What Is Garment Costing ?
Garment costings are the sum of all the individual costs involved in the production of a garment. The sum of all these costs, plus the profit margin is the final selling price.
Just as importantly, garment costing involves how to reduce those costs in order to increase profits. Every penny saved adds to the profitability of the garment, and the viability of your business.
Teaching You How To Cost A Garment.
We can teach you how to cost a garment professionally, through our garment costings workshop. This is an intensive, two hour workshop that guides you through each stage of the costings process. We provide you with all the tools, forms and information you need.
It is important for any business owner and potential investors to understand garment costings. No-one wants to invest in a business where the sums dont add up. Neither do they want to invest in a business owner who does not know the costs involved, or how to calculate them.
What Do Costs Include ?
There are many different costs that go into garment production, including :-
- Fabric consumption
- Value added services
- Accessories – hangers, bags etc.
- Shipping and logistics
- Business overheads
- Sales commission
There is another similar but distinctly different definition of costing in the apparel industry. This refers to the amount of fabric that a garment takes. It is sometimes referred to as “yardage” even though it is generally calculated in metric.
Fabric consumption is of course calculated as part of the overall costing for a garment.
It is very important to calculate your fabric consumption carefully, as this is an area where great savings can be made. You need to limit wastage as much as possible.
Clothing fabric comes in a variety of widths. While the widths can be measured either in imperial or metric units, the lengths are always measured in metric in the UK.
The most common fabric widths are – 36″, 45″ or 60″ ( 90 cms, 114 cms or 152 cms ). The actual widths of the fabric can vary from the nominal width, so it is best to check this before working out the fabric consumption.
Sometime different bolts of the same cloth can have different widths. So, where the costing is tight, it is important to check the widths of each bolt.
The usable width is smaller than the actual width, because normally the areas at the edges of the fabric are rougher than the main fabric.
This edge is called the selvage, or selvedge ( meaning self- finished edge ). So when we do our fabric costings we need to allow for the selvedge wastage.
Fabric costs make up a significant part of the overall price of a garment – Normally somewhere between 40% and 80%. So any savings that can be made in fabric consumption, or fabric choice can be significant.
The pattern construction itself can be very important when it comes to fabric consumption. A pattern with only large pieces may be very wasteful. A skirt or dress may need a centre back seam in order to make it more cost effective.
If there is a lot of wastage in your design, it is very much worth your while to adjust your design or choose a different width fabric for better economy.
To get an idea how much wastage there is in a particular design, it can be useful to place all the pattern pieces on the fabric in any direction, with no allowance for direction of grain, just to see what the ideal costing would be.
Sometimes people forget that a particular fabric may have only one direction. It is often advisable to calculate for laying the pattern in one direction anyway, just in case.
Fabrics such as velvet are usually cut with the pile facing up, so that the colour appears richer. But you could also plan to cut it so that half of the styles were cut in one direction, and the other half the other way up.
In the past factories would expect to get “cabbage” from the production. This is where the factory would be given a generous costing, so that they could cut a few extra to sell themselves.
Garment trims include zips, elastic, buttons etc. The use of trims can be very important for a small fashion business, at they can add value beyond their cost. But good trims can be expensive, so choosing wisely is vital.
All garments need labels. Some of these labels can be generic, while others may have to be designed for you. These labels will be subject to minimum order quantities.
In the long run it is worth investing in well designed labels that reflect your brand. But many small businesses do not have the finances available in the early stages, to invest in the minimum quantities necessary for a small order.
Value Added Services
Value added services include services such as pleating, embroidery, washing processes, printing, etc. As the term suggests, these services should add value to the finished garment.
CMT, or cut make and trim, is the actual cost of production. It does not include fabrics, trims, shipping etc. UK factories generally offer CMT, while offshore factories often offer a more comprehensive FFP service.
The Costings Workshop
This two hour, one-to-one, garment costings workshop is designed for the clothing start-up owner. It provides a comprehensive costing of the designs, and provides tips in cutting costs significantly in selective areas.
Many start-ups have no idea of the costs involved in garment production, and find it difficult to collate all the various costs together.
Emile will conduct the workshop. He will assist you to put together a costing analysis for your specific designs.
He will try to pinpoint areas where you can save money, while also suggesting where he thinks that extra money needs to be spent in order to ensure a desirable product.
Emile will collate all the costs of patterns, grading, samples, production, labels, tags, fabrics, trims, shipping etc.
Understand The Costs
It is absolutely vital for any start-up entrepreneur to understand the costs and to spend wisely. Sometimes a tremendous amount can be saved by using a cheap supplier. Or to buy a cut price fabric.
At other times it is necessary to use a more expensive supplier. But it may not be economical to use either the cheapest or the most expensive.
” The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get I will never be as good as a wall”. MITCH HEDBERG
It can be more cost effective to do some stuff yourself, rather than to out source it. But never try to do a skilled job yourself just to save money.
It will take you far longer to do and you will not make a good job of it. Ask yourself what else you could use that time for that would be more productive.
Never attempt to make the patterns or samples yourself. This would not be cost effective. Sometimes It can be cost effective to have the grading completed abroad, but always get an experienced grader to supply a sizing chart first.
One area that can save a considerable amount of money is fabric sourcing. The fabric costs are generally thought to be around 50% – 70% of the overall cost of a garment.
Emile has a great deal of knowledge of fabrics and suppliers. Obtaining half price fabrics would significantly reduce the production costs, and could easily be the difference between profit or loss.
While we can guide you with the costs of running your business as a whole, this workshop is not really designed for that purpose, There are too many variables depending on your business model .
You will also have the opportunity to put your ideas into practise as we can provide a comprehensive pattern, sample and production service. We have no minimums and we only produce small quantities, but we can provide guidance and referrals for larger scale production runs.