Are you interested in starting T-shirt business? Whether it is a manufacturing business or planning for starting your own t-shirt brand, you need to learn t-shirt manufacturing process. From design a t-shirt to shipping the t-shirt to retail store.
The majority of T-shirts are made of 100% cotton, polyester, or a cotton/polyester blend. Environmentally conscious manufacturers may use organically grown cotton and natural dyes. Stretchable T-shirts are made of knit fabrics, especially jerseys, rib knits, and interlock rib knits, which consist of two ribbed fabrics that are joined together. Jerseys are most frequently used since they are versatile, comfortable, and relatively inexpensive. They also are a popular material for applying screen prints and heat transfers. Some jerseys come in tubular form, simplifying the production process by reducing the number of seams. Rib knit fabrics are often used when a snugger fit is desired. Many higher quality T-shirts are made of durable interlock rib knit fabrics.
Most of the operations in manufacturing clothing are regulated by federal and inter-national guidelines. Manufacturers may also set guidelines for the company. There are standards that apply specifically to the T-shirt industry, which include proper sizing and fit, appropriate needles and seams, types of stitches, and the number of stitches per inch. Stitches must be loose enough to allow the garment to stretch without breaking the seam. Hems must be flat and wide enough to prevent curling. T-shirts must also be inspected for proper application of neck-lines, which should rest flat against the body. The neckline should also recover properly after being slightly stretched.
Here are the steps to be followed for making t-shirts (from order receiving to shipment).
>> Once you receive the t-shirt sample with the order, analyze the garment and list down all detailing (construction, workmanship, seam, fabric used, trims attached etc). Estimate consumption of fabric and trims per garment.
>> Make bill of materials (BOM) after receiving the order. Include all items in the BOM.
>> Source Fabrics and trims as per requirement.
>> After receiving fabrics and trims, check for quality and quantity of sourced items. Fabric and trims need to be checked as per specification (quality standards). For the confirmation for fabric properties you might need to send fabric sample to the testing labs. Test fabric shrinkage.
>> Develop patterns for the style. Pattern grading to be done for different sizes. Make sample marker with actual garment patterns and find average consumption of fabrics.
>> Make two/three sample garments and follow all processes to be followed in bulk production (e.g. washing and finishing). Check these samples after finishing. According to checking report of the sample do correction if needed.
>> This process will stop you making mistakes in patterns and shrinkage related issue in fabrics. Just to be safe from losing fabric and also maintaining quality of the final product.
>> Start bulk process
>> Lay fabric on the table as per marker length. Cut multiple layers at a time to save time in cutting. You can even layer multiple colors together. Just keep in mind to check size ratio.
>> Make marker on the top layer. Cut fabric as per pattern. Cut quantity to be as per size ratio in the in order. You can cut some extra garment for buffer. Like if some defective or rejected garment are made in the following processes.
>> Check cut panels randomly for fabric defects and cutting is done according to the pattern.
>> Make bundles of cutting (if required). Or you can feed complete layers to the sewing operator.
>> Set a group of tailors for stitching garments. Define sequence of the operations to be followed by tailors. Sew garments maintaining stitching quality.
>> Check stitching quality during sewing and at the end of sewing. Do correction of defective garment found in the line. Repair work (alteration and part changing job) can be done separately or by same tailors.
>> Send stitched garment to finishing section. Trim uncut threads.
>> Remove stains before pressing garments with steam iron (if stains are found in garments). If needed wash garments for cleaning and removing stains and getting wash effect.
>> Press garments.
>> Fold garments. Attach hang tags and price tags to garments. Pack garments into poly bags. Pack garments according to customer requirement.
>> You can check finished and packed garment randomly for quality assurance.
>> Store packed garments for shipping to your buyers.
Note: In case you are making t-shirt for your own brand, you have to design the t-shirt, prepare techpack and you have to set quality standards. In that case order processing would vary.
P.S. Your t-shirt design may have value addition like printing and embroidery design. So printing/embroidery process will be included based on the design at what stage printing to be done. Mostly printing of t-shirt is done on t-shirt panels. I mean after cutting, garment panels are sent to printing house for printing. After printing work cutting panels are sent to stitching floor.