What Are Fashion Tech Packs? And Do You Really Need Them?
Starting your own fashion label is like stepping into a room of unfamiliar terms, confusing paperwork, and multiple unticked boxes that need prompt ticking before you can make your dream a reality.
That’s all even before mentioning factory hunting, fabric sourcing, and networking. But, if you’re starting your label from zero, there’s one lifeline that you can always look to for mind-easing organization; the famous Tech Pack.
Tech packs can help you to get started, ensuring you can create beautiful and unique garments that can take your brand to the next level.
Introducing the tech pack
If you’ve just learned this term, don’t worry. Tech packs make everything a little less scary. In fact, they’re every brand’s no.1 ally. The technical package, worthy of its name, covers the “technical side” of things. And they’re not only the realm of fashion designers. Anyone from a product developer to pattern makers make good use of a tech pack.
And what use is a tech pack?
Into your tech pack goes the DNA of your products. Within these DNA-like documents are contained the design details, size specifications, colors, and every other feature that makes your product -well – your product. All the while, the pack should also outlaw the production processes necessary to create the final product.
Once completed, the tech pack becomes a sort of canvas and contract between you and collaborators or manufacturers. They should be able to transform the information of your tech pack into an actual product for your customers to buy and wear.
In a nutshell: a tech pack (short for Technical Package) is a comprehensive document that features all of the required information and components that manufacturers need to turn your garment designs into a beautiful finished product.
These in-depth guides give detailed directions on how each item should be created, based on the size, design, specifications, and product details. A tech pack will clearly outline everything, from materials, trims, labels, and colors to measurements, grading, and BOM’s (Bill of Materials.).
Looking inside a fashion tech pack
Instead of listing making this any more confusing than it needs to be, we’ll make the contents of a fashion tech pack as transparent as possible.
Tech Pack pre-production checklist:
Technical sketches, otherwise known as CADs or Fashion Flats, or Technical Drawings, are detailed insights into the design, and construction of your product. Think of it as illustrating your product from multiple angles.
What technical sketches do visually, construction detail sheets do with words. This is where you’ll explain your product using diagrams including the finish, the stitches as well as the seams details.
Colors / Colorways
As you’d expect, the manufacturer will not be able to create an accurate recreation of your product if they do not know its component colors. So it is crucial to specify which color to use and where to use them on the garment or accessory.
Image Source @ Tech Pack Templates
BOM (Bill of Materials)
A Bill of Materials or BOM is your product’s checklist, containing all components necessary to make your garment, alongside instructions on how to procure and use said components to make the final product. This includes all fabrics, buttons, labels, tags, poly-bags, threads, lining, etc. The BOM is critical as a means of communication between you and your manufacturer. Without it, there would be no contingency to your products or production processes, leaving too much room for interpretation and error.
Every brand leaves their mark on each one of their products. Here is where you’ll detail all of your brands’ components and their placement on your garments. Think along the lines of branding your logos, labels, hang tags, embroideries, or small prints.
Actual Size Artworks
The maker/manufacturer uses this document to gauge artwork-specific measurement and what colors to use in production. Included is your desired artwork covering prints, embroideries, glitter prints, photo prints, sequins, etc. If that sounds like a lot, here’s an intuitive actual size graphics template to help you get a hold on it!
These are the instructions that’ll determine how your product is packaged and delivered to the market, including labels, hangtags, poly-bags, carton and carton marking.
Here’s where you’ll highlight your product sizes and measurements as well as the grading guidelines.
Point of Measurement Diagrams
These are the standards by which your manufacturer will measure your product to ensure accuracy.
Image Source @ Spec Sheet Templates
Proto Sample Review Page
The first sample will rarely be perfect; that’s just all part and parcel of reaching the perfect final result – here’s where you can make comments and leave feedback on samples to ensure the best-case outcome the second time around.
Identification on Every Page
Think along the lines of company name, sample size, date, changes made, requests, and version on each page of your tech pack.
Note: be sure to clarify any special phrases or acronyms that may be used to abbreviate words to avoid misunderstandings with manufacturers.
How can I make a tech pack?
Many designers use Adobe Illustrator and excel in creating their tech packs, while some even work with a technical designer. To further simplify the tech pack curating process, why not look into Tech Pack Templates? Their helping hand is capable of streamlining the creative process while taking the headache out of tech packs.
5 reasons why tech packs are a must-have for your business?
Investing in a Tech Pack can be very beneficial for startups and established businesses alike. Some of the most significant advantages include:
1- Ensures accurate final results
You want your product to be everything you’ve dreamed of, right? Well, that usually requires a lot of timely back-and-forth communication between you and the factory. Instead, you can use your tech pack as a reference and let its contents do the talking for you. Consequently, you increase your chances of receiving error-free samples and products.
2- Protects both sides from misunderstandings
Tech packs make communication between you and your manufacturer much easier and also helps the collaboration between the teams including the pattern makers as well as the production managers! The overall aim of the tech pack is to leave little to no room for questions. A tech pack should contain everything that the manufacturer or producer needs to get started and carry through to the final product without any blips. Should your factory change materials or trims and produce something that doesn't conform to what’s outlined in your instructions, you can always refer back to the Tech Pack and indicate how errors can be corrected.
3- Facilitates pricing negotiations
Money is often a point of stress and contention for new businesses. For example, suppose a manufacturer doesn’t receive all the necessary production details while deciding on a quote. In that case, they may underprice initially, leaving you to have to tweak your budget throughout the production process. On the flip side, you may be overcharged, taking valuable money off the table that could otherwise be spent on business growth. Fortunately, a comprehensive, detailed tech pack allows manufacturers to calculate production costs accurately.
4- Savings of time and money
A Tech Pack can also help you to bring your product to market far quicker while avoiding logistic issues, unnecessary development costs and getting the wrong samples, therefore saving time and money. When you have a clear guide, you will not need to spend months developing samples and liaising with partners.
When manufacturers have a clear guide, they are able to produce your products more accurately, reducing the chances of you needing multiple edits and fixes.
You can also refer back to your Tech Packs at any time, and they can also act as a great base for any future collections, allowing you to edit and change certain elements as required.
5- Quality control
A comprehensive Tech Pack can also provide a high level of quality control. This not only ensures that your products remain consistent but it also helps to reduce the number of returns and improve brand loyalty.
Make life easier on yourself and make a tech pack. A technical package is your fool-proof formula for the product both you and your market deserve. So, don’t fear it. Instead, recruit it as a business partner and get collaborating! To get started, why not leverage the use of a helpful tech pack template and technical drawing template? Success is soon to follow behind any good tech pack – don’t underestimate it.