For those of you who are starting a clothing business without any formal training in the industry, it is important that you learn how to create a TECHPACK, which will include a technical flat sketch or a good working drawing with all of the design’s details. Flats are used extensively within the industry to explain designs in detail. A technical flat is drawn as if it were laid out flat on a table with all the seams, darts, and construction details. If you have ever seen a drawing on the backside of a commercial store-bought pattern, you will understand what a flat or working sketch is. It is what it says it is, a flat two-dimensional drawing without a figure, drawn to scale. It is used to explain to everyone involved in the construction process, how a garment is designed and constructed with all the relevant details pertaining to the design.
Technical Flats are used for a variety of purposes that go into the specifications and or final Tech Pack.
- Cost sheets
- Pattern cards
- Callouts: Printing, embroidery etc.
- Line sheets
- Specification sheets
- Presentation boards
Tech Packs include all the above information plus sewing and finishing details. Tech Packs are also used as a legal document of how to manufacturer any type of apparel. This legal document will be used as a form of contract to be followed by the source of production.
Tech Packs include all the above, with the style’s precise measurements and a precise front and back sketch, a Technical Flat Sketch, including construction details, grading rules and call-outs, plus a Product Details page, listing all of the materials and component specifications. Generally the technical flat is a black and white line drawing, not stylized, but they can be colored with a rendering of the fabrication or a scan of a print or fabric
Once the sample yardage is acquired, the first pattern is made from the designer’s first sketches. In order to produce a good first pattern, the patternmaker must be able to understand the design that is to be translated into a pattern, and then into a first sewn sample. Once the sample is accepted into the line a technical drawing) of the garment is sketched with finished dimensions and sewing details, topstitching, zipper length, etc. If you are trained in draping, and are able to make your own patterns, this will obviously save you a great deal of money. You will then be more likely to achieve your vision of how you would like your garments to look and be produced, without having requiring the garment to be remade a number of times before it is to your satisfaction. The next step is to create the first sample. The contractor that you plan to use for your production, (not necessarily a sample maker) can often also make the first samples. This has the added advantage of the contractor being able to cost the garment for production. Using this method allows the contractors to become aware of any problems involved with sewing a particular style, and enables them to give a fair estimate of the costing. As a rule of thumb, sewing the first sample is usually two to three times the price of sewing a garment in production.