We love seeing work in progress and thanks to our local production being only 25 minutes drive away, I popped down there last week to have a catch up on production and to also take a few shots for you to see what goes on behind the scenes…
Cutting the fabric
Alot of patterns start off on card and require new patterns (or grading) for each size. This can either be via more card patterns across each size or by a pattern program (Gerber for instance) depending on the factory's preference. The cutter proceeds to cut the meterage of fabric required for one garment, say in a size Small, and layers up each cutting for the number of units in that size.
They then lay the pattern sheet or pieces across the fabric (this is how they calculate the rating of fabric used per garment) and using large machinery proceed to cut around the pattern. It is here that they can carefully place each pattern piece across the fabric in order to save the wastage of fabric, however should the fabric be in a texture that can only be cut in one direction (velvet for instance) this process is not an option meaning quite alot of fabric wastage.
Assembling all garment components
Once cut the cutter then assembles all fabric cuttings and relevant trims and bundles them together across the sizes for the next stage to commence.
Pressing the fabrics
The next step is pressing the fabrics before sewing especially if fusing is required. This helps to strengthen relevant parts of the garment that need stability due to regular usage i.e. the waistband of trousers, the front button placket.
Sewing up the garment
And now the garment pieces can be sewn together which takes a lot of time and the machinist often needs to ensure the thread colour is correct and suitable stitch techniques are used to keep seams strong and achieve a neat finish. The tension of the stitches also needs to be factored in in relevance to the fabric type alongside careful stitching at certain points, for example the curved hem edge on the Long Sleeved Longline Cotton Shirt has been quite a tricky point.
Now each garment needs to be checked over and measured to ensure it is within tolerance to the measurement specification sheet across each size. Loose threads need to be trimmed to keep the tidiness and each garment needs to be pressed and tagged up with relevant care labels and brand labels to complete the finished product.
Just a taster of behind the scenes to reflect on the detail and precision that goes into the creation of each garment. Across tiny pleats, jersey styles cut on the bias, printed garments in delicate silk that require patterns to match at all seam points to name a few, the process in itself is a hard grafting talent and one of which is great to acknowledge and recognise.