we can provide you with patterns and samples. After the design is perfected through fittings and revisions, then this final sample ("sew-by") will be replicated in manufacturing. A tech pack can be made and the pattern can be graded into sizes according to your brand's grade rules. Our roadmap guides you through pre-production.

Manufacturing

Cut. Sew. Labeling. Packaging. No Minimums.

Our *no-minimum production facility is equipped to produce almost any design or sewn product, using almost any fabric. The production services team welcomes clients on site to observe the manufacturing steps involved in producing their designs.

Our capabilities include men's, women's and children's active wear, street wear, swim suits, shirts, skirts, jackets, pants, jeans, dresses, bags, medical devices, sewn product inventions, and more. We work with heavy or light weight knits or woven fabrics of all kinds.

Each garment is carefully inspected and pressed. We'll also work with you on customized packaging requests.

We don't have the capabilities to make shoes, tubular knits (like socks), or hardgoods (like briefcases), but we've got experience in developing and prototyping almost every other type of sewn product out there and we can also manufacture most of them as well. If we can't manufacture it, after we help you develop samples, we can help manage your production at another manufacturer that specializes in your product.

*No-minimums are available to Apparel Entrepreneur Members only.

Become an Apparel Entrepreneur Member.
Our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership gives you access to no-minimum manufacturing and a road map that will guide you through these steps.

It's like having your own Production Manager to guide you through these steps, your own Quality Control Manager to check for accuracy, and your own Technical Designer to provide technical guidance and advice along the way.

Answers to common questions

Quantities / MOQ's

We specialize in supporting emerging brands. One of the biggest obstacles for startups and smaller brands is high MOQ's. Emerging brands aren't ready to make thousands of pieces and need to test the market with smaller quantities first. So, we created a unique model, here at FABRIC, that enables us to offer no-minimums.

If you are an Apparel Entrepreneur Member, we can offer you no-minimum manufacturing. This means you can make as few pieces as you'd like in as many sizes or colors as you'd like. In this industry, price is based on quantity, however. The more you make, the lower the price will be per unit. So, manufacturing test runs won't be lucrative, but it will allow you to test the market before you invest in larger volumes. Most people use our factory if they want to produce a small size run of about 2 dozen units (including sizes and colors) per production run.

If you want to make more, we can still provide you with the sample development, graded patterns, and tech packs that you'd need for manufacturing anywhere. Then we can help you find a factory that specializes in your product with higher MOQ's.

Products we CAN make

Development comes first!
We can develop almost any sewn product and provide you with prototypes ("sew-by samples), tech packs, graded (sized) digital patterns and cut markers that can be used by any factory to manufacture your product.

Manufacturing comes next.

Products that we commonly manufacture:
Almost any type of "cut & sew" product made from almost any type of material including but not limited to:
Clothing for men, women, children, pets, unisex
Casual, sportswear, athleticwear, eveningwear, separates, uniforms
Items like leggings, skirts, blouses/tops, button down shirts, dresses, pants, shorts, jackets, T-shirts, tanks, intimates
Accessories like bags, purses, headwear
Interior/Home goods like pillows, blankets, curtains
Medical devices and other sewn products
Materials we can work with include knits (stretchy) and woven fabrics (non-stretchy) of many different weights.

Products are better to manufacture at a specialty factory, but we can still provide development/prototypes/tech packs:
-Bras that have molded cups and other complex components...however we can do sports bras.
-Jeans because there are special seams and features that are just better off done by a denim. Plus you also have to navigate the dying and washing process.
-Leather goods - Leather goods require heavy duty machinery and special finishings for the raw edges that is best when done at a leather factory.
Bathing suits - Some bathing suits are just better off being made at bathing suit factories due to all of the spaghetti strapping, elastic, structure, and other features. However, there are certain bathing suits that we can manufacture here.
Suits/Ties - Suits/ties require tailoring and other techniques that are best done by a place that specializes in this.

Products we cannot make

We can’t weld seams. 
We can’t make hard goods like brief cases and shoes. 
We can’t make full fashioned sweaters or tubular knits like socks.
We can’t make traditional ties or men’s suits (unless they are unconventionally made). 
We have one flat lock machine so if you have a garment that requires flat lock, we can make the prototypes/samples but not manufacture them.
We don't provide garment dying or fabric dying.

What it will cost

There is no way to give a really accurate answer to that question until you get further into the process. The price depends on how many pattern pieces and seams your design has, how many you plan to make per color, per size, and more variables. Once you have a technical flat of your design, we can give you a rough estimate on pattern making, grading, cutting and sewing in different quantities. But once we’ve actually sewn a sample for you, we’ll have an even better idea of what it takes and can even advise you on making any design changes necessary to make it more affordable.

We will also teach you how to cost your own garments in our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership road map. While in the road map, you'll be guided through costing your own product which is what any designer would do before approaching a factory. We’ll also provide you with a cost sheet that will calculate the costs for you and give you the different costs based on making different quantities. This is always the first step when designing any garment….draw a flat, count pattern pieces, count seams, and estimate the cost to make sure you can even make this garment in your target price point before you decide to adopt it into your collection and approach a manufacturer.

Our rates (these are rough estimates that may change due to many variables):

DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT:

PATTERNS
Pattern Making. $95/hr
Pattern Revisions. $95/hr
Pattern Grading. $95/hr

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Tech Sketches. $95/hr

Tech Pack Development. $95/hr

Garment POM Specification Measurements. $95/hr

SAMPLE CUTTING $45/hr

SAMPLE SEWING. $45/hr (use $4.50/operation in cost sheet estimations)

DESIGN REVIEW / FIT SESSIONS. $95/hr

FABRIC AND TRIM SOURCING: $95/hr

SENDOUT FACILITATION: $95/hr

PRODUCTION & MANUFACTURING:

PRODUCTION SET-UP

Production Planning. $95/hr

Marker Making. $95/hr

FABRIC SPREADING AND CUTTING

Fabric Spreading. $75 per Marker / Spread, Additional Fabrics / Colors +$30 each

Production Cutting. $7 per pattern piece, per marker

PRODUCTION SEWING$0.75 per minute 

Quoted by job--price will vary based on machine type(s) and complexity of style.  

Production Sewing Examples:
$3.5/operation (11-50 units per style)
$2.35/operation (51-100 units per style)
$1.75/operation (100-300 units per style)

$1.15/operation (300+ units per style)

PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT: $95/hr

Production Quality Control and Count. $0.15 per item

MISCELLANEOUS: 

FINISHING SERVICES:
Fold and press garment per Tech Pack instructions. $1/ garment
Fold garment and insert in poly bag $2/garment 
Shipping: Billed at-cost plus handling
Direct-to-customer order fulfillment $5/order

LABELING ONLY SERVICES:
One stitch / one color $.75 (Ex: across top of label)
One stitch / two color $.95 (Ex: thread matches garment and label)
Two stitches / one color $1.25 (Ex: rectangular label with one stitch each side)
Two stitches / two colors $1.50
Four stitches / One color $1.50 (Ex: sewn all the way around)
Four stitches / Two colors $1.70 (Ex: sewn all the way around with thread matching garment and label)
+$10 for each additional color set up
Remove existing label neatly cut out only $.25
Remove existing label by opening seam and re-stitching $1.25
Insert label into binding or existing seam $2.00
Add hang tags with swift attachment or safety pin $.75

How long it takes

Developing a sewn product takes time and then manufacturing takes time. This is why forecasting companies exist. In design school, you're taught to design products that will be in the store next year because it traditionally takes 4-6 months to develop a collection and 4-6 months to manufacture that collection.

In a perfect world, this process takes many months. COVID has made it so that everything is taking longer than usual. Sourcing your fabrics/trims always takes the longest and is one of the biggest obstacles even in a perfect world. Now it's even more challenging and taking longer. Many fabric/trim vendors aren’t working and since most of the world’s materials/trims come from overseas vendors, importing has its own hold-ups with COVID.

COVID affects our team just like anyone else. We cannot give accurate time estimates when we are dealing with quarantine challenges and social distancing means there are less people working together at any given time. We also have experienced a much higher demand than ever before because most manufacturers have closed down and after re-evaluating their lives during the pandemic, a lot of people have decided to start clothing brands.

However, in general, we usually say give us a couple of weeks to make the first pattern and then a couple of weeks to sew the first sample….As long as we have everything we need from you. Manufacturing time depends on a lot of different factors including the complexity of the design, the quantity, and how many other products are being made before yours.

Does having a tech pack mean you're ready for manufacturing?

Not necessarily….A tech pack is not a “one-and-done” thing. A real production-ready tech pack that is ready for domestic small-batch manufacturing isn’t something that you can simply hire a technical designer to create for you. If you have done that, you most likely just have first draft flats, specs and a list of the materials and trims you are hoping to use. However, this is not a production-ready tech pack.

A tech pack that is ready for manufacturing has evolved over time and usually takes multiple prototype samples over time to create and would change and evolve as the sample is perfected. In other words, if you have technical flats, specs, and an idea of what fabrics and trims you want to use, that’s a good start, but it isn’t a production-ready tech pack. Once you have draft flats, specs, and an idea of the material/trims you want to use, you still need to have a pattern made and a sample sewn out of your actual wholesale production fabric/trims to test whether or not it functions, it fits, and you like it. Normally, the first sample needs revisions so there will be changes to your pattern which means you’ll need changes to your technical flats, specs, and even your fabric/trim information in your tech pack. So, the tech pack is a fluid set of documents that keeps changing as the sample is perfected. This evolves over multiple samples and fittings until the tech pack reflects the final fit sample that is ready for production.

So, if you’ve got a “tech pack”, but no production-ready sample or graded pattern, then you actually just have your first round of flats and specs and still need to go through development before you're ready to manufacture.

This is why we have created our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership with the built-in road map of steps to guide you.

What is the difference between On Demand Manufacturing, No-minimum Manufacturing, and High MOQ Manufacturing?

High MOQ Manufacturing

High MOQ Manufacturing is ideal for big brands that have large orders. Manufacturing in large quantities reduces the cost per unit. The more you make, the less each garment costs to make. To get these cheaper prices, traditional apparel manufacturing usually requires large MOQ's (Minimum Order Quantities). Most traditional manufacturing factories require MOQ's of at least 5000 pieces. Usually, the smallest MOQ's you'll find are about 500 pieces of each size/color. Traditional High MOQ factories also specialize in a specific type of product. For example, to get jeans made, you'd work with a jean factory because they already have the equipment and experience needed to make jeans. They would not be able to make bathing suits because that would require different machinery and skill set.

FABRIC does not offer large volume manufacturing, however, we can develop your product and provide you with graded production-ready patterns, tech packs, and sew-by samples that you can take to a high MOQ factory and help you communicate with them and manage your production.

On-Demand Manufacturing

This is a modern, sustainable, tech-based alternative to the over-production that often comes with High MOQ manufacturing. On-Demand Manufacturing is new emerging technology in the US. One of the only domestic On-Demand factories, Arizona Fashion Source, was created by FABRIC's Co-Founder Sherri Barry and is located just a few miles down the road from FABRIC. On-Demand Manufacturing provides the ability for your customer to order a specific size, color/print, and even customize the design when ordering. The order is then fed from your website into a very sophisticated automated program at the On-Demand factory. The custom order is filled and shipped directly to the customer within a few days.

To qualify for On-Demand Manufacturing, a brand must already have completed the development process (final tech packs with final sew by samples and graded patterns) and have dozens of orders coming in each day. FABRIC specializes in helping brands get ready for On-Demand Manufacturing.

No-minimum, small-batch manufacturing

New brands usually aren't ready to meet the MOQ's at high MOQ factories and they don't have enough consistent orders to qualify for On-Demand Manufacturing yet. That's why FABRIC provides the opportunity for apparel entrepreneurs to take advantage of our no-minimum manufacturing. We can develop and manufacture many different types of sewn products so that you can test the market before committing to larger quantities. You can make as few as you'd like in as many sizes or colors as you want. In this industry, the more you make the less it will cost. So, if you can manage to make more and have them made at a specialty factory, you'll get a much better price break. However, we can make you a small size run so you can test the market first. As you grow out of FABRIC's abilities, we can continue to develop your patterns, tech packs, and samples, and help you work with High MOQ factories or On-Demand Factories for production.

However, in order to qualify for our no-minimums, you'd need to be using our roadmap (which is located in the Apparel Entrepreneur Membership dashboard) to guide you through all of the steps. This ensures that we are getting what we need from you in the language and format that we need it, in order for us to successfully make what you want. It's a Project Lifecycle Management software as well as a Customer Relationship Management software that enables our team to access your files in a shared folder and collaborate on the status of your designs. It also guides you through the steps required in managing apparel production, provides you with the means to cost your own garments, guides you in filling out all of the contracts and documents required, and prompts you to do the Quality Control inspections that are an essential part of your responsibility as the brand owner.

How do I get started manufacturing at no-minimums at FABRIC?

Click the Manufacture button on our home page. You'll be guided through a series of steps that will get you set up in our system and provide you with the tools you need to get started.

Are you ready to manufacture?

Do you have technical flats that show all seams, construction details and finishes?

The flat is how you communicate exact details of your design. The pattern maker, grader, marker maker and sewers all need a flat in order to do their job. You need it too so you can cost your garment.
NO:
If you don't have one, you can hire an expert to draw your flat or take a flat sketching lesson. We recommend hiring an expert if you have one design. You should take a class (included in our roadmap) if you plan on designing many items because the cost can add up. Or sign up for our roadmap which guides you through this step and the others.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Do you have graded specs?

We're talking about measurements. You'll need specific measurements for every point of measure on your garment for every size. There are industry standard places to measure and these need to be recorded on a spec sheet.
NO:
Take a class (included in our roadmap) to learn how to spec a garment. You'll need to do it many times. It's how you communicate what you want and quality control your samples and production. Or sign up for our roadmap which guides you through this step and the others.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Have you sourced your materials and trims and are they listed in a BOM with yields?

Are you ready to have your materials and trims delivered to us and can you provide a BOM (Bill OMaterials) is a detailed list of all of your wholesale fabrics and trims including self, contrasts, linings and even fusings/interfacings.
NO:
We provide a sourcing service or you can do it yourself for free using our sourcing library (must be a member). Need to understand a little more about textiles before sourcing? Take our Understanding Textiles class (included in our roadmap). Or sign up for our roadmap which guides you through this step and the others.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Do you have digital production-ready patterns with a Cutter's Must/Pattern Card?

We work digitally using Gerber. If you have paper patterns, we'll need to digitize them into our system for you. If you already have digital patterns, then just email us the file along with your pattern card. A production ready pattern needs a pattern card that lists all of the pieces, which fabric to cut them out of and how many pieces to cut of each. It may even indicate if the piece needs to be fused or not and if it needs to be cut in one direction due to a print or texture of the fabric.
NO:
We can make patterns for you, but you'll need to provide flats, specs and fabric/trim info as indicated above. Sign up for our roadmap which guides you through this step and the others.
YES:
Great! Send us the files! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Do you have a final "sew-by" sample of your product?

The sew-by sample should be sewn from your production ready pattern and made out of your actual production materials/trims.
NO:
We can sew a sample for to approve as long as you've got everything listed above.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Are your patterns graded into sizes? And have you sewn one of each size to test the grade?

Grading means sizing. Patterns are perfected in one size (usually a middle size like a Medium) first and then they are graded into the other sizes based on your company's grade rules and size chart. Size charts vary per brand and grade rules very per brand and may even vary per garment. Grade rules are the precise measurements that need to be added to each seam of the garment in order for it to grow or shrink to the next size. This amount will depend on how many seams the garment has so it's always different.
NO:
We can grade your patterns. We just need you to provide a size chart with a lot of detail so we know how much you want the garment to change between sizes. We also need you to fill out a grading/marking ticket. If you don't know how, you can hire us to help you. You'd get help with this in our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership roadmap.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Do you have cutting tickets?

The cutting ticket indicates how many you want to cut, per size, per color, by fabric type so that proper markers can be made for cutting.
NO:
We can provide you with a cutting ticket to fill out. If you don't know how, you can hire us to help you. You'd get help with this in our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership roadmap.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Do you have a sewing contract?

The sewing contract indicates how many you want to sew, per size, per color so the sewing contractor knows what you want. Did you know that if you manufacture in LA, you'd need to use the official sewing contract from the Garment Contractor's Association and you'd need to have a Garment Manufacturer's License. This is to make sure there are no sweat shops. Did you know that paying piece-rate is illegal? There is no governance in Arizona, so you can use our sewing contract. And rest assured, we follow strict labor laws. All of our employees are E-verified and we pay above minimum wage because production quality sewing is a difficult technical skill. You may pay more per unit, but you know you're using a legal factory with morals, standards and happy employees.
NO:
We can provide you with a sewing contract to fill out. if you don't know how, you can hire us to help you. You'd get help with this in our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership roadmap
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Do you have Send Out Contracts for any operation that needs to be performed outside of our factory?

Send outs contracts are contracts used to indicate a step in the manufacturing process that needs to be sent out of the sewing factory for a separate operation. In other words, most sewing factories don't own every possible machine that might be needed to do every possible operation on a garment. For instance, if you wanted an embroidery on the chest of a blazer, you'd need to send the left chest panel (after it had been cut) to an embroidery company to do the embroidery first and then provide instructions to the embroiderer on what you want and where/how to return it to the sewing factory. Other examples might include screen printing, bias binding, belt loops, dye, wash, etc...
NO:
We can provide you with a Send Out contract to use. If you don't know how to manage this, you can hire us to help you. You'd get help with this in our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership roadmap.
YES:
Great! This is just one part of what you need. Answer the rest of the questions to see what else you need.

Did you cost your garment properly?

Did you know it's your job to cost your garment? The contractors you work with can give you some price quotes on different jobs like grading, marking, cutting and sewing, but you'll need to add those prices to your material and trim prices and calculate the cost of your garments. The cost will depend on how many garments you are making because you'll split these sums into each of the pieces you make.
NO:
We can provide you with a cost sheet and you can plug in the costs of each service from our Manufacturing Costs page. If you don't know how to do this, you can hire us to help you. You'd get help with this in our Apparel Entrepreneur Membership roadmap.
YES:
Great! Gosh, you are awesome! You must have done your homework! We can't wait to manufacture your product!

If you'd like to take advantage of our no-minimum manufacturing to make a small size run of 24 pieces, there will be a service fee to use our road map to get you into our system.

If you need larger quantities, we can help you find the right factory and even act as your liaison or Production Manager when working with that factory.