The Technical Specification Document is Important
Technical specification documents, technical packs, tech specs, tech packs … these names are all used to describe the instructions that you provide to your manufacturer on how to construct your first sample.
Technical specification documents are the specific intricate details required to make your design. For example, they provide details on cut type, stitch type, fabric type, heights, lengths, widths, angles of cut and the list goes on! This is a critical step in getting your design just right.
Just to note, don’t confuse this with a ‘measurement specification sheet’. That is a document with all the measurements that are needed for pattern making and grading, and when you make a sample. A technical specification or technical pack is not the same as a measurement specification sheet as it includes all the measurements that should be known for a sample to be created by a manufacturer and more! It includes absolutely every instruction that a complete stranger needs to know in order to make your garment. It’s a critical step in managing a successful production run so ensure that you include this when you approach manufacturers.
What goes into a technical specification exactly… ?
The Design Sketches
Make sure you include detailed sketches on the style, look and feel that you want to achieve. Make sure you also write comments and notes besides your drawings to describe what you want so there is no room for miscommunication or error for manufacturers to understand what your expectations are. Remember, all these comments should emphasize the construction of the garment. The manufacturer will have to guess all the details you don’t mention and there’s a good chance that it will be absolutely wrong so make sure you mention absolutely everything as in this scenario, more is more.
The Silhouette and Style
In addition to your design sketches, make sure you describe what silhouettes you wish to achieve. Will it be pencil straight? Or flowing? Specify the intended shape of your garment clearly, and include the length and the width.
The Flat Sketches
If you were to lay your garment down on a flat surface like a table, what would it look like? A flat sketch documents exactly that view point from all angles including the front, the back and the side. Unlike the design sketches which are intended to convey the look and feel of your line, the flat sketch should be as simple as you can possibly make it because the pattern maker and the grading will be done on the basis of these sketches. That means no colouring in or aesthetically sketched fine art details. These are practical drawings only, as if you were an engineer or a draftsman forming the basic blueprints. Make sure it represents a clear outline with solid lines used, and for all the stitching you can use dash lines.
The Colour Combination
What colours did you want to use? What graphics, prints embroideries and trims are to be included? Make sure you include all the fine details, sizing and placement of where you want your embellishments to be on the garment. This also includes printing details for your garment. Do you require sublimation printing or any specialized techniques? Make sure you understand exactly what you require and find a manufacturer which is able to meet your needs. Don’t forget to take into account what washing instructions you want to supply for your garment!
The Materials and Fabric
Provide a clear description of what materials you require (if you are not supplying them yourself). This includes the shell, lining, interlining and the main material for your garment construction.
The Fastening of the Garment
Fastening describes how you plan the garment to be taken on and off the person. This includes zips, buttons, elastics. For example, where will it zip on and off? Where will the drawstrings and elastic be located? Make sure all the trim details, closures and finishings are included. This can also include what labels you want, and any hang tags.
The Seams and Stitching
The devil is in the detail. Here, leave no room up to the imagination. Specify each seam and stitching instruction clearly. Do you require reversible stitching? Will your material be super stretchy and so you require more special types of stitching as opposed to one that would go into a T-shirt? Write all these details down.
There is no standardized way of sizing apparel, so make sure you are clear on what range you would like to have, and what sizing you would like for your sample to be made in. Consider the length of the body, the width, circumference, height, as well as circumference for your sleeves, across the shoulder measurements … include every single measurement that is required for your garment to be created from scratch. Also understand how the type of material will affect the sizing that you require. For example, is your material thin and stretchy or is your material thick and bulky with little movement.
Making a technical specification will take time, planning, deliberation and thought but is well worth every iota of time invested. This will minimize errors in your sampling and production run which will be costly, and will ensure that the patternmakers and graders are able to create accurate instructions on how to bring your fashion line to life. If you are interested in finding someone to help you put together some technical specifications, feel free to contact us for a consultation. Alternatively, if you have a good idea of what you’re looking to accomplish there are many great tools out there for you to aid you in the creation of a technical specification such as techpacker.