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I have found in recent years that more and more clothing factories insist on garment Tech Packs before they will begin production, even for small startup fashion companies.  While it adds an extra layer of bureaucracy to the process, it makes sense both for the factory and the client. It takes the guess work out of the equation, and shows that the client has a  professional approach.

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 But most  startup  owners do not know what a tech pack is,how to provide one, or how much it costs. Often they do not  have a clear idea how they want their design to be made. They tend to rely on the factory to just sort it all out for them. The factory may well do just that, but not always as the Designer had envisaged.

A detailed  Tech Pack is absolutely vital for a large business, because they stand to lose a lot of money if their styles are rejected by a retailer, who may decide to cancel an entire order for a small discrepancy.If the retailer hits a tough period financially, they may be looking for any excuse to cancel an order that they can no longer afford.

“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – Zero.” VOLTAIRE

For the smaller businesses there is not the same need for such a precisely detailed pack, but it is still advantageous for both the factory and the customer to provide any important information related to the manufacture.

If the factory believe that you have a professional approach they are more likely to take you seriously and to put care into your styles. they are less likely to outsource your production . Many factories will not even consider your order if you do not provide a tech pack.

Small businesses are still vulnerable to rejection by the retailer of their styles, especially because a small shop is often under considerable financial pressure. They may be looking for any excuse to cancel an order it has received – possibly due to financial problems, or other unforeseen problems.  The tech  pack provides vital information to the factory to enable them to construct the design correctly.

Ideally the Tech Pack should be presented along with a correct sample. Information would normally include a front and back sketch with details of  stitching and seams, along with trims and other details such as embroidery or printing.

Anything that requires specific instructions should be illustrated and described succinctly. Fabrics, trims, tags and labels should be specified. A separate measurement sheet should be supplied for all important measurements in all sizes.


Although a tech pack is essential to ensure perfect production, the price of  tech packs can be prohibitive to a small startup.  Some factories will provide you with a tech pack, but charge a lot of money for the privilege of instructing themselves how to make your garment. Others will not provide the service at all, but will insist on a tech pack being provided independently.

The price of a tech pack can be anywhere from £80  to £500 plus, depending on the complexity of the design and the depth of information required.

Providing a professional tech pack requires years of experience. It is not something that you can just do yourself without this experience. So the trick for the startup on a budget is getting a professional tech pack at a reasonable price.  If a size spec is required, this would add to the cost as it can be quite time consuming to formulate one. Childrenswear can cost more as there are so many more sizes.

The price of a tech pack can vary from around £80 up to around £400.  It is important to make sure that whoever makes the tech pack is sufficiently knowledgeable and experienced  to do the job properly. While I have illustrated that you can save a lot of money by not  using a tech pack for the sample, you definitely dont want to skimp  unnecessarily in this area.

The price would depend on the complexity of the design and the amount of information required for the factory.  If there are large production runs at stake, then this is definitely a worthwhile investment. Even for small production runs, I would recommend having a professional tech pack created, but it would be worth considering the tech pack workshop as an alternative.

How Much Is A Tech Pack Workshop ?

For some small startup brands on a restricted budget, it can be cost effective to do some of the tech pack work yourself. If you have a number of similar styles, it can be fairly straight forward to create your own tech pack using one that has already been done. This is why we offer the 1-1 tech pack workshops. The cost for this workshop is £160.

Tech Pack Workshops

It is obvious from our many enquiries concerning tech packs that most of our clients dont really understand why and when they are required.  For a startup fashion business I will often advise against having a tech pack if I dont think it is necessary. They  can often be a waste of time and money. Where they are necessary I will try to find a cost effective way of providing the tech pack. Because they require substantial professional knowledge they cannot really be done by non professionals.

While we can complete entire tech packs for you, we often find that the best and most cost effective solution is to provide bespoke  tech pack workshops for our clients. In these 1-1 workshops we go through your designs with you and provide the information for you to complete  as much of the tech packs as you need, using our tech pack templates.

We can advise you on the types of seams, or stitching. We can advise on which labels you need and what important information you need to supply for a successful outcome. If you have a number of designs that are similar, you may feel that you dont need to pay for a tech pack for each design.

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We provide a number of  one day and half day workshops for fashion Business Startups. These are invaluable workshops for both complete novices and more experienced fashion people. Please check The London Pattern Cutter for details. Workshops we offer include :-


Your tech pack is an essential blueprint for your garment design. We offer fashion  tech pack creation  by highly skilled  professionals. We also offer 1-1 tech pack workshops in which we give practical demonstrations  of how to create your own tech packs using your own styles. But some fashion startups still prefer to create the tech packs themselves.

Tech Pack Template

For these people we can provide tailored tech pack templates. While we dont really encourage the DIY approach, for some it can be a cost effective solution as long as the template is relevant to your needs and as long as you have some guidance in completing the tech pack professionally.

We certainly would not recommend this if large production runs are concerned, although it can be cost effective for small production runs. Even then, it is necessary to have a tech pack template that is tailored to the specific business and  the styles involved. It is also advisable to have some guidance  as normally a tech pack would be completed by someone with considerable experience and knowledge.

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How much is a tech pack template ?

We offer two types of tech pack template services – Supported, or unsupported. In both cases you would need to contact us in order to discuss what type of templates you need for your specific designs. But in the supported version we will give you telephone and email support  while you create the tech packs yourself. The price for both the supported and unsupported templates would depend on the templates you need.

Why use a tech pack ?

A  tech pack, or technical pack,  is a garment specification sheet that provides the blueprint for your  design. It is a crucial tool  used in garment product development, providing information for the factory to make your style exactly as you designed  it to be. It contains drawings, measurements and technical information and ensures that there is a clear and precise record of how your garment should be made.

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It can be both expensive and time consuming  to produce a comprehensive  tech pack for each garment.  For startup companies producing  small quantities, this can make it prohibitively expensive. It is therefore  really important to understand tech packs, when to use them, and why.

The process of bringing a design to market is actually  a very simple one. But given the notoriously erratic nature of the clothing industry, both within the U.K. and abroad, the outcome will likely be a complete disaster without some elementary advice and assistance. Your tech pack is the first line of defence  to protect you against a bad outcome.

Do I need a tech pack for the sample ?

Many factories and sampling units will insist on a tech pack from the start.  This is not a problem  for  the larger, established manufacturers because they can afford it. But for small startup brands it can prove  to be very expensive and time consuming, especially if they do not fully understand  what a tech pack is.

We at The London Pattern Cutter,  prefer not to use formal tech packs for the initial sample, as we believe them to be unnecessary and prohibitive at this stage. We do of course try to ensure that we gather as much information as necessary to be able to get the sample right first time.

Once the sample is perfected, we can then provide you with a tech pack for  production. If we are doing the production we may not need a formal tech pack, but if you are going elsewhere we would definately advise on using one.

Do I really need a tech pack ?

Unless the designer fully understands what they are doing.  I believe that tech packs  can be a waste of money  that  inhibits the sampling process. This is because, unless you  know exactly what you want you are preventing the pattern cutters and sample makers from using their own judgement.

A professional designer will normally know exactly what construction they want for their garment, but the average startup designer does not really have a clue. They just know what the garment needs to look like.  When you provide a tech pack you are providing complete instructions on making something that you may not understand. Even if you employ a professional, you are still restricting the sample maker.

The sample maker may be happy because they simply need to follow the instructions  to cover themselves. Some sample machinists need to have everything written down, others are happy to just use their own judgement.

But the sample machinist isnt interested in leafing through pages of notes. They just want one sheet of paper with a practical working sketch along with clear and precise information such as seam allowances, hem types, top stitching etc. This is normally provided by the pattern cutter.

In my opinion there is a lot of misinformation about tech packs, given by very experienced fashion professionals.  Throughout the internet and even in popular books on starting a fashion business, these professionals tend to think that everyone starting a fashion brand has plenty of money  available to  do things as the big brands would do them.

Tech Packs For Start-ups

But the average startup fashion company is working on a severely limited budget. This means that they cannot operate in the same way that  the big brands do.  I am not saying that they should not use tech packs – Just that they should use them wisely and efficiently.

Most big brands these days will  not develop their samples in the U.K. They may still have their design studio in London, but the factory may be in Turkey or China.  They  would usually get the factory to do the sample development while they provide the instructions. In this case it would be absolutely necessary to supply a tech pack from the start.

But the tech pack is not a static document. It will change as the design and fit changes. Each change would require a revised tech pack.  The big brands  may make three or four samples of each style before production. This would mean four or five tech packs, as there would need to be a final tech pack for production as well.

It goes without saying that most startups cannot afford to have this many samples, along with  patterns and tech packs. So a method has to be found to reduce costs dramatically without increasing  risks. Unlike many sampling units we do not require tech packs. In fact  we positively discourage them. Once we have made the final sample to your satisfaction, we can then produce a definitive professional tech pack for you to provide to the factory.

I often have clients come to me with their tech packs in hand asking me to provide a sample accordingly. Normally these tech packs have been designed by fairly inexperienced designers. The information is normally incorrect and very restricting, so I usually suggest ignoring the tech pack and starting from scratch. I just get the client to provide me with the type of information I need to ensure as far as possible that the resulting garment is correct.

What information is in a tech pack ?


Size Spec

A size spec  is an important part of any tech pack, although not all tech packs will have a size spec. It is a list of measurements of your design taken at various points on the garment . These are used to check the accuracy of the production. Normally the measurements are initially taken from the factory sample for the base size, then calculated for the other sizes.

The measurements may be taken either on the half, or as full circumference measures. This is very useful for the designer because it keeps the manufacturer on their toes. If the production garments dont come up to spec they can be rejected by the customer, or be returned for alteration.

While it is possible to use  the grading charts with measurements taken from the pattern, rather than the garment specs, the measurements may not be exactly the same. Although you may expect both the pattern and the sample to measure the same, this is not always the case. The sample may stretch or shrink in making, the seams may be slightly bigger or smaller, and the thickness of the material may result in the garment measuring smaller.

” Blessed are the young, for they shall inherit the national debt” HERBERT HOOVER

Technical Sketches

This is probably the most important part of any tech pack as it  is an overview of the style, containing the front and back views of the style, along with important information re construction, stitching, trims, placements  etc.

A picture says a thousand words as they say. It is important for the technical sketch to be clear, accurate and succinct. If there are any special details that need to be explained in more detail it may be necessary to have sketches of those details along with further information on a seperate page.

The Tech-pack workshop would be conducted by Emile. As a designer and a sample maker with many years  experience in the fashion industry, Emile has an in-depth knowledge of what is required by the factories  in a tech pack. The work-shop is two hours long and can be combined with other workshops if required.

We have dealt with many fashion entrepreneurs whos first experience  in the fashion industry has been a complete disaster, due to very basic and  avoidable errors. Often these errors are just due to poor communication with the pattern cutter or with the factory. Sometimes it is due to the assumption that the people they are dealing with have a basic level of competence. Sometimes it is due to the factory taking advantage of the client`s lack of experience.

These days many factories insist on a tech pack. And even if they didnt, it is in your interests that you should provide one, whether required or not. Maybe your pattern cutter could do this for you, or a garment tech. Or you could produce this yourself in our one to one workshop.  Not only would you have a professional tech pack made alongside a fashion professional, but you will also have acquired the knowledge to allow you to produce further tech packs for future designs.

While I dont believe that a tech pack is normally necessary for the sampling, It is  definitely in your interests to have one for the factory. They cannot read your mind, so need to have everything documented.  They need to know exactly how you would like your product to be.

Dont leave anything to chance, especially if the factory is located abroad, where you will not be able to keep an eye on production. You would need to pay for this production before they ship it to you  Information would include all the necessary components for your product. A typical tech pack would include a size chart, detailed sketches, fabrics, trimmings, labels, tags, stitching, seams, etc…

PHONE – 07905-965-305 ( BILL )


Helping fashion startups since 1984