Functions of Production Department in Garment Industry (Stitching Department)

In the garment industry stitching section is considered as production department. Though fabric cutting and garment finishing sections are part of the garment production department. In this post, I will explain the function of production department.

The main function of the production department is stitching garments. But there are many associated activities performed by the production team to run the production floor smoothly. The major tasks of this department are described here but are not limited to these only.

1. Style Analysis 

The line supervisor analyzes the garment construction of the style to be loaded to the line. He calculates the machine requirement for the style, based on the garment construction.
Stitching line

2. Estimating labour costs

Line supervisors calculate the estimated cost per operation. In the piece-rate-production system, the supervisor sets piece rates for stitching operations. Those factories that have industrial engineering departments calculate direct labour costs based on the standard allowed minutes (SAM) to produce a garment.

3. Planning and scheduling floor level production

The floor in-charge and line supervisors plan the daily production output. They take information on upcoming orders from merchandisers or the planning department and plan manpower and machine requirements in advance.

4. Setting the line

Line supervisors set the sewing line for new orders. Line setting involves the tasks of placing sewing in a sequence, by allocating operators to each machine, giving work to operators and helpers and giving instructions to operators on how to undertake operations and the required stitching quality.

5. Stitching garments

The sewing department stitches garments and makes clothes. Operators sew garments using different types of sewing machines. An operator can be given single or multiple operations to sew.

6. Balancing the assembly line

To get maximum production from the line, line supervisors balance line by adding additional operator, or by clubbing operations. Read this article to learn about line balancing.

7. Marking parts

Marking is done on the garment component needed to point a position from where the stitching is to be done. Helpers mark on garment parts as per process requirement by using marking chalk and magic marker.

8. Ironing garment components

Garment components might need to be folded and ironed prior to stitching to improve seam quality. Portable irons are used for ironing on garment parts.

9. Checking stitched garments:

Garments are checked in line and off the line. The purpose of checking garments is to reduce defect generation from the line. The end-of-line checker segregates defective pieces from the good pieces. Read quality checking procedures in garment production.

10. Stitching alteration

After segregation, defective garments are sent back to the stitching section. Seams are repaired by re-stitching. If defects are related to the fabric, part changing is done by replacing the defective component with the correct part.

11. Managing documentation

The department maintains various logbooks and records. The sewing department records the details of receiving cuttings from the cutting department and issuing garments to the finishing department. They make reports of the daily production on a line-wise basis and the manpower used in each line.

12. Recruiting operators 

In most factories, line supervisors are responsible for bringing sewing operators and recruiting operators through skill assessment tests.

Remember some production activities may vary when product changes.

This article is a tiny part of my latest book "Garment Manufacturing: Processes, Practices and Technology". Learn more about garment production from my book.

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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