What Is A Tech Pack? And Why You NEED One
- Jun 07, 2018
You’ve probably heard it mentioned before.
Whether you’re looking for quotes, or if you’ve just started researching.
“Where’s your Tech Packs?”
“We can’t give you a quote based off this information”
“You need a Tech Pack”
And it’s frustrating.
I get it… you’ve thought up a great idea, sketched out your idea, and you’ve designed your logo.
And now you want to know how much it will cost to get made.
So, Why Do You NEED A Tech Pack?
It all comes down to saving you time and money.
Think of the Tech Pack as an investment. It is the user guide to creating each and every single one of your garments.
The more information you’re able to provide upfront... The quicker, easier, and more accurate the manufacturing process will be.
Once you have a tech pack it serves as a:
1. Template to provide accurate quote estimates
2. Agreement with the factories
3. Tool for quality control
4. Archive of your designs
5. Tool for re-ordering the exact same item again and again.
The first thing the Tech Pack will allow you to get is a more accurate quote.
One: Accurate Quote Estimates
If you’re reading this then it’s probably happened to you…
You approach a factory and ask for a quote.
And they come back with something that looks a little like this:
- 150x jumper $2.20 - $13.74 each
- 200x shorts $1.32 - $10.10 each
- 1000x undies $0.20 - $5.87 each
And then you think…
"How can the differences be so big?"
"Are my designs going to be the most expensive?"
"How can I get the price down?"
It’s an absolute nightmare.
And it makes sense. You’ve approached the factory with a single page design with a logo. You might have a fabric composition as well.
They don’t know what kind of stitching you need. They don't know the weight of the fabric. And they don't know if there’s complicated manufacturing involved.
These elements all change the prices.
After all, there’s a big price difference between a 120gsm lightweight fabric and a 300gsm heavy performance fabric.
In fact, this is the exact reason we REFUSE to give quotes for garments without a complete Design and Tech Pack.
It leads to too many false assumptions and can leave people feeling taken advantage of (something we never want our customers to feel).
Two: Agreement With The Factory
And guess what… even if you do find a factory that will work without a tech pack…
Chances are they’re going to take you for a ride.
Because let’s face it. You have no recourse if things go wrong.
If you get the item manufactured without a complete tech pack you can’t identify mistakes.
After all... is it in the original document?
If not how are you supposed to say:
“No, we were after 2 needle double stitch on the ankle hem and 4 needle 6 thread coverstitch on all other seams”. When they send you a garment with 2 needle double stitch on everything?
The reality is, without a Tech Pack, the factory is going to have to “make things up” as they go.
And when things go wrong, there’s nothing to point out the mistakes that were made.
We’ve seen it happen before. And it’s a massive pain.
And a great segue to the next point…
Three: Quality Control
So you’ve had your garments manufactured and you’re doing the final QC (Quality Control) check.
Is the logo in the right place?
Is the hem the correct width?
Is the fabric right composition?
What are you comparing it to?
What are you using as your baseline measurement?
What’s within your acceptable deviation?
A Tech Pack will guide you on this and help you complete a thorough QC before sending the goods to your customers.
After all, you’ve built your brand around the promise of quality.
This is how you can ensure it’s as good as it needs to be.
Four: An Archive Of Your Designs
Your brand’s going great…
People love the design and quality of your garments.
And it’s something you want to keep a hold of.
Lucky you have your tech packs.
When you have your tech pack you OWN it.
You OWN the design.
You OWN the construction information.
You OWN the details.
This means that you’re able to keep a COMPLETE record of your garments. And the EXACT information you’ll need to recreate them...
Which is awesome because you’ll be selling them like crazy.
Which means you’ll need to keep stocked.
Five: Tool For Re-Ordering
Ok, so you’re selling out…
Your customers LOVE your old design, and you want to get more.
With your tech pack you don’t have to worry about re-designing and sampling all over again.
Thanks to your archive of Tech Packs you have the information to get your next order manufactured ASAP.
This means quicker turn around, and more accurate garments. And a more pleasant experience for you.
So that's why you need one, now you need to know what exactly it is...
What is a Tech Pack?
A Tech Pack is a set of technical specification files that a factory can use to make an item.
It’s also the document we NEED before we’re able to provide you with a quote or your Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ).
Whether it’s activewear, a jacket, or even a hat.
You’ll need a tech pack.
The Tech Pack contains a lot of important information... Including:
1. Fabrication Information
2. Construction Information
3. Special Features
4. Print / Designs
5. Size Gradings
6. Colour Ways
7. Inner Labels & Swing Tags
Each one of these is ESSENTIAL to getting an accurate price for your garment. And without them your factory will not be able to make your clothes.
One: Fabrication Information
When getting the garment created you want to make sure it gets made correctly.
This is where the Fabrication Information comes in.
Your Tech Pack will cover the exact material composition, weight, and colours.
Clothing comes in a massive range of fabrics... So knowing this information is priceless.
It’s also one of the largest determining factors in the pricing of the garment.
Here’s where you’ll also list any special fabric info. Such as having mesh panels, or unique textures on certain areas of the garment.
From here the Tech Pack will cover how to actually build your garment.
Two: Construction Information
Ok, you know what you're going to use to make your garment… but how is it going to be made?
This is where the construction information comes in.
This part of the tech pack will cover everything the factory needs to make your garment.
We create a digital document for the factories and provide all the information they need.
This includes marking the size of the panels and any inclusions of pockets. The type of stitching on the seams, any information on hems and more.
With this info the factories can create a complete sample of the garment.
Ready for manufacturing.
During this stage we also provide info on any special requests or features you have…
Three: Special Accessories
Sometimes the garment will have a feature or specialisation that is unique.
This falls under the construction of the garment but is important to note. This can include things like tassels, buttons, unique zips, flaps... or any other feature that's unusual.
It’s important to make a clear note of this information, otherwise it can be missed by the factory.
They’re also elements that can increase the complexity of the item... And complexity changes your final pricing.
If your garment is highly detailed and complex to construct. You can expect the quote to be more than a simpler piece.
Four: Print / Designs
In addition to any special features you may have on your garment you may have prints or artwork.
This can include:
- Detail you want sublimated onto the fabric
- Logos that you would like printed or embroidered.
- Any other graphic elements you want on your garment.
The tech pack is where you can show the factory EXACTLY where you want this artwork. And the exact size of the elements.
It’s also where you detail how you want it applied.
If you want screen-printing vs heat press.
If you want embroidery over print.
If you want full sublimation.
This is where you need to put this information.
Five: Size Grading
Now you have the patterns, designs, and fabrication of the garment described... you need to complete the Size Grading.
This is where you show the factory how the different sizes will look.
The great thing about this is that you can make the sizing WHATEVER you want.
If you want to keep the waist narrow regardless of the height, or need the chest to suit all your customers.
Size grading is where it happens.
And it’s essential if you want a good fit through your range.
So spend a bit of time deciding how your clothes will fit people of different build.
Six: Colour Ways
Next there are the Colour Ways.
This is where you specify the colour of the fabric you will construct your garment from.
To do this you should use Pantone colour codes.
This will ensure your garment comes in the right colour... otherwise it will be a "closest match" kind of deal.
Seven: Inner Labels & Swing Tags
And your Tech Pack doesn’t just cover all the details of your garment.
It also covers the inner labes and the swing tags.
When we say this is the basis of a completely custom garment we aren’t joking.
These are the tags that have your branding, clothing info, and care instructions for your garment.
It’s the small things, but getting all the details right is what makes building your new range so exciting!
That’s what’s included in a Tech Pack.
You can check out a sample one here.
As you can no doubt tell, there’s a lot of information here.
And it's all relevant.
Skip out on any and the garment you get IS NOT going to be what you want.
As you can see, the tech pack is an invaluable tool when getting your garments created.
And it’s one that you NEED if you’re even a little bit serious.
The tech pack alone is enough to smooth the manufacturing process. And it’s one we recommend to anyone building their brand.
It doesn’t matter who you get your garments produced by.
Does this sound like a lot of work? Well it is… but don’t worry, that’s exactly why our fashion designers are on hand. The Slyletica Tech Pack service lets you take control of the design process, whilst utilising our expert design team to put together all the finer details for your approval.
Did this answer your questions? Do you need some more information?
We love hearing from our awesome community, so leave a comment in the section below.
Until next time!
Joshua Renton - Slyletica Digital Operations