Understanding of Technical File of a Garment for beginner
Mohammad Nurul Alam
A Technical File or Tech pack is also known as a specification sheet in the garment industry. Technical File in short TF consists of several pieces of information in regard to garment design such as size measurements, care label instructions, artwork placement, fabric specifications, packing instructions etc. So understanding the Tech pack is really important for the beginner who are starting career in merchandising. The details have been given below –
1) Design and sketch
Any Technical File starts with colourful sketch of the garment mentioning front and back as well. Designer sometimes creates this by hand sketch or by computer in AI file generally. Sometimes buyer asks Design sketch from the supplier if the product is unique and made by the supplier itself from the supplier’s collection. In this fact, the design is the supplier’s unique design and they can bargain a good price from the brand.
The highlight issues of design sketch
* The design sketch is a unique matter where right of patent issues is involved so the sketch should not be shared with other brand by merchandiser. If such thing happens that actually ethically not acceptable.
* Generally colorful sketches are given by the designer if it is made by computer and hand sketch always are in black and white.
* The technique of seams and stitching are mentioned in the sketch clearly.
* The design elements including color, texture, space, lines, pattern, silhouette, shape, proportion, balance, emphasis or focal point, rhythm and harmony everything generally can be found on sketch.
* The name of the color along with pantone number can be found that used for garment or other materials.
2)Fabrication and its quality
Fabrication is the major concerning part in the TF that customer provide as for details information of the particular style. Generally designer mentions the type of quality she wants and sometime provides inspiration (Example) for the related quality. As because of highly competitive market buyer usually like to see the best quality. Here the price matter comes later then quality submission so as the common practice buyer wants higher quality but not higher price.
The highlight issues in the TF in regards fabric.
* Designer clearly indicates the fabrication on the sketch what parts of the garment needed what quality.
* She may provide a picture of fabric to understand what really require.
* Sometimes it may be informed about a fabric code number and at the same time the physical reference of fabric copies handed over to the merchandiser at the beginning of the season.
* One garment may consist of several types of fabric and each may have a combination in color or contrast by different color.
* The fabric will be in particular weight and finish quality so that merchandiser can know the buyer’s query.
* If some information is not mentioned clearly merchandiser should ask details about missing information.
3) Materials details
A garment may have various materials of attachment that sometime serve as decorative and sometime they are functional. Zipper, button, rivet, buckle, lace, draw cord and so many things can be part of garment materials depending on style and fashion.
Regardless any garment materials must be safe and meet quality standard in general. So designer may ask something that may not meet quality standard and so merchandiser needed to clarify the details.
Some highlight factor about used materials that mentioned on TF
* TF always say about the materials on sketch in details with picture.
* Materials may be metallic or plastic based on garment design. In general, for kids garment always used plastic items that permanently attached with fabric.
*Designer may ask some proposals for particular items like lace or decorative attachment.
* Even sometime designer can give reference of previous style for some particular item.
* Most of the time it has been seen materials and use of decorative items needed special way of attachment, TF inform about this in details.
* One more issue is materials may require tone on tone color with fabric. But merchandiser should have to rise question if the matching not possible or need to inform buyer what percentage could possible to match.
4) Labels and Tags
This is actually representation of brands so labels and tags must have mentioned properly and in general TF has to be clear about these items. Some TF does not have the labels and tags because the items may be as common for the all styles. It may found separately on the General Technical guideline or brand’s manual.
Care label is also another most Integrated component of a garment. Generally, buyer gives care label instructions after having the third-party lab test report. But general instructions can be found in the TF as well.
The highlight issues of labels and tags.
* Label and tags usually come from nominated supplier or some time need to develop locally as per brand’s design and quality.
*If those items need to develop then there might be separate TF for them other than garment TF.
* Merchandiser need to check the TF carefully and count altogether how many labels and Tags are used in one garment.
* On TF designer clearly specify the position of the tag and labels.
* Price tag and poly sticker always printed with barcode and buyer provides barcode lay out file separately.
5) Print and Embroidery in the TF
Print and Embroidery is an essential part of the TF that designer provides as the base of season’s theme and brand’s concept. Garments print and embroidery is basically inspirational and made for attraction to the end customers.
The highlight issues of print and embroidery
* Designer provides AI file along with TF for print and embroidery.
* Based on fabric quality of print and embroidery differ.
* Sometime, in the beginning of the season buyer provides some example of quality for print and embroidery that will be used for the season and TF provides the information that copy of print has been given.
* Or provide related picture to get the inspiration. Even sometime designer may ask different quality from merchandiser for print and embroidery to use.
* Merchandiser must need to be aware about the cost what actually buyer will pay for the print and quality of embroidery.
6) Wash, wet and dry process.
A garment has to go with several process during manufacturing period and in this regard the wash process is important matter. Wet and dry process can be determined as per requirement that mentioned in the TF. Designer inform what she wants elaborately and experienced buyer always share their concept during buying meeting but TF also ask the same.
The highlight issues of wash process
* Wash process always done on heavy fabric, generally denim is the most common for the wet and dry process.
* Designer clearly mentions that what she needs and in what size and what position for the process.
* If some process is new in concept buyer provides the inspiration for example to copy at the beginning of the season.
* As the process involved cost so merchandiser must take the clarification for each of the process.
7) Size spec and How to measure.
Measurement sheet is the most important part in the TF that made carefully by the designer for the current season. Season by season size spec might be changed though the style and design is same. This is actually done by designer based on experience of previous season.
How to measure indicates the way of measurements to be taken in the garments. There might have various measurement of technique by the different brand and designer such as, if some buyer wants measurements including neck rib some other wants excluding it. So for this problem there need clear and details indications of measurements point, where to start the measurements and where to end of measurement.
The highlight issues of Size spec and How to measure
* Size spec made in inches or in centimetres based on brands.
* Generally, In the size spec designer makeS the measurements on base size or sample size then prepare the grading for other sizes.
* If any point of measurement is not mentioned then the merchandiser should take clarification from buyer.
* How to measure is indicated with number such as A4, A3, X2 that actually same number of measurement mentioned in the size spec.
* The more How to measure is indicated clearly the more garment measurements will be accurate.
8) Packing instructions
Packing is final goods that the way end user receives them and so the get up and good looking is more important while packing. Each brand gives packing instruction based on selling strategy but in general low grade customers take goods in regular packing. If board pack or standard shirt pack needed, then packing cost will be higher than regular pack. Generally, the packing instruction can be found on TF.
In conclusion it could be said to understand a TF merchandiser need to study different brand and their files. This will help the beginner to learn the files and document that provided by the customer.