Quick Guide To Sampling Process for Clothing Product Development
We can classify sampling process for a clothing line into two categories:
Development Sampling Stage
Prototype or Proto Sample
Salesman sample/photo shoot sample
Production Sampling Stage
TOP-top of production sample
Size set or size run
Prototype Sample/Proto Sample
-Sample maker or factory makes Proto Sample based on sketch, specs and construction details from the technical package.
-This is the first sample in a product development stage. It is customary to submit sew by sample along with a tech pack as a guidance for a fit and construction.
-Salesman Sample is created in size small in the actual fabrics, trims and colors for the showroom or trade show display.
-The main purpose of the salesman sample is marketing, sales and gathering the feedback from buyers to forecast demand for a specific style.
-The factory makes Fit Sample in the actual fabrics and trims using the specs for the base size (e.g. medium).
-Technical Designer will organize fit session to try on sample on a live model and check a fit and style details accuracy.
-Technical Designer will measure fit sample, conduct fit session, pin the garment and send revised specs to the factory to make a new fit sample.
-Factory will review all notes and revise pattern, make a new fit sample and send it back for approval.
Pre-Production Sample/PP Sample
-Pre-Production or PP Sample is the name for a approved Fit Sample before bulk production start. It means that PP sample will serve as a reference in workmanship, specs and fabrication (fabrics and trims) that factory needs to follow for bulk production.
-PP Sample is an important and the last part of the development process. PP Sample is a visual and tangible agreement between the brand and the factory about how the final clothing style shipment should look and fit.
Top of Production Sample/TOP Sample
-During the bulk production, the factory will randomly pull a few finished garments out of a production line and send it to a buyer’s technical team for a QC (quality control).
-TOP Sample will serve as a checkpoint assurance that factory is following PP Sample specifications.
Size Set Samples or Size Run
-When production is done, the factory will send Size Set or Size Run (one sample of each size). This step checks the garment measurements accuracy for all sizes.
-Technical Designer records all measurements in the tech pack for the future reference.
-Ideally, size set should be sent before the start of production for the grade rule check and its proportional transfer into the graded pattern.
-Unfortunately, there is never enough time for this step. The factory usually sends size set after they complete the bulk production.
-After the bulk production completion, including packing and labeling for shipment, the factory pulls a few shipment ready pieces and sends it to the customer/buyer for a reference.
-Shipment Sample will serve as a future reference for both factory and the buyer (labeling, folding, packaging, tagging etc.)
-Sampling process can be lengthy and costly and will have to be well organized and managed if you want to prevent unnecessary money spending.
-Sampling with domestic manufacturers differs from sampling with overseas factories and the order and a quantity of fit samples may vary.
-The sampling process can shape differently and will depend on the size of the clothing company and the factory they are using to produce their clothing line.
-3D Virtual Prototyping is taking an important role in changing the way we do the sampling process.
- 3D sampling technology offers the new and more efficient way to develop and manufacture the clothing line.
Contact us to learn more about clothing sampling and 3D virtual prototyping.