The Indian garment manufacturing industry has several key advantages, including access to a large pool of skilled and affordable labour, abundant raw materials, and a well-developed textile infrastructure. India also has a rich cultural heritage that inspires original designs and patterns, making it a popular destination for international buyers.
Manufacturing ready-to-wear clothing or garments comprises several processing steps, starting with the idea or design concept and culminating in a finished product. Product design, fabric selection and inspection, patternmaking, grading, marking, spreading, cutting, bundling, sewing, pressing or folding, finishing and detailing, dyeing and washing, quality control, etc., are all part of the clothing manufacturing process.
Did You Know? If the preproduction phase of material preparation is improperly carried out, production will not be up to par, making it difficult to maintain the industry.
Garment Manufacturing in India
Garment manufacturing is a significant industry in India and is a major contributor to the country's economy. India is one of the largest textile and apparel producers in the world, with a large and diverse manufacturing base ranging from small, traditional family-owned businesses to large, modern factories.
Steps in Garment Manufacturing
Garment manufacturing involves a series of steps that vary depending on the type of garment, the production volume, and the manufacturing process used. Here are the general steps involved in the garment manufacturing process:
This is the first step in the garment manufacturing process. Fabric sourcing, fabric development, pattern making, and sampling are all pre-production activities.
Step-2: Fabric and Trim Sourcing
Once the designs are complete, the clothing producer will find the fabric required to make them a reality. Expert clothing producers have a list of reliable textile suppliers who can provide various materials.
Step-3: Pattern Making
Using the product specification sheet and design drawings, a technical expert creates the garment patterns (also called pattern masters). You need a template for each body component before cutting the fabric needed to make any garment product.
A pattern is a name given to these paper templates. Following the approval of the PP sample, the final patterns are approved.
CAD systems are now often used by clothing producers and designers to create patterns. Another benefit of the CAD system is that it prints it using a plotter rather than manually generating marker paper. The CAD system effectively creates markers, and fabric usage can be increased.
Step-4: Garment Sampling
Manufacturers create garment samples and get permission from their customers. At various stages of sample development, factories must create a variety of sample kinds.
During the sampling stage, the factory learns the specifics of the fabric and garment construction needed for a certain order. The factory's sampling department doubles as its research and development (R&D) division. The sampling procedure enables the production team to launch bulk production smoothly.
The merchandising team hosts a pre-production meeting at the manufacturing facility. This meeting covers product design, production timeline, responsibilities, buyer expectations for the product's quality in all areas, and the production completion deadline.
Step-5: Fabric Development
There are three basic types of textile fabrics: knitted, woven, and non-woven. Fabrics are produced in the textile mill and power loom industries. Later, greige textiles are treated to the specifications of garment manufacturers. Factory personnel should only locate the fabrics required for the style/design.
To create a new fabric design, the garment manufacturer specifies the fabric quality requirements to the fabric supplier. The pricing of the fabric is negotiated with the fabric vendors during the fabric development stage. At this stage, lab dips and desk looms are developed before bulk cloth can be ordered.
Fabric samples are checked before mass sourcing to see whether the developed fabric matches the desired quality. Fabric is knit down into stripes made of yarn that has been dyed.
Step-6: Bulk Fabric Sourcing
How much fabric is needed for each item of clothing? What is typical fabric consumption for large-scale manufacturing? There aren't many estimates of fabric usage per garment at this time. The department of pattern making performs this work. The total amount of fabric needed for an order is calculated based on the amount of fabric consumed, and this fabric is purchased from a pre-approved fabric supplier. The fabrics are kept on-site in the mill or in a major business warehouse.
Step-7: Fabric Quality Inspection
It is uncertain whether fabrics obtained from the open market or from buyer-nominated fabric suppliers are faultless and defect-free. Fabric inspection, therefore, plays an important role in the manufacturing process. A 100% or random fabric check may be required, depending on fabric quality.
For example, factories grade fabric quality and examine fabrics using the 4 Point System. The manufacturer performs some fabric tests, including those for fabric GSM, fabric shrinkage, and colour leakage while washing. Whenever bulk fabric is cut, it will be pre-shrunk if its shrinkage exceeds the allowance.
Step-8: Fabric Sorting and Shade Banding
It is a well-known fact that depending on the dyeing machine's capacity, fabrics purchased in bulk are processed in a variety of lots (batches). Therefore, there is a possibility of finding fabrics in different shades of the same colour. The factory prepares a shade band to prevent shade variance in clothing.
Step-9: Sourcing for Trims and Accessories
All necessary trims and accessories are obtained, similar to the fabric procurement process. Before the start of production, trims and accessories are sourced. The necessary trimming is determined based on the amount of trimmings used per garment.
Step-10: Quality Checking of Trims and Accessories
Inspection of the trimmings' quality precedes production approval. Colour bleeding is checked in trims such as laces, twill tapes, buttons, zippers, and drawcords. Trims that are flawed or damaged are separated and not used in clothing.
Step-11: Production Planning
The production planner has planned and arranged each process and activity in advance. The production planning team oversees all production activities. Maintaining track of the operations involved is another task managed by the team. The planning team creates a time and action calendar for production scheduling and management. Most of the time, a merchandiser makes the T&A.
This is the main task of the cutting room when they spread and cut the clothing. This is the most crucial cutting-room procedure since, once the fabric has been cut, there is little that can be done to correct significant flaws.
If the totals determined in the cutting room match those needed to sustain full production in the sewing room and, ultimately, the projected delivery timetable, that is a first planning consideration. The output in the sewing room can be impacted by any textile issues that arise in the cutting room.
The next step is to extend the cutting room program to the sewing room, assuming that all fabric, design, and trim components are suitable and properly designed and cut. Straight knife cutting machines are used for all cutting activities.
Step-13: Embroidery and Screen Printing
Screen printing and embroidery are two procedures that can only be carried out if specifically requested by the customer; as a result, these procedures are frequently outsourced to facilities off-site. Embroidery is carried out using automated machinery, frequently with several machines working simultaneously to embroider the same pattern on various clothing.
Ten to twenty embroidery stations could be present on each production line. Customers might ask for embroidery to add logos or other adornments to clothing.
Step-14: Garment Stitching
Following the optional cutting and printing processes, the sewing section receives the cut components. Operators stitch and put together each component of the garment one at a time. Quality checkers inspect the finished clothes as they are being sewn. If washing is necessary, stitched clothing is sent to the finishing or washing department.
Designer clothes are created from fabric scraps during the course of this time-consuming process. To finish the sewing process, high-powered single needles or automated sewing machines are employed. Stitching machines are primarily used for sewing buttonholes and buttons and fusing equipment for fusing collar component parts.
It is reasonable to anticipate that a certain number of clothes will always be rejected for one reason or another. This is regardless of how well inspection or quality control methods perform within a factory. Establishing a standard for measuring quality performance is the most effective way to conduct quality checks.
Any system should ideally use forecasting to find potential deviations before they happen. Work performed with fewer errors will produce high-quality products, boost the economy, and increase productivity.
The garment manufacturing industry in India produces a wide range of products, including ethnic wear, formal wear, casual wear, and sportswear, catering to both domestic and international markets. The industry is also known for its focus on sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices, with many manufacturers implementing environmentally friendly processes and fair labour standards.
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