The 3 Key Words…

Hi aspiring Designers!

Today I wanted to share with you what I’ve recently learnt…

It’s 3 key words when dealing with any Manufacturer. Knowing about them is all thanks to one of my readers of “Alice’s Make it Fashion Guide”, Marie that is now out venturing (making an order with an Indian Manufacturer) and have lot’s of news and tips to share with you guys..In the meantime I thought that I’d share those 3 key words with you!

Keyword 1: Lab Dips

This is color samples that you’ll receive to know that you’ll get the right color of your garment when making your order. This happens before any coloring of the garment is made and you’ll need to approve the fabric sample (Lab Dip) before the Manufacturer can start the coloring process. If you say that you want a certain pink and provide them with a Pantone number it might still not be as you imagined when it’s made up in an actual fabric. That’s why it’s wise that you’ll order a so called Lab Dip and it usually contains 3 shades per color in a small cut of the fabric you want.
They all have a slight difference in color/shade and it’s up to you to approve the one that you prefer the most. In some cases the factory hasn’t made any of the colors rigth or according to your submitted Pantone number, it could be to dark or way to bright, perhaps too much of a gray shade and so on. Then it’s up to you to either choose to be flexible and settle for one of their options or simply order another Lab Dip with more specific comments and changes to be made. Sometimes the Manufacturer will ask you if you would  like a Lab Dip and it’s good to know what it really means beforehand. Note: not all Manufacturers and Factories works with Lab Dips and it will be up to you to ask around and if you choose to work with a company that doesn’t. It’s entirely up to you ( I didn’t work with lab dips but used photos of garments and fabrics between me and my Manufacturer)

Keyword 2: Print Strike Off

If you would (for example) like a print on a T-shirt then you can ask the Manufacturer to print a test ‘print’ before production sets in. It’s a great way for you to double check that it will be just as you ‘imagine it’ before the whole order is made and any changes are too late to make. A print can easily become to ‘plastic’ looking or pale, perhaps to stiff in the quality and so on, in other words, it’s worth a pre-print for your approval. The Print Strike Off is often made in the colors they have available so it’s not as much the colors as it it for the ‘feel’ of the print, or any details that comes up less visible.

Keyword 3: GSM

This is a shortening for grams per square meter . If you for example want a really thin quality fabric for a dress design (like Georgette) you can tell the Manufacturer the weight of the fabric. Let’s say 80 GSM which I believe is pretty heavy. If you choose to tell the Manufacturer that your looking for a fabric in 80 GSM they will easiler be able to exactly match the fabric and quality your after, they will in other words know better what they are looking for. It’s also a great way for you and them to get the most correct pricing if your keen on getting the best deals on the fabric for a certain garment. To know all this (GSM) they will have to have a certain quality scales which is pretty expensive, so it’s better that you’ll send fabric cuttings on what your after and they will follow that. If you send a fabric cutting and then add as a comment that you (for example) want some more ‘weight’ to it or stiffness it will make it easier for them to source. In some cases they might find a fabric similar to yours (at the best of their ability to match your swatch) and for example say “it’s 180 msg” then it’s good that you’ll know what that shortening actually means. If your dealing with jersey fabrics for example 180 msg might be to thick for your liking and you can simply tell them that, usually this happens when they send you some cuttings in different weights for approval.
Hope you found this helpful:-)
Warm Regards Alice and a special thanks to Marie !
Click Here to get your own copy of my “Alice’s Make It Fashion Guide” and to become a member of my VIP forum.

Regards, Alice

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