Table of Contents
P E A R S O N C U S T O M L I B R A R Y
1. Overview of Apparel Production
Claire Shaeffer 1
2. Quick-Start Tutorial
Claire Shaeffer 19
3. Orientation: The Lockstitch Machine
Claire Shaeffer 35
4. Basic Skills: The Lockstitch Machine
Claire Shaeffer 55
5. Other Industrial Equipment
Claire Shaeffer 79
6. Basic Production Skills
Claire Shaeffer 101
7. Seams: Types, Classifications, and Basic Plain Seams
Claire Shaeffer 113
8. More Plain Seams
Claire Shaeffer 135
9. Seam and Hem Finishes
Claire Shaeffer 149
10. Self-Finished Seams
Claire Shaeffer 161
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15. Support Materials
Claire Shaeffer 245
16. The Production Process
Claire Shaeffer 269
17. Bands, Cuffs, and Waistbands
Claire Shaeffer 283
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23. Bias and Bias Application
Claire Shaeffer 403
24. Linings and Backings
Claire Shaeffer 419
25. Knit Types and Seams
Claire Shaeffer 433
26. Hems and Edge Finishes
Claire Shaeffer 447
27. Appendix: Saftey Rules
Claire Shaeffer 475
28. Appendix: Forms
Claire Shaeffer 477
29. Appendix: Using Measuring Tools
Claire Shaeffer 491
30. Appendix: Comparison of Commonly Used Fibers
Claire Shaeffer 495
31. Appendix: Hand Sewing Basics
Claire Shaeffer 501
32. Appendix: Pressing Tools and Techniques
Claire Shaeffer 511
33. Appendix: ASTM Schematics of Seams and Stitches
Claire Shaeffer 513
34. Appendix: Troubleshooting Stitching and Pressing Defects
Claire Shaeffer 523
35. Appendix: Basic Tools and Supplies
Claire Shaeffer 529
36. Appendix: Burn Test as a Fiber Identification Aid
Claire Shaeffer 531
37. Appendix: Pattern Numbers and Shapes
Claire Shaeffer 535
Claire Shaeffer 545
Claire Shaeffer 555
Overview to Apparel Production
Apparel manufacturing firms are just as diverse as the designs they produce. They can be large or small, have one employee or thousands, and produce high-end high-fashion or budget everyday garments. They can have one machine or hundreds, produce one-offs or thousands, and manufacture all goods in house or use outside contractors. They can have one plant or dozens,manufacture in America or offshore, and produce garments for men,women, or children. They can be diversified or specialists and may produce only for a particular store or large chain, for many wholesalers, or for one exclusive boutique. Clearly no two firms are exactly alike, but all focus on providing the target customer with apparel that meets his or her expectations for performance,quality, and value.
Apparel manufacturing is composed of three processes: design, production, and merchandising. The design department develops ideas into styles, the production department produces or manufactures the garments, and the merchandising department promotes and sells them.
After completing this chapter, you will be able to:
• Describe the organizational structure of an apparel manufacturer.
• Identify and define job opportunities in apparel manufacturing.
• Identify and describe the three processes in manufacturing.
• Describe the interaction among the design, production, and merchandising departments.
• Evaluate fit on the sample garment.
• Identify the machines most commonly used in the needle trades.
• Identify the six stitch classifications.
THE DESIGN PROCESS
The design process begins in the design department, whose primary purpose is to develop a successful product. This complex process requires a thorough knowledge of what will sell and what can be manufactured at a profit, as well as the ability to create new and interesting styles.
Product development takes place in the design studio. Generally the design studio is a room or group of rooms with tables for patternmaking and cutting and machines for making sample garments. The designer is responsible for all aspects of the design process. In a small firm, he or she may actually do all the work. In larger firms, a staff of designers, assistant designers, samplemakers, patternmakers, and graders, each with specific skills and responsibilities, share the work under the supervision of a head designer. Many firms have no design department or operate with skeleton staffs that rely on freelance designers or stylists for designs and design-related services.
Product development, or the creation of new styles, involves a variety of specific operations: developing design ideas, selecting fabrics that are available and appropriately priced, making the first pattern, making a sample garment or prototype, evaluating and refining the fit and design, computing the cost, making a production pattern, making duplicates, and grading the production pattern.
From Idea to First Pattern
The designer begins with a thorough knowledge of the firm’s target market, its target customer, his or her buying habits, and hundreds of ideas and sketches from many sources. Design ideas fall into three categories: (1) modifications or new fabrications of successful styles from the current or previous season and adaptations of current trends; (2) knockoffs or copies of more expensive, high-fashion designs; and (3) original, trend-setting designs.
Most designers make a croquis or sketch, as shown in Figure 1, to describe the design and clarify the concept. If the designer is making the first pattern or working closely with the patternmaker, the croquis may have little detail. If the croquis will be turned over to an assistant, first patternmaker, or freelance patternmaker, it will be more detailed and very accurate. It will clearly represent the designer’s ideas for the silhouette, seams, and darts; such style features as sleeves, cuffs, collar type and shape, yokes, and pockets; and such design details as belts and epaulets, fastenings, and trims. It may also include notes on construction methods. The first patterns for most designs are made using the firm’s slopers or body shapes. The slopers are basic patterns for blouses, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, and jackets that reflect current fashion styles. They have a specific fit and silhouette and have been used successfully in the past. If the design is entirely different, a new sloper is developed from the basic block or foundation pattern or from another sloper. The basic block follows the natural line of the target customer’s body shape.
The Sample Garment
Once the new pattern is made, it is used to cut a sample or trial garment. In some workrooms the sample garment is cut by the assistant designer or patternmaker; in others, by the samplemaker. If the design is completely new, it is cut from muslin. If it is a new version of a previously successful style, the sample garment is often cut from a sample cut of a material being considered for production.
Generally the pattern pieces are placed on the fabric and secured with weights. Then chalk or a wellsharpened pencil is used to trace the pattern onto the fabric. Although the sample can be cut without chalking the outline, careless cutting at this stage can damage the original pattern as well as the sample itself. Next, a skilled seamstress or samplemaker, who requires no instructions or assistance, assembles the garment. The samplemaker is responsible for sewing the entire garment precisely and for advising the design team if the pattern pieces do not fit together properly.