The apparel industry is a vast and complex industry that can seem overwhelming and opaque to an outsider. Even after completing my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Apparel Design from Rhode Island School of Design, I still had no idea how the apparel industry worked. I knew how to design, make patterns for, and create a beautiful garment, but I didn’t know how to create a fashion line or tech pack.
An individual designer isn’t going to make every piece in their line by hand. So somehow the designer needs to get the design to a supplier who will make the line– this applies if you want to order ten pieces or a style, or ten thousand pieces. I learned the secret while designing for Macy’s– a tech pack!
A tech pack is all the instructions a factory needs to create a design.
A tech pack will contain:
- A technical sketch of a garment, front and back, with close-ups of unusual details
- All construction and sewing details
- a list of fabrics, materials and trims, including suppliers if available
- artwork for prints, embroideries, patterns, labels, etc.
- packaging instructions
The basic steps for designing an apparel line are: design a collection, create a tech pack for each piece in the line, send the tech packs to several suppliers to get pricing, develop samples with the factory with the best price, make revisions to the samples, order production.
Here are some samples of tech packs from around the web. Please feel free to follow these as a guide, or hire the Seattle Fashion Incubator to make your tech packs for you.
Included in this post are a few examples of what tech packs can look like, but it really varies. Instead of the sketches of the garments, you can use photos if you have made your own samples. You just want to do your best to give all the instructions the factory will need, so an image or sketch, construction details, trim details, packaging details– write everything you know about that one style in one file. Why don’t you try this with one of your styles, and send it over for us to review for you? You’ll be able to send the factory all the instructions they need to send you a product that’s ready to ship!
For more examples of tech packs, just do a Google image search for “tech pack.”
I’m available to answer any questions!
Eva Spitzer, Design Consultant for Seattle Fashion IncubatorRequest a Consultation