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Showing posts from July, 2013

KPI Dashboard: An Effective Reporting Tool for Garment Factories

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A few weeks ago, I have posted an article on important production reports for a garment factory. Today I will show you how to make your production report short and effective.

The present reporting system is likely as follows:

You prepare reports on the production status of all departments. In the morning you mail those reports or give a printed copy to your managers.

And managers are supposed to review all reports. You made a detailed report thinking that your manager should aware of production status from cutting to finishing, the performance level of each department, each sewing lines and style wise cost per piece, and details of orders those are slipping from the deadline.

Ask yourself.

Do they need the detailed tables of thousands of data on each of 10 reports to read line by line? You know exactly what figures managers actually looked into. Show them those data only.

Normally managers just look into key figures. Even if they want to read all reports they can’t do that because it …

Sourcing of Clothing Fabrics on Internet: List of Few Online Stores

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Now purchasing clothes from the online store is not a big deal. We purchase garments and accessories from online stores without any hesitation. But what about purchasing fabrics?

When you develop clothes you need to search for a lot of fabrics or develop a range of fabric designs for your clothing line. To make your clothes trendy and fashionable you maybe liked to source unique fabrics.

How to Find Fabric EPI and PPI by Yourself?

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Do you need to know the EPI and PPI of woven fabrics at the time of fabric sourcing?

And want to be ensured yourself that you have received the right fabric in terms of fabric construction. You can do that just by sitting on your chair.

For a newbie, EPI stands for Ends per inch and PPI stands for Picks per inch. Where Ends is known as Warps and Pick are known as weft yarn.

What Does GSM Mean in Clothing?

GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter.

GSM is a 'Unit of Measure' that is used to measure the weight of the unit area for sheet materials. Like clothing fabrics, papers, metal sheet etc.

To know the fabric quality and understand its behavior when garments are made of fabric, one must have information about fabric GSM. Fabric GSM is one of the important fabric quality parameters. The weight of a garment made of low GSM fabric is lighter compared to a garment made of higher GSM.

Why one need to know fabric GSM?  There is a number of reasons to know and measure fabric gsm. Some of those are
When one buy fabric from mills or knitters, customer needs to specify fabric GSM. Otherwise, fabric manufacturers don't know exactly what fabric to make for the customer. e.g. knits jersey of 120 gsm. Though gsm is measured for both woven and knits fabrics, for knits fabric knowing the gsm is very essential as knitted fabrics are sold in weight. Where woven fabrics are sold in meters/yards.…

Difference between RFD and Greige Fabric

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RFD stands for Ready for Dyeing where Greige fabric is referred to as the raw fabric.
RFD fabrics RFD fabrics are named those fabrics which are processed like scoured and bleached to remove wax, oils, darts and sizing material applied before weaving to make the fabric ready for dyeing. Scouring is done to improve dye uptake and absorption into the fabric and improve evenness in dyeing throughout the fabric length.


Greige fabrics Fabrics that come out from a loom or knitting machine and no further processing is done yet are known as Greige fabric.

The colour of Greige fabric is grey or off-white where the color of RFD fabric is white.


Normally, garment manufacturing factories purchase RFD fabric or process the greige fabric to convert it into RFD when white-coloured garments are made and later garment dyeing or printing to be done on the garments.

RFD fabrics are costlier compared to Greige fabrics.

Also see: Essential fabric quality reports for bulk cutting approval

Fabric Sourcing Procedure for Export Orders

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Garment manufacturing factories source fabric for garment sample development and for bulk production. In some orders fabric sourcing process start from the fabric development stage. On the other side when factories source fabric for the repeat order or basic types of fabrics doesn’t need to go for development. For small quantity, small size factories often source fabrics from fabric sourcing agents.

Other variation in sourcing procedure is found in sourcing for knitted and woven fabric. In this article bulk fabric sourcing procedure is explained. For the yarn dyed fabric woven and knitted fabrics additional processes are there.


Broadly fabric sourcing procedures can be categorised as

Finished fabric sourcing procedure Greige fabric sourcing procedure Yarn dyed fabric sourcing procedureKnitted fabric sourcing procedure (greige yarns) 
1. Finished Fabric Sourcing Procedure (white or dyed)
While a factory directly source finished fabric from mills they usually follow below procedure…

How to Measure Loop Length of Knits Fabric?

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The knitted fabric is made of loop formation. Some of the fabric properties depend on loop length. So, sometimes we need to know loop length of the fabric that we are going to use in garments. In this article, I have mentioned a method for measuring loop length of your sample.

To measure loop length of a knits fabric sample use following steps-

Step #1: Take your sample. Cut fabric swatch of 10 cm X 10 cm from the fabric sample. While cutting fabric swatch, consider cutting on the wales line. Count number of wales in the 10 cm of fabric swatch. For example see the right side image, that has 6 wales.

Step #2: Take out yarns by pulling the loop. Don't consider yarns those are not the full length of a swatch. Take five yarns of complete length and stretch yarns to remove curling on yarns.

Step #3: Measure yarn length. Use measuring tape or scale to measure yarn length. Measure all 5 sample yarns. Note yarn lengths in a paper or notebook. Calculate average length of the sample yarns.

Step…

Responsibilities of the Fabric Souring Department in an Apparel Export House

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The fabric is the primary raw material of a garment that cost 60-80% of total garment cost. So it is very important to handle fabric souring carefully in garment export house to meet the target cost. To handle fabric development, procurement and inventory management export houses set a department for fabric sourcing.

Job responsibilities of the fabric sourcing department may vary widely depending on factors such as, type of products (woven, knits, high fashion), company profile (a composite factory, small garment manufacturing house) etc.

The responsibility of a fabric sourcing department or fabric sourcing personnel includes followings but not limited to these.
Development of fabric suppliers for different types of fabrics (domestic and international level)
Product (fabric and/or yarn) development as per buyer requirement
Fabric price negotiation with suppliers
Study market trends, latest finishes and fabric developments
Research on yarn price and market trend
Fabric costing
Sourcing yarn a…

Automatic Overhead Material Handling Systems for Apparel Manufacturing

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Overhead production systems are developed to reduce material handling by sewing operators and also to reduce material transportation. An overhead material handling and transportation system have many benefits over traditional material handling systems like centre tables and bundle trolleys.


Some of the benefits of a UPS system are
No need for bundling garment components at the time of feedingNeedle time increased - in this system operators only sew garments, they don't need to open a bundle, pick up panels, dispose of panels, bundling stitched garments and transport (slide) bundle to next operator. Hence this system leads to improvement in labour (and machine) productivity.Improved product quality Also see: Comparison between progressive bundle system and Unit production system

Top 3 Automatic Overhead Material Handling system In this post, I have shared Top 3 Automatic Overhead Material Handling system suppliers with videos. These systems are also known as a unit production system…

How to Plan Daily Line Output from Garment SAM?

You may need to find out target production of a line every day.

You can get this information from your IE. You can also estimate it yourself just having knowledge of a few figures. The scientific way of planning daily production or line output is to calculate estimated production from garment SAM.

You need information (figures) for the following parameters.
Day of production: In case you want to plan for the most appropriate production figure, you need to know the day of production. I mean, the no. of day after loading of the line. Due to learning curve on the initial days of line loading your line efficiency will be low compared to average line efficiency. If you just want to plan average production you consider average line efficiency%. Average line efficiency% on the day of the production: Use line efficiency for the production day according to the learning curve chart. No. of machine (manpower) allocated to the line Daily working hours 
The formula for the estimated production (d…

5 Resources for Daily Inspiration

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Today I will share something different from regular posts. What if we learn something to improve our personal productivity?

One question. Does it happen with you, when you read an inspirational quote and you feel that you just got a lot of energy? Does it help you to generate new ideas and get back to your work with higher energy and fresh mind?


I think to keep us motivated and inspired we need to read books and a good piece of article that inspires us to improve creativity, motivate us to become a hardworking person and work for the betterment day by day. These days, people read blogs from famous authors and personalities across the world to keep them motivated and get new ideas for their work and business.

In this post, I have shared some resources that may inspire you and help you to improve your productivity at work and at home.

 #1. TED Talks TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: T…

Labour Cost (US $/hour) in Readymade Garment Industry across the Globe

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This is a guest contribution from Chandan Saha. 

The ready-made garment industry is highly labour intensive. Hence labour cost per hour is an important factor in this sector to remain competitive. As per the global Statistics & data available, it reveals that labour cost per hour in India is substantially lower than the developed and developing countries in the world.

However, there are few under developing/developing countries in Asia, where labour cost is lower than in India. Countries like Vietnam & Cambodia with lower labour cost are slowly making an inroad in the global market and the progress is very fast. It is a fact that labour cost per hour simply does not indicate the impact on garment manufacturing cost. It also depends on the value addition made by the individual per hour. It is reported that though labour cost is high in some countries but value addition made by labour, is substantially higher compared to other countries including India.
Unfortunately, this did …

Importance of Garment Testing and Basic Testing Parameters for Domestic Apparel Brands

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Two weeks ago I got a phone call from an OCS reader, who has recently launched his clothing brand in Kolkata for the domestic market. He is sourcing garments from Tirupur, a knits manufacturing hub in India. He needed some clarification on what all quality standards he should follow for his products in terms of testing of fabric properties and why garment testing is important.

I had pointed a few most important fabric properties to be tested prior to accepting finished goods from a supplier, in our discussion. I suggested him to maintain a certain level of quality standards for fabrics to have a quality product on which end consumer relies upon and love his products.

In this post, I have explained the reasons why fabrics properties to be tested and source products only if those meet the quality standard.

Importance of Garment and Fabric Testing I thought some of you may have your own clothing brands or sourcing garments for retailers. You may like to know that how to make the custom…

What is Yarn Count in Fabric Specification?

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'Count' is widely used term in garment industry when it comes to defining fabric construction and yarn specification (weight per unit length or length per unit weight) those are made using staple fibre like cotton. If you are working in fabric sourcing, merchandising, fabric testing and quality and technical department, you know this term very well. Fabrics (knits or woven) are made of yarns and filaments. Yarn Count is one of the primary specifications of cotton yarn.

Count (cotton count) is a measuring unit of yarn linear density. In Indirect measuring system, cotton yarns are measured in Count or cotton count.

Cotton Count is defined as the number of 840 yards length of yarns in one pound. It means that the number of yarns of 840 yards length required weighing one pound. For example, a 30 count yarn means you need 30 yarns of 840 yards length to make it one pound weight.

In cotton count (indirect yarn numbering) system, higher the count of yarn is finer the yarn. For exam…

Safety and Hazardous Atmosphere in Textile Industries

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This is a guest contribution from Bibekananda Basu, a retired General Manager from Reliance Industries Ltd. and Ex Faculty from Degree Engineering College at Maharashtra.

Like all other Industries, textile Industries are also on a growing spree to meet the necessities of human beings by supplying the cloth for day to day needs, for decorative purposes and in the world of fashion. It is also the second-highest employer in India after agriculture segments. In these industries, it is very much necessary to improve the working atmosphere looking at the present socio-economic structure of the society.

How to Improve Line Efficiency in a Piece Rate Factory?

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How we can increase the efficiency in piece-rate basis factory? ... asked by Shaila

Most of us believe that piece-rate operators are most efficient in sewing. As machine operators are paid based on the quantity they would produce, they will put maximum effort into their work. Hence one can expect the best efficiency of the factory having piece-rate operators. But this is not always true. Forget about the operator’s maximum effort to produce standard hours (SAH) for a moment. And think on other factors those have a direct effect on the line efficiency.


Line efficiency depends on a couple of factors than only operators’ efforts. Here are few of those parameters -
Skill level of the operatorsLine balancing Worker motivation So to improve the line efficiency (or individual operator efficiency) you can work on the above points
# 1. Skill Training for low performing operators  Work on training your operators. Use the following method to improve the operator's skill level.
 Measure the …

What is Red Tag (Sealed) Sample?

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Can you please briefly explain about Red Seal sample? ... asked by Shanthi Dsouza

A sample with a red tag is an identification of a sample that buyer had approved and sealed that particular sample for production. A sealed sample means approved garment construction, approved trims attached to the garment. Receiving a Red tag sample from buyer is the approval for production go-ahead to the factory.

Buyers attach coloured tags to approved samples and send back to the suppliers. A buyer uses different colour tags for the different sample type, like Green tag is used for Size set samples and Red Tag is used for PP samples (Pre-Production sample). Once attached these tags can not be removed easily from the sample garment.

Tag is attached to a sample (some buyers also include comment sheets) so that suppliers can not replace sealed sample or can not show any other garments as an approved sample. Tags are attached to sample to ensure that no unapproved sample is referred to in production.
Sec…

What kind of questions would you ask to a factory to select them as a supplier?

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What kind of questionnaire would you want to send to a factory to select them as a supplier? What questions would you include in that, assuming that the supplier is making your type of garments? ... asked by Ricky 



You know that I don't have apparel brands or apparel sourcing business. But to answer this question I would consider myself as if I have apparel sourcing business. I would ask questions on the following points for shortlisting my vendors. The following points will help you to prepare your vendor selection questionnaire.
Supplier Product profile:  Yes, first I will ask what type of products factories make. This information would help me to understand their expertise in making my orders. Though this is always not required that a supplier must have record of making same product range. But this would help me for sorting my preferred suppliers at first glance as there is a lot of suppliers in the same region who are making my kind of products.
Code of Conduct: Maybe I am no…

Job Profile of the Garment Factory Manager and Knowledge Requirement to Become a Factory Manager

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The core responsibility of the Factory Manager in a garment unit is managing the factory and bringing improvement in the following areas.
On-time production completion and shipment delivery, Producing reliable product quality, Controlling garment production cost With the above roles, the factory manager also needs to lead his/her team.

Things are changing very fast. So the knowledge requirement of a factory manager. The shop floor production control and production management can be done in a better way by using the latest technology. He needs to be on the top of everything that happens in his factory.



To achieve above goals of the garment manufacturing business, a factory manager in the garment industry needs to acquire following knowledge.
Production planning and controlWork study & time studyLean manufacturingLine balancingPlant & machine lay-outMaintenance & safety engineeringIndustrial cost analysisPersonnel managementBusiness strategic managementFinancial planningInform…

'Code of Conduct' for Garment Suppliers

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Updated on 19th Nov. 2019


Garment exporters those work with international brands and Big Names need to meet 'Code of vendor Conduct' provided by the buyer to do business with them.

What 'code of conduct' most apparel buyers look for from their supplier factories? You may hear those many times but not sure what those 'Code of Conduct' are.

You may be seen the Display board where apparel suppliers display the list of "Code of Conduct" in the factory premises. But what those codes actually mean?

In this post, you will get the 'Code of Conduct' those are required to do business with international apparel buyers and a link to get GAP's 'Code of Vendor Conduct' document.

#1. Compliance with Laws: Factories must be compliant with the laws of the respective country.

#2. Environment

#3. Labour: This Section of conducts includes the following code.
Child Labor, Forced labour, Discrimination in male and female labour, Freedom of association …

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