Tech Packs: What's the Big Deal?

 

Now that you know a little bit more about tech packs, do you really know how they can benefit your brand?

Here's a quick list of the top 6 ways a tech pack will be helpful - if not essential to your business. Making a better quality product is the most obvious one, but if you're not sure why else you need one... read on.

 

1. Prevent expensive errors in production

Your tech pack is an instruction manual, a blueprint and a set of specifications for your product. Give it to your manufacturer and get them to send you a prototype of your product. Only when they've made this correctly do you go ahead with production! 

A tech pack is a collaborative work in progress with your contactors. Iron out any kinks in your prototypes before starting production!
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2.  It's an insurance policy

If anything does go wrong in production despite your best efforts, you can refer your contractors back to your trusty tech pack. If you spot any errors or quality issues once you receive your shipment, you have it in writing the exact specifications you had all previously agreed on. It's great to have things in writing if you have to start a conversion with 'this is not what I ordered'!

You can use your tech pack as contract or insurance of sorts - it gives you a fallback if something unexpected happens to your production run.
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3. It's a communication tool

Manufacturing is hard, like, really hard! Lots of money is at stake and production schedules are tight. You have to communicate highly complex instructions to a team who you've (probably) never met and don't speak your language. Any decent tech pack will include multiple explanatory diagrams to quite literally illustrate out all the important details. 

A good technical fashion designer will know the right terminology to explain your requirements and how to articulate it in a way your factory can understand.
Tech Packs: What's the Big Deal?
 

4. Get the assistance of an expert

Getting your fit right, choosing a the correct fabric, using appropriate terminology... all tough stuff. That's not to mention thread types, seam classifications or printing methods as a few more examples. Your technical designer can guide you towards the right trims, components and construction methods for your product and market. 

You wouldn’t want to buy a product that looked it was hacked together by an amateur and neither do your customers!

5. Save time!

You should be able to get a correct or almost correct sample back from your factory right away if you have a quality tech pack. If you don't, it can be really tough to get a correct sample and production run. People aren't clairvoyant unfortunately, so if you've not spelt out your exact specs, you won't get the product you were looking for. 

These days, with stores like Zara and H&M releasing new styles every 4-6 weeks and the fashion calendar being as rigorous as it is, you need to keep up the pace. If you get your first sample back and it needs 10+ changes, you've now added another few weeks to your product development timeline as your factory will have to start making another sample for you all over again.

Speed to market has never been more important than now. Increase yours!
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6. Cut costs

Instead of having to pay for several sampling rounds while your factory misinterprets your designs... you can use a tech pack and get your sample back correctly, first time if you're lucky! It's not uncommon in the fashion industry to spend several weeks in product development and go through several rounds of sampling. If each sample is $100, your product development costs can quickly stack up for a collection. Invest in the tech pack now and save money on samples later.

If you have a good quality tech pack and good manufacturer, your first sample should come back at least 90% correct the first time!
 
 
 

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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.