Ratio of Sewing Machines used in a Shirt Factory

Question: I am in the process of setting up a garment manufacturing unit in Bangalore. I will begin by doing Job Work for some big players like BRFL. I want clarity regarding the machine ratio. I have been offered orders for Mens Shirts . I want to begin with around 30 machines then gradually increase it . I want your valuable advice on the ratio of different types of machines I need to buy. Kindly advise. ... asked by Abhijith


In an earlier post I posted different Types of Machines Used in a Shirt Making Factory. But it is not enough just to know different types of sewing machines required for making shirts. You have to know machine how many machines do you need to buy in different categories. When you are going to set a shirt factory, selection of correct machine ratio is important to maximize utilization of your machines.

Instead of just posting answer of your question, I am explaining how machine ratio is calculated.

Machine ratio is normally calculated from daily production target (quantity) and product styling.

Where, production target is linked with following factors
  • Line Efficiency
  • No. of worker (Sewing operators + helpers)
  • Product SAM
  • Daily working hours
  • Order quantity
  • Product difficulty level

You have already decided total number of machines that you would purchase i.e. 30 machines. In an earlier post How to Determine Machines Requirement for a New Factory?, I have shown how one can calculate machine requirement from product with example of four basic product. (Shirt, Trouser, Tee and Polo). In that post, I have shown, how to calculate machine numbers for daily fixed production target.

Based on that calculation you will be needed following machines:

  • Single Needle Lock Stitch (Plain with/ without UBT) = 24
  • Single Needle Lock Stitch machine with Edge cutter =2
  • Multi-needle Chain Stitch Machine / Kansai (Optional) = 1 
  • Feed-of-Arm (optional) =1 Or 5 Thread over lock = 1 
  • Button stitching = 1
  • Button holing m/c =1

In case you want to add other type of machines (i.e.special machine) then consider to replace that machine with single needle lock stitch machine or respective operation.

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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