17 Simple Tips to Improve Garment Quality

Tips for improving garment quality

When you become quality conscious, you might look at improving existing quality standards at various stages of the garment manufacturing process. Producing a good quality product is a result of combined efforts of management, employees, and workers by developing a system, implementing good practices on the shop floor, and setting up standards.

In this post, I have shared a few quality management tips that can be easily implemented by any size garment factories.

These 17 Tips will help you to improve the garment quality.

1. Communicate the importance of the quality production to your employees and shop floor workers, and explain quality expectations by the management. 

2. Maintain a clean and dry workplace, including storage rooms and shipping areas. 

3. Select and utilize appropriate equipment in cutting, sewing, and finishing processes. A faulty sewing machine will generate defective garments. A damage cutting machine will give you faulty cut panels.   

4. Provide appropriate tools, machines, and equipment to each department.

5. Provide on-the-job training to workers. By providing training to the operators (who need it) you can make them skilled in doing their job error-free.
6. Plan an ongoing program for machine maintenance. It is said that stitching quality comes from the needlepoint. You should keep your sewing and other machines healthy through preventive maintenance.  Train your machine maintenance personnel to enhance their skill to identify machine faults and fixing machine issues faster. 
7. Establish agreed-upon quality standards with all fabric suppliers before purchase, including procedures for rejecting/returning unacceptable goods.

8. Follow 100 percent inspection of all incoming fabrics. Do not trust your suppliers. If you are purchasing fabrics from mills or knitters, fabric checking is an essential process. IF you can segregate the defective fabric on the initial stage, the fabric-related issues would not be found in the garment. This would reduce the defective garments in the end-of-line checking and final inspection.
9. Allocate a trained quality inspector for visual inspection.

10. Compare actual fabric width and length against reported figures (by supplier) and required length and width. 

11. Return fabrics to the supplier that doesn’t meet agreed-upon quality standards.

12. Follow 100 percent inspection of value-added processes, such as panel printing, machine embroidery, hand embroidery etc.

13. No defective panels or components should be sent to the stitching section. Defective components can be accepted after corrective measures have been taken.

14. Cutting quality is the second-most important area. Checking is to be performed for the cut components, such as matching cut panels with original patterns, shade variations, fabric-related defects etc.

15. Check 100 percent of the garments after stitching and in the finishing section. By checking 100 percent garments on the end-of-line, you can stop garment checking volume in finishing checking. 

16. Record defects by garment production lot, source of defects (fabric, cutting or assembly), type of defects etc.

17. Analyze the inspection report data to identify sources of quality problems. You can take the correct action only after knowing the major quality issues on your floor.  

This post is a tiny part of my book “Garment Manufacturing: Processes, Practices and Technology. Read this book and learn many such tips.

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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