Starting Business in Winter-Wear Segment - Question & Answer

Knits fabric

I am planning to start my own private label under the winter-wear segment. Currently, I am in the planning stage and am looking to gain knowledge about the type of fabrics, the properties of fabrics which go into jacket making.

I am very new to this industry and do not have technical knowledge about the apparel industry. I am keen on acquiring technical knowledge about fabrics, and also if possible undertake some course on technical know-how on textiles.

Can you suggest me to how to go about it? How can I gain technical knowledge on textiles? Any leads and suggestions would be of great help.

In this post, I am sharing my reply to these questions. Read this article to learn how one can gain technical knowledge of textiles and apparel manufacturing.

About the winter garments and fabrics

Winter-wears are mostly made of knitted fabrics. There are a variety of knitted fabrics available (different designs - knits structure of fabrics and GSM) for making these garments. Normally a thicker fabric (high GSM) is used for winter garments. You can choose the desired fabric quality for your products.

Single jersey, rib, brushed fleece are some of the knitted fabrics used in winter garments. The jacket is also made of materials like leather, woven fabrics, corduroy, and quilts.

Understanding fabric quality & properties

The best way to study such fabric is collecting the winter-wear articles from the market - you can purchase samples (like jackets, sweatshirts, pullover, hoody jackets, cardigans and other products) and study their properties (fabric quality). Though it is not possible to understand the fibre content, fabric GSM and other quality parameters by seeing the clothes and fabrics, you can use the sample garment (fabric sample) for sourcing fabrics. See the list of common fabric testing parameters for the evaluation of the fabric properties. These are tested to ensure the fabric quality parameters.

You can visit knits fabric manufacturing hubs to see a variety of knits fabrics especially available for winter wear garments. In India, Tirupur and Ludhiana are the knitting fabric manufacturing hubs. Though knitting fabric is available in the different parts of the country.

Also read: Sourcing destination for different types of textile fabrics

Most of the things, about the fabrics, you will learn when you start sourcing fabrics and manufacture garments on your own. Other than fabric knowledge, learn about the garment manufacturing process, techniques. You can read my articles for learning garment manufacturing processes.

Tips on Starting Own Fashion Label

I am sharing a brief idea of how you can start your brand.

Product selection is very important for starting the winter-wear label and a manufacturing unit. Start with two to three product categories with a number of designs in those product categories.

You can start your label without setting up a manufacturing unit. You can outsource your products from the well-known and well-experienced garment manufacturers those are manufacturing winter-wear products. Many well-known brands in India outsource all of their merchandises. For this, you need to develop your product first.

Make product samples for your designs. To get an idea about designs, buy some garment samples available in the market, and modify or change the design or print/embroidery components to develop a new design. Develop your product standard, fabric and trims standards prior to placing an order to a garment supplier.

There are many things you must know and be aware of before you start your business. Learn how to make a business plan for the apparel manufacturing business start-up.

Learning technical things on the apparel industry

The apparel industry is huge in terms of product variety, product design, sourcing of clothing, fabrics and other raw materials, manufacturing processes, in-plant manufacturing system. I have covered topics in almost all areas of the apparel manufacturing industry in this site. You can read articles here by topics to gain knowledge as per your interest.

Acquiring knowledge on textiles

The fabric is the primary raw material of any clothes including the winter-wear garments. To start a business in this area from the scratch, you much acquire good knowledge on fabric properties, fabric quality and fabric sourcing, end use of the various fabrics. Other than knowing the fabric properties, there are many other things you might be interested in learning like fabric manufacturing, yarn manufacturing, fabric wet processing, dyeing, fabric finishing, special fabric finishes. These all come under textile course.

To become a textile technology graduate you need to do a 4 years course. Diploma courses are also there. I know these would not suit you.

A short course on fabric properties and garment construction would help you a lot. For basic knowledge on fabrics including knits as well as woven fabrics, you can read books.

To learn fabric construction and fabric properties, especially woven fabric, you can read ebooks authored by Priyank Goel.

Also see: Starting a business in the apparel supply chain

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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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