Steps to Follow in Clothing Business in Between Manufacturing and Shipping Garments

Steps to follow in clothing business


Question: What steps should one follow in a clothing business after manufacturing the piece before shipping it out? Is steaming the clothes enough?


From the question, it is understood that you are aware of the clothing manufacturing processes a little bit. Manufacturing a clothing item and shipping it out to the customer are two major processes. Here, manufacturing means the completion of stitching a garment. And shipping means sending out the clothes from the factory/manufacturing plant to the buyer.

Yes, steaming (also called ironing) is one common process followed in finishing clothes. Applicable for many garments product types. But the steaming process is not enough for many apparel products. The steaming process is done to remove creases from the stitched garments. The steaming process enhances the look of the clothing item, it brings freshness to a garment and gives a new look. For some kind of apparel items, the steaming process is done to give a form to the product. It is called form finishing.

Let’s discuss what steps and processes need to be followed after stitching the garment but prior to shipping it to a buyer.

Depending on the product type processes involved in between stitching and shipping process are listed below with brief notes.

Steps to follow in the clothing business in between Manufacturing and Shipping garments


1. Thread trimming – This process is trimming the loose thread from the garment after stitching. Cleaning of raw edges if any.

2. Cleaning and sticker removing – Some clothing manufacturers used to stick numbering stickers to the garment panels. These stickers remain on the garments after stitching. So, it is important to remove all the stickers, removing loose threads, lint, and colored fibers from the garment. You need to clean if any spots and stains are found in the clothes.

3. Garment checking and inspection – Each garment is quality checked after stitching is over. For some garments (brands’ items), the quality checker sticks a QC pass sticker to ensure that a particular garment is checked and passed by the quality checker and safe for moving to the next step.

4. Ironing (steam press) – You are already aware of the need for the steaming process. In the second paragraph of this article, I have mentioned the reason for performing the steaming process at the finishing stage and prior to packing the garment.

5. Repair and mending work – The garment repairing task is required if you have defective clothing in the stitched garment lot. In the garment quality checking process, if the checker separates defective garments and you see those defective garments are repairable by any means, repairing tasks need to be added to the process.

6. Folding – After pressing, each garment must be folded for packing purposes. This way you can organize garments and pack the garment lot in bigger cartons. Folding is done manually or with mechanical aid. For some garment products folding is not required. Instead, garments are kept on hangers in the steaming process. Like suits, blazers.

7. Tagging and packing - In the tag one might need to add a barcode sticker (price sticker). So printing of price sticker/barcode label is required.

8. Needle detection – Metal detection (broken needle detection) is mandatory for some product types (like kid’s garments manufacturing). A metal-free zone or a secured place is built inside the factory premise where after finishing, checking and folded garment are passed through a metal detector machine. This process is introduced as a safety measure.

9. Carton labeling – In export orders or when a shipment needs to be sent to a customer by transport, carton labeling is a crucial part. A manufacturer follows the carton labeling instruction provided by their customers.

10. Final quality audit - Checking each garment is not necessary for packed shipment in a bulk order. Following the shipment audit method (AQL level) and a certain percentage of garments are inspected at the final quality audit.

11. Preparing packing list – You can not move items outside without a packing list. You need to make the packing list as per the garments packed in the packing section and follow the buyer’s instructions. The packing list gives information about carton-wise items packed in the shipment. The packing list also includes the product HSN code and the weight of the cartons.

12. Preparation of shipping documentation – A few other documents are required for shipping clothing orders. Some documents are required for transport clearance. A challan is also required for transferring clothing items. An invoice is required.

13. Garment washing – Garment washing is a mandatory process for some kinds of clothing items like jeans. But washing is optional for many clothing products. Whether washing is required or not for your clothing order, refer to the garment tech pack. 

I hope you find the answer to your question. We have published many other articles that would enrich your knowledge of garment manufacturing. Download this eBook to learn the garment manufacturing process from fabric to finished clothing products. 

A complete manufacturing process flow is shown in this article

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. He lives in India. linkedin

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