Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spec Sheets, Schmeck Sheets.

As much as I love Mary Gelhar's The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, there is one area in which it hasn't tallied with my experience.

Tech sheets. Spec sheets. Whatever you want to call them. The fact of the matter is, I have rarely ever been able to get a manufacturing quote for my little girls' clothing line with one.

When I first started looking for a factory, I made beautiful tech sheets. By the book. One production manager even went out of her way to compliment my flats. But the response I invariably got was, "Send a sample."

Fortuntely, I happen to sew. Otherwise, the amount of capital needed to start this line would have been prohibitive. Can you imagine?? Hiring a sample maker every time you have an idea?? And then most of my ideas don't even make the first cut, (no pun intended) once I see them in real fabric on a real toddler.

We would like to think we can visualize the whole manufacturing process in the abstract, from a spec sheet. But we are in the garment industry. Production managers need to touch and hold an actual garment to think about making it on a large scale. And I can't say I blame them.

Also posted at Pixyworld Blog

1 comment:

  1. you wrote:
    "Can you imagine?? Hiring a sample maker every time you have an idea??"

    Unfortunately, this is necessary. It doesn't mean you actualize every *idea* you have. It's why you must be selective, that your pieces have continuity. Most start ups have lines comprised largely of orphans (http://bit.ly/YFsBM).