How to comment a garment
HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY COMMENT A GARMENT
In How to fit a garment we explain step by step, how to go about fitting a garment, what to think about in the process and the tools needed. In the fit session you look at the fit, movement and volume of the garment, and now you need to zoom in on all the details, making and workmanship. We’re talking about commenting your garment.
It’s about communication
This is the way of communicating with your manufacturer what changes you want to be made on your proto samples. It is your way of improving the garment, making sure every single detail is as you have intended it, and that your customer gets the quality garment he/she pays for.
The way to comment a garment is by looking very closely at it and compare with the sketch and your instructions. Look carefully at all the details and making. What is incorrect, what do you want to change? Comments are made in text or visually by making adjustments on the proto.
You can draw, cut, pin and tape on the garment, do whatever it takes to visually state the changes you wish to make. This information is later sent to the factory to be implemented in the next sample.
Think of the proto commenting as a little quality control. Have they attached the pocket bags as you have indicated in your tech pack? Are the seams straight, are the seams as narrow as you want them to be, is the zipper sewn in flat or is it wobbly? Are the eyelets punched incorrectly or are they damaged because of too much pressure in the eyelet machine? Are there thread ends all over the garment and is the lamination sloppy done? EVERYTHING should be commented and YES, it’s OK to comment: ”Please improve the workmanship!” if you feel it’s bad.
Not sure what is off with your garment? Buy a competitor garment, of the same price range as yours and compare. How are the details done and finished, are there any loose thread ends hanging all over the garment? Is the zipper puckering? You can also use the competitor sample to show the factory what you look for in workmanship. Most of the times the workmanship reflects the price of your garment. You usually get what you pay for.
It’s entirely up to you
Can’t the factory do the comments for you? Nope, this is your most important task in the product development phase. This is where you take your time and sit with the product, look through ever single cm/inch on the garment, the making, the trims, the solutions, stitching, EVERYTHING incorporated in the product. Nothing should be neglected.
The comments and improvements on your protos, are entirely your responsibility, not the factories. Of course the factory wants the best for your products as well. The more you sell the more you order and buy from them. But YOU have to check everything and double-check again, and communicate in a way that nothing gets lost or misunderstood.
I can’t stress this enough: you can’t afford to be lazy about this! Input = Output
First season after launching our own brand, we developed a couple of jackets. One of them was pretty complicated. We had been through the full proto process successfully and I had been to the factory for proto comments hand over and review with the team. Everything seemed under control before going into bulk production. When we received the bulk shipment, all the jackets in that style were missing the lower part adjustment. It wasn’t crucial for the style but it was a default. We sold all the products but had to give the retailer a discount. No jackets were returned because of that default, thankfully, but I can still feel the anxiety thinking about it. There is no such thing as over-explaining in the product development world.