What is Thread Consumption? Why It is Necessary to Calculate Thread Consumption?

Question: Can you explain in detail what is thread consumption and why it is a necessary process in garment making? 

Thread consumption garment

What is Thread consumption?

The length of threads required for stitching one garment for any style is known as thread consumption.

Thread consumption is measured per garment. In the thread consumption, thread wastage percentage is included. In case, you need different types of threads for making the garment, the combined length of different threads is the thread consumption for that style.

Sewing thread consumption for stitching one inch of seam depends on the stitching class and the machine type used for stitching the seam. For example, thread consumption of a basic t-shirt is 100-110 meters. 

Related: How to calculate thread consumption for a garment?

Why do we calculate thread consumption?

In mass garment manufacturing, we need to purchase sewing threads specific to an order where we need to match the thread color, thread shade, and thread quality (thickness, thread Tkt, Fibre content, etc.).

Sometimes, a factory needs to match thread shade with Pantone color code (DTM threads). Thread suppliers may need to dye the threads if the thread shade is different than the available shades. Like tailoring shops, factories cannot just buy random threads thinking that threads will be get used for future orders.

Thread purchase involves a cost and the garment manufacturer needs to know the amount they are spending on thread purchase for a specific order.

Here are a few reasons for calculating thread consumption:

  1. To estimate total sewing thread a factory needs to purchase for an order
  2. To reduce wastage of thread and avoid thread shortage for stitching garments of an order.
  3. For material cost calculation, you need thread consumption (Also needed for making BOM)
  4. Maintain accurate inventory of threads where you do the same style for a long time
  5. Distribution of correct number for thread spools to the job workers (subcontractors) for the given work orders.

Related: Different types of sewing thread packages

PS: Sometimes, a factory needs to purchase more threads than the calculated consumption for short quantity orders. Because they work in a progressive bundle system and need to split work among many operators and each machine needs a separate thread cone/spool. It is also observed that factories buy bigger thread cones and unwind the thread cone and make small thread spools to reduce thread leftover and utilize the threads.

Image credit: https://www.pexels.com/ 

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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