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Showing posts from June, 2013

What is the Difference Between Lycra and Spandex?

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Question: What is the difference between spandex and Lycra fibers? Is there any technical difference? And what are the fabric properties differs for cotton/spandex fabric and cotton/lycra fabric?
What is LycraLycra is a product of DuPont for spandex fiber. Lycra® is a trademark and Brand name of DuPont Company. Spandex is synonyms of elastane fiber. Spandex or elastane specify properties of fiber (rubber like stretchable) those are used in skin tight clothes such as swimsuits, jeans, sports wears etc. There are other companies who also manufacture spandex fibers.
Know more about Lycra and its brands from their website

So, there is no technical difference in between Lycra and Spandex. Both Lycra and Spandex are same. Spandex is the generic name of a fiber and Lycra is spandex product of DuPont company.

When you are specifically using Lycra® product (spandex fiber) for your clothing products, if you name it Lycra there is no issue. But when you use spandex fiber manufactured by other co…

Method of Calculating Cost per Minute of a Sewing Line

Question: How we can calculate the cost per minute of a garment sewing line in a very easy way? Show me an easy method of calculating cost per minute of a sewing line. ... asked by Masum

Cost per minute of a line is calculated only for direct labours. Direct labours like sewing operators, helpers, line supervisor and quality checkers.

There are two types of  Cost per Minute of a sewing line -

Estimated cost per minute of a line andActual cost per minute of a line
As you did not specifically ask which one you need, I am explaining both.

1. Estimated cost per minute of a line: 
To use this calculation your operators need to be salaried. The formula used to calculate the Estimated cost per minute

= Total salary of a line for one day / (Total minutes available*Line efficiency%)

To calculate the total salary of a line includes all operators, helpers working in a line. You can also include Quality checkers and line supervisors and feeder if they are not considered under overhead. So, you h…

Apparel Buying House - An Overview

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An apparel buying house works as a mediator between apparel buyers (retailers) and garment manufacturers (export houses, garment suppliers). Apparel buying houses are also known as buying agency and buying office.


Buying office may be the buyer’s regional office or an independent company that works with multiple buyers. For example, H&M has its own regional buying office to the sourcing countries. On the other hand, Asmara International is a buying house that works with many buyers, brands and High street retailers.


There is two way to know more about a buying house. One, services provided by buying houses or functions of apparel buying house in the apparel supply chain. Second, what all departments are there in a buying house?

Major functions of a buying house A buying house may provide a number of services to their buyers. In this post I have listed down major services provided by most of the apparel buying houses.
Product development and sampling for buyersFinding good suppli…

What is Splicing and Splice Mark in Fabric Spreading?

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What is Splicing? Splicing is a process of cutting fabric across its width and overlapping layers in between the two ends of a lay. Splicing of lay is required some times to avoid faults found in the fabric into the garment components. After splicing cut end is pulled back to overlap plies as far back as the next splicing mark. The overlapping length depends on splicing mark to cover complete garment components. 
Splicing process is also used when one fabric roll ends in the middle of the marker and end bit length is enough to cover at least one complete garment components. Spreading of the next roll starts from the splice mark.

Splice Marks: Splice marks are marked on the edge of cutting table before spreading using reference of the marker. Splice marks are reference points from where overlapping of fabric is done after splicing of fabric. Spicing marks are shown in the following diagram.
In the following diagram, A lay is shown. The lay is planned for three ways marker. On the spre…

Use of the Display Board on Sewing Floor and Its Advantages

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Question: What are the advantages and usefulness of the information board at the end of sewing line? What information should it have on? ... asked by Phakdey Keo

An information board aka display board is used to display information of sewing lines, like production status, various performance reports, performance trend charts etc. Information boards are normally hanged on the wall of shop floor or on a pillar.

A display board is made of white board marked with columns and rows or a pin board. Production writer writes production information on this board hourly or at a certain intervals with markers. Multiple lines’ production can be displayed in one production board or each line may have separate production board. In the pin board printed reports and charts are displayed.


Most common display board found in the garment manufacturing factories is the Hourly Production Report.

Advantages of Display Board:
Visual display is one of the techniques of Lean manufacturing. An information boar…

How to Find Labor Cost for Garment Manufacturing Using Work Measurement Data?

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Question: Explain how we would use work measurement data in garment costing. ... asked by Nishani Snajana.

Time study data is known as work measurement data. From time study we calculate the standard time (SAM) for various activities. In garment production jobs are called operations.

Using work measurement data you can estimate only direct labour cost of garment making. Other cost parts of the total garment cost such as factory overheads and material costs need to be calculated separately. Here I will show you how to use work measurement data to find labour cost.

Please note the cutting cost and finishing labour cost have not been included here. These costs are considered as factory overheads. I am not saying that you can’t measure the work content of cutting and finishing operations. You can also measure direct labour cost for these sections.

Automatic Fabric Rib and Piping Cutting Machine

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Ribs are one kind of knits fabric. Fabric ribs are normally attached to necks, sleeve hems, and bottom hem for binding. Maintaining an equal width of the rib is very important to produce the quality garment. This machine is also called as a piping cutting machine.

A good look of the garment depends on the finish of the neckline. When factories cut ribs manually (using straight knife cutting) they can’t make a roll of ribs and ribs are not continuous in length. It reduces the productivity of the machinist who operates rib attaching machine.

There are various ways to attach ribs. But the most productive way of attaching rib is to make a roll of ribs and use a binder to attach rib at neck and sleeve hems.
To make a roll of rib there is automatic rib cutting machine as well as mechanical machines.

An automatic rib cutting machine helps to get the roll of ribs. An operator needs to feed the cloth roll into the machine and specify the rib width. machine operator needs to guide the fabric. …

8 Preferred Lean Manufacturing Tools for Garment Industry

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Question: Which are the preferred lean manufacturing tools applied for Garment industry. If possible name a few companies which have improved their performance compared to earlier years. ... asked by Ramesh Kulkarni



During my visits to garment factories, I have seen posters on lean tools and lean slogans in some factories. It means that garment factories are really started implementation of lean tools and practicing lean culture. Factories have posters on process flow chart of lean journey. Improvement pictures of before and after implementation of 5S and Kaizen have been displayed on departments. I have seen a lot of visuals on the floor. It ensures that something is happening in garment factories to bring good things and improve business performance.

But your question is what lean tools are preferred and applied for garment manufacturing?

In one factory, I found a poster where all lean tools were listed those were implemented in that factory. All implementation are done under the gu…

Product Innovation: An Important Parameter for Supplier Selection Method in Fashion Manufacturing

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This is a guest contribution from Todor Stojanov

Usually, fashion retail companies use set of standard procedures for selecting their suppliers. Retailers send orders to the buyer with supplier selection procedures  to source clothing from their suppliers according to their needs and preferences. If Supplier Company wants to cooperate with the Fashion Retail Company, the minimum requirements (Quality, Delivery time, Price) for cooperation need to be fulfilled. Beside these three factors, there is one extra factor that might be very important and can “trigger” buyer’s attention. That is the innovation segment. The innovation segment is especially important for supplier selection procedure and it will be additionally explained.

The order of supplier selection procedure can be switched and the supplier can select his customer by offering attractive deal.

There are many cases where suppliers present their products to buyers (in their show room or visit buyer’s office) in order to start co…

Job Responsibilities of the Managers (HODs) in a Garment Manufacturing Company

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Question: I am going to open a garment company soon in Vietnam. Would you please help me to have some details about all supervisors’ tasks, production manager task, technical manager task, cutting manager task, warehouse (stock) manager task, packing manager task and quality manager task. I will be grateful if you help me. ... asked by OCS Fan (name not mentioned)
It is a long question. But no problem, I will list down major tasks of each department as much as possible.

First of all, an employee’s (manager and supervisor) roles and responsibilities in a company depends on the organisation structure, type of production systems followed and on the business type. Even each factory does not have same number of departments. The basic roles of each head of the departments (HODs) are listed below. But their roles are not limited to these list. It may be extended.

How to Prepare Monthly Efficiency Report of a Sewing Line?

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Monthly efficiency figure is one of the basic and very important information to the management of the company. Efficiency figure shows how a line, a floor or a plant is performing compared to other lines and factory standards. Line efficiency level affects the labour cost of the garment. So each line supervisors are given monthly efficiency target to meet the target labour cost. Factory planning and factory capacity are also measured based online efficiency.
In this article, I have explained how the monthly efficiency report of a sewing line is prepared. And how to calculate monthly efficiency report of a sewing floor.

To know the monthly efficiency calculation method, read follow steps.

Step 1: Efficiency calculation formula There is a standard formula to calculate the efficiency of a line. The efficiency calculation method has been explained in another article, How to calculate the efficiency of a production line? Please refer to that article in case you need to know details. Other…

Factors Affecting Seam Appearance in Garments

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This is a short note on factors affecting seam appearance in garments. Garments are made by stitching multiple garment parts together and seams are formed where fabrics are sewn. Seam appearance is very critical to garment appearance. Seam quality is related with seam puckering, where unwanted gathers appear at stitch line.

There are number factors that may cause undesired seam appearance. In this article, only major reasons are discussed those causes puckering in a seam.

1. Structural jamming of fabric:  In the tightly woven fabrics, the space (gap) in between yarns are too less to pass through sewing threads. When sewn threads are inserted in such fabrics to sew fabric plies together, it forms a wavy seam. In such cases puckering happen due to yarn displacement.

2. Excessive thread tension: While stitching, due to excessive thread tension puckering may happen on seam.

3. Uneven ply feeding: Most of the seams are made sewing two plies together. At the time of sewing, if fabric plies a…

Merchandiser’s Role in Product Development in the Garment Industry

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In the garment export business normally the product development is handled by design department. But where there is no design team, merchandisers are responsible for the whole product development process. In export houses sampling department is considered as product development department.

In a typical factory, merchandiser’s roles in product development are as following
Coordination with buyers and collect latest product designs, color scheme and fabric qualities those are going to be used in coming seasons 
Send request to pattern making department for developing patterns for new designs 
Prepare material requirement sheet and get sourcing done of required trims and accessories from local and imported suppliers 
Responsible for quality standards of sourced material 
Get approvals of Lab dips, Bit loom and strike offs directly from buyers or from buying office 
Value added processes like printing and embroidery work is get done by merchants if required in product 
She explains sampling mas…

Sewing Operator Incentive Schemes and Technology Solutions

A print magazine, Perfect Sourcinghas published one of my articles in May, 2013 Issue. The article has covered various incentive system for sewing operators, number of reasons why performance incentive is important for running business profitably. I have also discussed reasons why some business owners not yet implemented incentive systems in their factories. And finally I have shown technology solutions to have a fair incentive system for sewing operators.
Garment manufacturers are continuously facing cost pressure due to slowdown of business in the major markets like US and EU and increasing labor wages. It is becoming tougher to run the show smoothly as every garment exporter is facing challenges and is looking for solutions. One of the primary solutions is working on labour productivity and there are a number of ways to meet this goal. In this article we have discussed one of the ways that not only improve your labour productivity but also increase savings. 
Click on the following…

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