The Fundamentals of Quality Assurance in the Textile Industry by Stanley Bernard Brahams

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The Fundamentals of Quality Assurance in the Textile Industry
By Stanley Bernard Brahams
The Fundamentals of Quality Assurance in the Textile Industry

Contents
Preface ....................................................................................................xi
Acknowledgments ................................................................................ xv
Author .................................................................................................xvii
Introduction .........................................................................................xix
Chapter 1 Who Is Responsible for Quality? ........................................ 1
Defining the Role of the Quality Controller.......................... 1
Company Profiles .................................................................. 2
International High Fashion Brand with Shops and
In-Store Concessions - Company A .................................. 2
Chain of Departmental Stores, Catalog Companies,
and Internet Shops - Company B ...................................... 2
Import Agent - Company C .............................................. 3
New Label - Company D .................................................. 3
Job Brief ................................................................................ 4
Candidate Profile .............................................................. 5
Chapter 2 Risk Analysis ....................................................................... 7
Chapter 3 Three Fundamentals for Effective Control of the
Supply Chain ..................................................................... 11
Supply Chain ............................................................................... 11
Chapter 4 Writing Procedures for the Supply Chain ....................... 13
Chapter 5 Specifications ..................................................................... 17
Specification Examples .............................................................. 21
Reefer Coat .............................................................................. 22
Men’s Short-Sleeve Knitted Shirt ......................................... 36
Ladies’ Fashion Trouser ........................................................ 45
Rucksack ................................................................................ 54
Men’s Cardigan .....................................................................63
Girls’ Dress with Full Skirt................................................. 68
Ladies’ Unlined Motorbike Jacket ......................................75
Ladies’ Tie Dress with Bodice Seams .................................82
Sending Specifications ........................................................ 88
Chapter 6 Fit and Fit Sessions ........................................................... 89
Chapter 7 Fabric Specification and Performance ............................ 93
Chapter 8 Fabric Testing ................................................................... 97
Chapter 9 Supplier’s Manual ........................................................... 101
Sampling Procedures ..............................................................102
Fabric Minimum Performance Standards ...........................103
Basic Size Charts and Specifications for Core Lines ..........108
Manufacturing Guidelines .....................................................125
Packaging and Presentation ...................................................125
Trouser Hanger with Bar .......................................................130
Trouser’s Inside ........................................................................131
Standard Carton Specification ..............................................147
Acknowledgments ...................................................................148
Chapter 10 Product Development .................................................... 149
Review of a Jeans Range .........................................................149
Girls’ Dress Development .......................................................155
Chapter 11 Managing the Critical Path ........................................... 163
Chapter 12 Sample Reports and Approval ....................................... 169
Chapter 13 Assessing and Working with Factories ......................... 175
Report from China ..................................................................177
Factory A ..............................................................................179
ITR 318 .................................................................................180
ISK 326 Black Mini with Diamante’s ...............................180
ITR 318 for Bigger Sizes .....................................................180
Factory B ..............................................................................181
Factory C ..............................................................................181
Factory D .............................................................................182
Factory E ..............................................................................182
Factory F ..............................................................................182
Factory G .............................................................................183
Factory H .............................................................................183
Factory I ...............................................................................183
Factory J ...............................................................................184
Summary .............................................................................185
Chapter 14 Inspection of Merchandise ............................................ 187
Acceptable Quality Levels ......................................................187
Examining Garments ............................................................ 190
Factory History ........................................................................194
Chapter 15 More Preventative Action .............................................. 197
A Case Study - Review of a Company’s Quality
Assurance .................................................................................197
Sizing and Grading .............................................................197
Quality Control Directives ................................................198
Supplier Manuals ................................................................198
Product Data Management ...............................................198
Summary .............................................................................199
Inviting Factory Personnel to Your Head Office................ 202
Faulty Returns ........................................................................ 202
Scary Moments ....................................................................... 203
A Trip to the Stores ................................................................ 204
Benchmarking ........................................................................ 204
Team Building ........................................................................ 205
Odd Bedfellows ....................................................................... 206
Summary ............................................................................................. 209
Index .................................................................................................... 211

Preface
When I joined a national catalog company as quality assurance manager, the buying director came in to see me and pinned the following notice on the wall: “The bitter taste of poor quality outlasts the sweet taste of cheap prices.”

This was a warning about the dynamics that operated in this and most companies. He made it clear that I had the final word on what was acceptable, not the buyers, and I reported directly to him, but he knew pressure would be put on me by the buyers to accept quality that I considered unacceptable or substandard, and if that happened, it would be my responsibility if this resulted in customer complaints. He trusted his buyers to negotiate the best prices, with the right suppliers, but knew that in some instances the temptation of cheap prices could override sound commercial judgment. Theoretically all the factories we deal with should supply us with equally good quality, but in practice we have to deal with suppliers of varying capabilities; the reason usually is that they make certain goods that others can’t supply at a competitive price or don’t have the right machinery. Once gaining a foothold in your company, these suppliers will try and compete for more of your business, and because their prices are cheaper, buyers will be tempted to give them a larger slice of the cake.

The supplier will promise to improve their quality as we give them more orders, but can a leopard change its spots and what should quality controls response be in this type of scenario? First you do not want to appear to be standing in the way of the company buying goods more cheaply and improving profit margins, but equally using suspect suppliers can be the beginning of the slippery slope to poor unacceptable quality, and the role of quality assurance is vital to act as a counterbalance when these situations arise, devising a strategy to ensure that these suppliers comply with your company’s standards. However technically proficient and knowledgeable you are in patterns and garment construction, the role of quality custodian is the most challenging and important part of a quality controllers job as you may at times appear to be a lone voice in saying no when you believe the business will be harmed.

It is worth taking a moment to reflect on the recent history of the clothing industry when approximately 80% of garments sold in either Europe or America were made in those countries and sales, design, and production were usually managed under one roof. Owing to the proximity of design and production, quality problems were quickly identified and resolved. Today production can be thousands of miles away, in a different time zone, in a country whose first language and culture are different from yours; I don’t think you could make things more difficult if you tried.

Stanley Bernard Brahams


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