T Shirt Tech Pack
What Is A Tech Pack ?
A tech pack is a blueprint for your T shirt design. Most UK and foreign factories will insist on you providing one, but your tech pack also serves as a valuable document if you want your T shirt design to be made exactly as you want it.
T shirts are the most basic of garments, so a great place to start if you want to learn how to make tech packs. It is advisable to learn alongside a professional rather than going it alone.
For a full description of how to create a garment tech pack, please refer to our comprehensive page on Tech Pack Design.
Your T Shirt Design.
The first stage to create a T shirt tech pack is to decide whether to use a ready made Tee that you adapt and customise, using design prints, appliques, embroidery, or trims. You would just need to decide on the basic shape, weight and type from a few selected templates.
Most T`s consist of a front, back, sleeves, and collar. The sleeves are normally set-in, but could be raglan. The collar could be round, or V neck. The fit, weight, colour, and length are all important to the overall look.
Find a generic style and fit that you like. Try it on someone who represents your average customer. Make notes as to any changes you would like to make.
Custom Made Design.
There are many great advantages to having your tees custom made to your own design specifications. You can add value to your product with your own details. You can choose your own fabrics, fit, and stitch details.
If you want your T`s to be custom made to your exact specifications, then you will need to provide a basic design sketch for the T shirt itself. It is a good idea to refer to existing garments to assist you in deciding the basic design, shape, fit and length. Your reference garment should be as near to your own design as possible. You may even need more than one reference garment.
The fit of your T is very important, especially if it is a premium product, or if you want to limit returns. You would need a reference garment that is close to the fit that you want as is possible. If you are providing measurements it can be difficult to change the measurements to reflect a different fit.
Ideally try on a number of tees to find one that is close to your ideal fit.
You can either provide your own fabric, or employ our fabric sourcing service. Either way, the fabric will need to be stipulated in the tech pack. Information on the fabric type, quality, and width would need to be provided.
If the T has a rib collar, this is usually made from a separate rib fabric that complements the main fabric.
It is important to know how much fabric each T shirt will consume. It may be that cutting one T shirt will be far more wasteful than cutting two. If one T shirt takes 110 cms , but two T shirts take 180 cms, then your fabric costing would be 90 cms.
Your T shirt design may have various details to increase its value to the customer. Maybe a print, embroidery, contrast stitching, or a pocket. These details must be specified and detailed in the tech pack.
Most T`s use basic overlocked seams, although some more technical tees will use a flatlock seam. You may be happy with standard thread, or prefer a bulk thread for the looper, in order to fluff out the seam. Hems are usually 2 cms flatlocked hems.
Most tees have some top stitching on the hems and round the neck. This may be a single or double row. Sometimes it will be a triple row. Usually the topstitching will be in a matching colour thread. If you prefer a contrast topstitch you will need to stipulate this in your tech pack.
Back Neck Stay.
Most quality tees will have a back neck stay. This is normally a narrow strip of folded fabric stitched into the back neck to prevent stretching. Sometimes the stay can extend to cover the shoulder seam. The stay can also be a branded tape.
The collar is usually constructed in a self coloured rib in a similar weight to the main fabric. It is possible to use self fabric rather than rib, but the result is not as good as rib. Occasionally the sleeve cuffs may also be in rib.
It is important to ensure that rib is decent quality, with a good recovery, so that it doesnt stretch too much, but does provide some stability.
You technical sketch consists of a front and back view of your T shirt design. This should include all the details of your designs such as stitching, print, pocket, label, and embroidery positions, etc.
The spec sheet contain the measurements of your garment, so that the pattern can be created, and so that you can check that the final sample is to spec. The sample will not always measure exactly as spec, even if the pattern is correct.
You dont need to provide a size chart in the tech pack, as the measurements may change between sampling and production. When you provide a size chart you will need to decide what sizing you want.
The general ideal standard is for a 2″ (5 cms) grade. It is not normally advisable to use a smaller increment between sizes. If you want to cover a wider range of sizes, you may prefer a bigger increment. Each individual size will be less precise, but will be intended to fit a wider range of sizes.
While T shirts are the easiest of garments to measure, measurements still need to be taken and labelled correctly. You would need to provide a labelled diagram to accompany the measurements.
A standard T shirt would generally use the following measurements :
Chest circumference. Taken at armhole
Waist circumference. Taken at narrowest
Bicep circumference. Taken at armhole
Sleeve hem circumference.
Centre back length from top of neck band
Centre front length. Taken from top of neck band
Length. Taken from side neck at top of neck band
Neck band depth.
Armhole depth. Straight. measured straight from shoulder to top of side seam
Side seam length
Waist level from top of back neck band
X Shoulder ( Shoulder to shoulder )
Shoulder length. Measured to inside neck band
Back neck drop
Front neck drop
You will need to decide on your grade rules so that you can grade from your base pattern to the other sizes. The grade rules will depend on your market.
Labelling is an important requirement for clothing production. You will need to be aware of the local labelling requirements wherever you are selling.
In your tech pack you will need to list the specific labels you want used, and where they are to be placed. Labels include brand labels, care labels, composition labels, size labels