5 Easy Mistakes to Avoid in Your Tech Packs

 

This post first appeared on Bambify.com


 

There has been much written about what a tech pack should include, but what about what it shouldn’t?

Here are a few tips on what to avoid and how to ensure you stay away from the common pitfalls. 

 

1. Avoid fashion illustrations

Don’t use illustrations in your tech packs! Your tech pack is purely practical in purpose, ‘decorative’ representations could potentially be misinterpreted. It is much more helpful to use ‘flats’, the industry term for to-scale drawings of your garment. 

Flat drawings should show exactly how your product will look when laid out flat on a table. These should be black line drawings with a 100% white fill.

Don’t use any shading, this can be mistaken for design details that aren’t really there. You want your drawings to be as visually accurate as possible.

If you have a physical sample of your product, you can lay it flat onto a cutting mat with a grid. Use the grid to accurately copy the scale and draw out your garment onto graph paper. 

 

2. Avoid paragraphs

Lots of text can be difficult on the eye in any situation. Think of when you read a blog post or scroll down your Facebook wall. Your eye quickly scans the info and picks bits out. Try to avoid paragraphs or large chunks of text. 

Keep sentences bullet pointed and short. Use text boxes with pointer arrows. Diagrams really help (drawn to scale) here too, anything that can be explained in a picture - use visuals.

Make it easy for somebody flicking through your tech pack to quickly find the piece of info they are looking for. Avoid wordiness at all costs, your instructions will often be copied and pasted into Google Translate if you are working with an overseas factory (this happens more than you think)!

 
5 Easy Mistakes to Avoid in your Tech Packs
 

3. Don’t forget headers and footers

Don’t leave the top of your tech pack sheets blank. Keep a style summary at the top of every page of your tech pack. This should include your brand, your name, a description, a style number, the season and the date created. 

Help your factory file and keep track of your tech pack amongst the many they receive.

Label each page with a page number - and the total number of pages. Your tech pack is likely to be passed from an office, to potentially a translator, to a pattern cutter, to the cutting department, around to various sewing operators and more. Make sure people can see the total number of pages in your document as well as the page number, so nothing gets lost on the factory floor. 

 

4. Avoid inaccurate measurements

This is one is pretty obvious but no less crucial. Don’t guess what you measurements should be based on an old something or rather from your own wardrobe. This may have stretched from wear, it may have shrunk from washing, or could just not be the right sizing for your target market. Fabric very much influences fit too. Measurements from one piece of clothing to another will vary quite a bit depending on not just the cut, but the fabric type and composition too.

Get the help of a professional technical designer or pattern cutter, or someone with a solid understanding of garment construction to help you. 

Get your fit sample measurements finalized by approving a fit sample before moving on to grading all the sizes in your range.
 

5. Avoid all assumptions

Never assume anyone else knows anything! If you are working with an overseas manufacturer, the people working there probably have different backgrounds, cultures and world views than you do. Something that seems obvious to you is not necessarily the same for someone thousands of miles away. This one is easy to forget! 

Explain, annotate and sketch absolutely everything that could possibly need any kind of explanation. Don’t forget to do it with brevity and preferably in bullet points!

Now you have a general idea of what the common mistakes are, you can get started with your own tech packs. Download our cheatsheet below for more information on what to include.  

 
 
 

AUTHOR: BELINDA JACOBS

TECHPACKS.CO founder Bel (as she is affectionally known as) is a technical fashion designer from London. Belinda has worked with numerous high street retailers, independent designers and fashion start-ups since graduating with a first class honors degree in clothing design & technology.