The question that so often comes up for new designers is about production. For anyone who is new to the industry, the apparel manufacturing process is something of a mystery.
With every production partner having its own way of doing things, this isn’t surprising. Production is one of those parts of creating a physical product that, until you’re in it, there’s no way to fully prepare.
Challenges will come up for you that won’t come up for your peers. Questions will go unanswered until you’re in the thick of the production line. And truthfully, the best way to learn is by going through it.
With that said, there are ways to prepare yourself, knowledge to obtain and lessons to learn before you dive in. The better prepared you are with the concepts, terms and order of production, the better off your first production run will be.
With this in mind, I interviewed Mindy Martell, the owner and president of Clothier Design Source, an apparel production house in St. Paul, Minnesota. In this 20 minute video interview, Mindy and I talk about:
- Some of the early mistakes that new designers make in the production process.
- A list of the 7 most important things you need in place before you can start production.
- An explanation of what grading is, why you need it and what’s involved in grading a garment.
- What a new designer should know about ordering labels.
- How production cutting works, what “yield” is and how different colorways can affect your cost.
- What to expect when you start production.
- How to control your quality.
- And Mindy’s most important piece advice for new designers.