What is ‘Thread Average’ and Who Gives Thread Average to a Merchandiser?

In the apparel industry merchandisers often use this term. When they ask for thread average for a particular garment style (design), they wants to know how many yards of threads will be consumed during stitching one garment. What does thread average mean? See the definition below.

What is thread average? 

Average meters (or yards) of sewing threads required for making one garment is known as thread average. This is including sewing thread wastage as thread tails at both ends of the seam and leftover threads on cones/tubes. Each apparel product has a different thread average. For example, a t-shirt may need 38 yards of thread and a jean need 223 yards of sewing thread (A&F Technical bulletin).

You know stitching threads are used to stitch garment components together. Being a readymade garment maker, you purchase stitching threads. How much thread would you purchase for your entire order? Would you buy any quantity of threads for your stitching order without knowing how much thread is required for stitching one garment? That is not wise - because a cost is involved in thread purchasing.

Why estimating thread average is important

  • Control material cost (Purchasing excess thread is increasing material cost per garment)
  • Having enough thread to complete the order without need of reorder (second purchase). Reordering of sewing thread may cause delay in production completion, and chance of having thread color matching issue.

Who calculate the thread average for a given style?

Industrial engineers are responsible for estimating thread consumption for production garments. In factories where IE department does not exist, merchandiser or production manager do this job. In that case thread average is estimated based on work experience - actual calculation is not done based on style. To estimate thread average engineers normally study the garment construction and measure total seam length for each stitch class (machine type to use for stitching seam). Then stitch length is multiplied by thread consumption factor.

To know how thread average is calculated read this post. How to calculate thread consumption for garments

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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