Plus Samples offers advice on how to use this essential communication tool between a designer and a manufacturer.
A Tech Pack is an essential communication tool between a designer and a manufacturer.
A traditional Tech Pack includes design sketches, garment specifications and raw material allocations. It helps designers to set standards and fashion manufacturers to gauge the designer’s expectations.
The purpose of the Tech Pack is to explain to the factory, in the form of visual guidelines, what you expect to see at the end of the production line.
In this blog, three of the most common questions about tech packs are answered, with a free downloadable Tech Pack template included.
Three common questions about Tech Packs, answered
From Plus Samples
1. How should it look and what should be included?
Up to this point in time, there’s no universal format. On one hand it makes our lives easier, allowing us to adapt according to the manufacturing conditions and budget. On the other hand, it leaves fashion designers who aren’t familiar with this subject very confused.
Let’s unpack this further and see exactly what information it should include.
At times, a neat and detailed garment illustration with annotations is enough, especially if you are working closely with your sample makers and cutters at a pattern cutting or sampling stage.
If you need a Tech Pack to accompany your garment production, then it will require much greater detail.
Traditionally a full Tech Pack will include following pages:
- Cover Page – a brief introduction to the style. Here you will keep a log of all the amendments to the Tech Pack and any other related to admin information.
- Garment Construction Page – a detailed description of the internal and external elements of the garment. It will include all the information about stitches and seams. It could be anything from 1 to 6 pages long.
- Bill of Material (BOM) – A list of all the materials used to make this garment and must include colours, SKU numbers etc.
- Point of Measure (POM) – Sample measurements page includes base size pattern and garment measurements with the points of measure.
- Grading Specifications – measurements of all the sizes with points of measure.
Optional pages include:
- Packing and Labelling Manual – that will include label placement and packaging instructions.
- Colour Variations
- Print Placement and Markers
- Cutting Sheet
PRO TIP: Try and complete it in the least number of pages possible. A quality Tech Pack can deliver all the required information within 5-6 pages. Try not to overcomplicate it.
2. Why are there drawings on a Tech Pack and not images?
The drawings on the tech pack are called flat sketches.
Don’t be fooled by dull black and white images; they take time and skill to produce. Drawing should include a front and back image with an option of the side or internal view.
The most common way of producing them is using Adobe Illustrator but other software such as Corel draw or different graphic design and illustration apps could be used (Inkscape, Affinity Designer)
Don’t be overly creative with your sketches as shading and different colours are distracting. An overpopulated tech pack with unnecessary information could be overwhelming and misleading.
Images are usually added as extra supporting materials and can’t replace a flat sketch.
PRO TIP: keep it simple! Look at the Tech Pack and think: how can I declutter and reduce the size?
3. Can I create a Tech Pack myself?
To create a Tech Pack you need to be able to translate your ideas into a flat drawing.
Also, you have to have a strong understanding of garment technology and pattern cutting to produce a quality Tech Pack. If you do not possess any of the skills above, I would suggest to look for a garment technician or a technical designer to assist you.
PRO TIP: Whether you are going to create a Tech Pack yourself, use the help of an experienced garment tech or purchase an off the shelf software such as Techpacker, you should remember that it’s never static and is always evolving. Don’t be mistaken by thinking that you’ve created it once and it won’t change!
I hope the outline above helps you reach a better understanding of what it takes to produce a professional Tech Pack.