The Production Process Guide: What is a Tech Pack?

Table of Contents

What is a Tech Pack?

A tech pack or technical pack is a crucial blueprint in the fashion industry, containing all the specifications needed to make your clothing. It’s an essential document for designers and production teams when generating new collections, as it helps clearly communicate every little detail about what you are making to your manufacturer.

Many fashion designers often overlook or rush through this document, dismissing it as unimportant and leading to costly mistakes and delays. The quality of your product will heavily depend on the quality of your tech pack. In this post, we’ll cover the fundamentals of creating the perfect fashion tech pack for the first time and illustrate how digital tech packs can simplify this process.

SupplyScope allows you to collaborate with your team to create mood boards and tech packs in minutes, which you can share directly with your manufacturing partner.

Why is a Tech Pack Important?

Saves Time and Money

Tech packs clearly communicate your product to your manufacturer, reducing the scope for mistakes and the number of samples a manufacturer may need to produce. A good fashion tech pack will also provide manufacturers with enough details to easily assess the requirements of your product and provide more accurate price quotations.

Quality Control

Quality control is super important when launching a new fashion product. A comprehensive tech pack will act as a one-stop reference point when assessing the quality of samples and bulk products. By referencing your tech pack, you can easily identify manufacturing errors. Tech packs can be particularly helpful when it comes to perfecting fit quality and ensuring products are within tolerance.

Easier Collaboration

Assembling all the details relating to your product in one place makes collaboration with team members from across your business easier. Tech packs are a universal language for fashion product development and provide an easy translation for your manufacturer.

What Does a Good Fashion Tech Pack Include?

Product Summary

The product summary is a concise overview of the garment, encapsulating essential information for reference and communication purposes. It typically includes key details such as the product name, product code, and a brief product description outlining its features, design elements, and intended use.

SupplyScope's fashion tech pack product summary
Example overview of a tech pack

Technical drawings

Technical drawings are detailed illustrations that provide visual guidance for garment construction. These drawings typically include annotated flat sketches depicting the front and back views of the garment, along with close-up views of specific design elements such as pockets, pleats, seams, and stitching details. The annotations serve to identify and label each component, specifying its dimensions, size, and placement within the garment.
Technical drawing of a T-shirt

Example of point of measurement for your measurement specification.

Measurement & Grading Specifications

Measurement specifications are essential, encompassing critical dimensions such as length, width, circumference, and feature placement. These measurements ensure that the garment fits appropriately across diverse body types. Size grading rules are crucial for maintaining fit consistency across different sizes, enabling manufacturers to scale measurements effectively while accommodating body proportion variations. Additionally, establishing a realistic tolerance range accounts for potential manufacturing variations, ensuring fit quality during production. Fit testing with representative models validates fit and comfort.

 

Tips for Effective Measurement Documentation:

  • Utilize standardized measurement terminology and techniques to enhance clarity and consistency in documentation.
  • Incorporate detailed illustrations, diagrams, or photographs to supplement written descriptions and facilitate comprehension.
  • Consider the potential impact of fabric characteristics, garment construction, and design elements on fit and adjust measurement specifications accordingly.
  • Regularly review and update measurement specifications based on fit feedback, market trends, and evolving customer preferences to maintain relevance and accuracy.

Measurement table with SupplyScope's interface
Example of measurement by sizes of a t-shirt and setting up tolerance expectations to factories.

Construction Details

Construction details in a garment’s tech pack provide essential instructions on how the garment should be assembled during the manufacturing process. These details go beyond the visual representation provided by technical drawings and offer specific guidance to manufacturers on executing the design accurately.

Here’s a deeper explanation of what construction details entail:

  1. Assembly Instructions: Step-by-step instructions on how to assemble the various components of the garment. This may involve specifying the order in which different pieces should be sewn together or how specific seams should be stitched.
  2. Stitching Techniques: The type of stitches to be used (e.g., straight stitch, zigzag stitch) and the stitch length or tension settings.
  3. Seam Finishes: Garments often require seam finishes to prevent fraying and enhance durability. Construction details may specify the type of seam finish to be applied, such as serged seams, French seams, or bound seams.
  4. Edge Treatments: Certain edges of the garment may require special treatments to achieve the desired look and functionality. Construction details may include instructions for applying techniques such as hemming, binding, or piping to finish the edges neatly.
  5. Reinforcements: In areas of the garment that experience higher stress or wear, reinforcements may be necessary to enhance strength and durability. Construction details may indicate where reinforcements such as interfacing, stay stitching, or additional layers of fabric should be applied.
  6. Closure Methods: Instructions for attaching closures, such as zippers, buttons, snaps, or hooks and eyes, are also included in construction details. This ensures that closures are installed correctly and function smoothly.
  7. Label Placement: Construction details may specify the placement of labels, tags, or branding elements on the garment. This ensures consistency in branding and provides guidance to manufacturers on where to attach these elements.

Construction detail in a tech pack in SupplyScope

Bill of Materials (BOM)

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is a comprehensive document essential for manufacturing, detailing all key materials necessary for product creation. It serves as an inventory of components, aiding in production planning, sourcing, and quality control. The components listed in the BOM include embroideries, prints, labels, buttons, tags, threads, trims, fastenings, and embellishments. Each component’s entry in the BOM contains relevant details such as material type, color, dimensions, placement, and any specific instructions for application or assembly.

Here’s a deeper explanation of the components typically included in the BOM:

  1. Name: This refers to the name or description of each material/component. It helps identify the specific item and ensures clarity in communication.
  2. Colorways: Colorways indicate the different color options available for each material/component. This information is crucial for ensuring consistency in product appearance across different variants or designs.
  3. Composition: The composition specifies the materials used to make each component. It includes details such as fabric composition, material grades, or chemical compositions, depending on the nature of the product.
  4. Weight: Weight denotes the mass or density of each material/component. It helps determine the overall weight distribution of the product and ensures compliance with weight specifications or regulations.
  5. Finish: The finish describes the surface treatment or texture applied to the material/component. It includes details such as glossiness, texture, coating, or special finishes like matte or glossy.
  6. Nominated Supplier: This indicates the designated supplier or vendor responsible for providing each material/component. Establishing a reliable supply chain helps ensure consistency in quality, pricing, and delivery timelines.
    List of a tech pack's components in SupplyScope
    Example Bill of Materials table in a tech pack

 

Care Information

Manufacturers often supplement this section with additional information. It must contain all the necessary information for the end consumer to clean and maintain your product effectively.

Cost Sheet

A detailed breakdown of all the costs associated with manufacturing your product. It should give manufacturers an accurate indication of what the raw materials will cost to make your product and will help you to anticipate your sale price or margin.

Comments & feedback

In the sample phase of the product, this section becomes crucial, allowing the recording of any changes in one place. This way, manufacturers can easily identify what changes they need to make based on previous feedback.
Communicating about a tech pack in SupplyScope

How to Make a Fashion Tech Pack?

When it comes to making your fashion tech pack, it is important that you have access to the necessary tools and an in-depth concept for your product. Conventionally, the two main tools that can be used to make your tech pack are Microsoft Excel and Adobe Illustrator.
adobe illustrator and excel logo
While these tools are easily customizable and quick for teams to learn, they do not cater to the unique needs of fashion product development. Although it may seem easier at first to create a tech pack in Adobe, Excel or PowerPoint, problems arise with these tools as the product evolves through the product development process.

What are the Key Challenges With Current Tools?

Harder for Collaboration:

Both your team and your manufacturer need to be able to edit, comment on or modify details. This is not so easy to do on read-only attachments, .pdfs, or offline documents. Users must make comments and changes in real-time, and they should easily identify the latest version.
Multiple PDF tech pack files
An example of an issue is when multiple final tech pack files are stored in a single folder.

Risk of making costly mistakes

Fashion tech packs made using Excel or similar tools are either attached to an email or uploaded to a platform like WeTransfer. This increases the possibility of the files not being sent to the right individuals or, in some cases, the link expiring! This method makes it easy to attach the wrong version and forget a critical piece of sample feedback. These small human errors can be very costly once your product reaches the production stage.

Miscommunication

Manufacturers sometimes find interpreting every unique tech pack for every brand they produce difficult. It’s easier for them if there is a certain degree of standardization across all the tech packs they receive. This would inevitably minimize the potential for mistakes and make working with your manufacturer easier.

Why Modern Product Developers are Moving to Digital Tech Packs?

Digital tools provide you with all the essential resources to instantly build detailed and clean tech packs in one purpose-built platform. Cloud-based software such as SupplyScope PLM makes it super easy for your product development team to collaborate on pieces. It makes sharing your tech pack with manufacturers reliable and easy.

Benefits of Digital Tech Packs with SupplyScope PLM

Faster to create

Create tech packs in minutes with the option to drag and drop components from existing products.
Fabric card getting dragged into a fashion tech pack

Easy to revise

Instantly revise all elements of your tech pack in one place. No need to navigate multiple tools and files.
Arrows on a hoodie to indicate its componenents
Markup and Annotate your product measurement in the SupplyScope App

Intuitive to use

The simple and convenient layout that allows any level of user to familiarise themselves quickly.
size and measurement tab in SupplyScope
Managing Product Measurement of your digital tech pack via SupplyScope

Easy to share

Instantly share up-to-date copies of your tech pack with one click, and recipients don’t need to create an account to view the shared link.
SupplyScope's collaborate pop up

Real-time collaboration

Allow multiple team members to update, revise or communicate simultaneously in one place.
SupplyScope's add project members icon

One up-to-date copy

With automatic updates; never worry about the wrong version ending up with your manufacturer.

Extensive library of resources and templates

Get inspired and use our extensive card library of measurements, materials, and components to build and customize your own products in minutes instantly.
SupplyScope's community library
SupplyScope Setup Library of Component Cards

 

ByPreet

Co-Founder at SupplyScope

Preet has over 15 years of experience in Product Development for some of the world's largest retailers. With a desire to improve the processes of his own business and frustrated by the limitations the existing software, Preet founded SupplyScope, and set out on a journey to improve how teams manage their products from design to production. ​

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