Frequently Asked Questions on Garment Business Start-up

I know you have many questions that need to be answered. 

I have published this page - 'Frequently Asked Questions on garment business start-up' to answer questions that I receive frequently.

I have written a business book 'Kick Start Your T-Shirt Business: A Step by Step Guide to Starting
A T-Shirt Factory from Scratch'. 

Know more about this book


I am building this page and will be adding more FAQs soon. In case, your question is not answered here, please write to me using the contact page.

If you like to add something to my answer, please add your comments in the following comment box. Or send me mail mentioning the question. I will add your points here.

1. I want to start a small business in the garment Industry. What would be a suitable business for me?

In the article '10 small business ideas in the garment industry,' I have listed business ideas. Read this article, if you have not yet read it. Similar businesses can be started on a bigger scale. Selecting the right business for you depends on various things. In what kind of business do you feel comfortable with.
It is not possible to test every type of business before starting. Learn as much as possible to understand the features of different types of business. Read books or articles to increase your knowledge base. If possible do a SWOT analysis selecting the most appropriate business for you.
If you are open to starting any kind of business, see the need of the market. For example, if want to start a business locally, research what products are not available in your locality. If there is not many clothing shops, you can open a shop. Maybe some kind of product in the apparel category is not available, you can pick one to start with.

2. How much do I need to invest in a 50 machine factory?

There is no ready answer to this question. The answer is it depends on many factors. 

The investment amount can be derived considering the following factors. Just for your information, I have explained here the cost factors for starting a 50 machine factory. 

To set up a factory you need to invest in sewing machines and other equipment, raw materials, manpower, factory building, factory running overheads, etc. 

Types of sewing machines would vary for different products. So, you need to fix your product range. Be specific to this point. Once machine types are selected, the price of machines depends on the machine quality and machine brand. 

The number of machines to be purchased in each machine type. When you prepare a financial report for a 50 machine factory, there are many other cost factors, like raw material cost, staff's salary, worker wages, factory overheads, and other expenses.

Investment on building (or rent), minimum wages of the workers vary location to location. The raw material cost vary based on material quality and consumption of material. Consumption of material again depends on product types and product styling.

I hope you have understood that there are many factors to consider to estimate investment amount in a factory set-up. Only an experienced person or field expert can help you to give you approximate fund requirements for a project. More than this you need to be more precise in selecting the above variable factors.

3. What types of machines do I need to buy for the shirt factory?

For mass garment production, purchase industrial sewing machines for your shirt factory. Normally, types of machines are selected based on the seam types to be used to make garments. For a minimum investment, purchase a single needle lock stitch machine, button attaching, and button holing machines.

To improve stitch quality, to get consistency in quality, and to improve labor productivity, you can add Feed off the Arm (FOA), Multi-needle chain stitch machine (Kansai Special), Single Needle lock stitch machine with edge cutter, and Double Needle lock stitch machine.

For a detailed list of sewing machines for a shirt-making factory read this article.

4. How many machines do I need to make 50 shirts (other products) per day? 

The number of machines required to produce 50 shirts in a factory would depend on the performance of your tailors (sewing operators), preparation time for stitching shirts. Generally, the machine productivity figure is considered to derive a number of machines to make a certain number of garments (shirt) per day. Shirt productivity range per machine per day is 6 to 12 pieces (8 hours a day). So, if we consider productivity you will be needed 4 to 8 sewing machines.

Here daily production target is low and specialized machines would not be utilized for a full day. So, the above calculation may not give you the right number of machines.

5. I don't know anything about garment production techniques. Can I do business being a non-technical person?

Yes, you can. To start a garment business, it is not necessary that one needs to be a technical person. If you don't have the know-how of garment manufacturing, hire professionals who are rich with technical skills in specific areas. 

But yes if you know about the garment manufacturing process, various products, systems, raw materials, etc. you can take your business to the next level faster. However, you will learn everything by doing after starting your business.

6. I want to start a garment business for so and so products. Can you guide me in making a business plan and setting up my business completely?

Yes, I can help you make your business plan, making project reports that would include the complete requirement for setting up your garment factory - machines, material, processes, manpower, systems, factory layout, etc. Even financial reports to estimate the budget for the project. My service would not include paperwork and legal matters required for business registration and other things.

For project implementation, I will connect you with garment consultants on a request basis. You can take services from them.

7. I need one Project Report for setting up my garment business. Where I will get the report?

OCS team can help you in making your project report. You may contact us for professional services.

8. Related question: Is it compulsory to have a fashion degree for designing and selling t-shirt designs?

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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