Product Development FAQ
How Do I Develop Clothing Product ?
(064). We are often asked how to go about developing a clothing product. This page is aimed mainly at developing a single garment product, although it is also relevant to a collection of garments.
Where Do I Start ?
If possible, start with relevant existing garments for fit, size, shape, or particular features. Developing a single product normally suggests a technical garment that requires a fair amount of sample development. This can be expensive for a startup on a budget, if not kept in check. Costs need to be kept down to an absolute minimum.
Even if yours is a completely new idea, there will be relevant garments out there that you can refer to. For instance, although cycling wear, equestrian wear and motor cycling wear are different fields of clothing, there are similarities.
Each discipline involves similar ergonomics, with similar weather requirements. But each has its own specific functional requirements. A cyclists clothing needs to be light and breathable. A motor cyclist needs armour protection more than it needs lightness.
How Do I Keep Development Costs Down ?
In order to avoid enormous development costs, try to find garments that have similar requirements to your own design. It is preferable to use the best example that you can find of its type. It doesnt have to be the most expensive, but it should be a trusted brand in its field.
If its a cycling top, then you might choose Endura. If its a motorcycle garment, you might choose Belstaff. These brands would have spent many thousands of pounds developing each of their products.
You need to use what they have already done, and build on it with your own design. Whatever you do, you dont want to start from scratch. Dont use a fashion brands imitation of the real thing as your starting point. They will not have used specialists for their version.
Should I Employ A Mentor ?
Definitely. If you have no knowledge of the clothing industry, at some point you will need to find someone who would act as a mentor. Your mentor could be a designer, a factory owner, a pattern cutter, a clothing technician, or a fashion business consultant. They would guide you through the whole process. It doesnt have to cost a lot as long as you use their knowledge economically.
Even if you do have some experience within the industry, you will still probably need a specialist adviser with wide ranging knowledge of the industry. At the very minimum, you need someone with fifteen years experience. Preferably more, because they need to have a wide range of capabilities.
What Information Do You Need ?
- Front and back technical sketch. Neatly hand drawn is fine.
- Any relevant garments are extremely useful for shape and size.
- A look book, or mood board of ideas and inspirations.
- A general outline of what you are trying to achieve.
Do You Need A Tech Pack ?
No, we dont need a tech pack. They can cause problems if the tech pack maker is not sufficiently experienced or knowledgeable. We do have a tech pack service.
How Much Does Sample Development Cost ?
The cost of developing the sample can vary enormously, depending on a variety of factors. We can give you a rough estimate of costs when we see what your garment product is. Some garments can take far longer than others. It also depends on the quality of the information we receive from you.
Most of the samples we make are quite straight forward, requiring just the one sample, with maybe a few alterations. A technical garment normally needs around three samples before the final approval.
Lets take the example of a lined technical cycling jacket. And lets assume that you have given us a reference garment for shape and fit. These are the estimated costs for developing the sample:
- Pattern – £400
- Toile – £60
- 3 Samples – £360
Do You Have Any Specific Advice ?
Well tons actually. But to quote Voltaire – “Dont let the perfect be the enemy of the good” would be a good start.