Understanding the fashion development and production process is essential in order to prepare handovers, timelines and set realistic expectations for product to be complete on time.
Factory lead times vary depending on product type, availability of material and trims, current production capacity, quantities, client’s preparation and the number of changes during the sample stage.
Factories will provide general lead times, however, confirmed exit-factory dates for sample and bulk production can only be provided once all handovers are confirmed and any outsourced suppliers have confirmed delivery dates, such as trims and treatment.
Schedule with plenty of notice
It is always best to schedule in work with designers, manufacturers and suppliers with plenty of notice. Rushed work is stressful for everyone involved and creates an increased risk of an undesirable result. Scheduling with reasonable timelines will ensure the process is enjoyable and no corners are cut in order to deliver a premium product on time.
Interruptions to timeline
All work within a factory is carefully scheduled. Interruptions to a timeline that are not accounted for such as; the client making changes during the sample process, or unavailability of material or trim from supplies, will affect the scheduled timeline as the originally scheduled workers will then continue with other work until they can confirm the re-scheduled dates to continue. Therefore, always allow for additional time to your timelines.
First round with a new factory?
Customers developing samples for the first time with a factory should always allow for about 1-2 additional months on top of the general lead times for the factory due to the unpredictable nature of a new project. Fashion development and production is a carefully planned process.
Fashion Development and Production sample lead times and timelines
AVERAGE SAMPLE LEAD TIMES
Lead times for samples will much depend on the fabric and trim availability. If sample yardage is not available to purchase, then the bulk fabric must be purchased during the sample stage in order to make final samples to approve for bulk production. If the fabric is to be knitted from scratch, then around 60 days must be allowed for fabric to be made. This will however reduce bulk production time.
BALI: 30 – 45 days for the first round of fit samples including lab dips and print strike–off, 10 days for revised samples and 20 – 40 days for Proto/SMS
CHINA: 10 -14 days for the first round of fit samples including lab dips and print strike–off, 7-10 days for revised samples and 20 – 40 days for Proto/SMS.
AVERAGE BULK PRODUCTION LEAD TIMES
Bulk lead times start when all suppliers have confirmed stock and delivery times. It generally takes 5 -10 days after bulk order is placed to calculate consumption and confirm with suppliers. Once suppliers have confirmed, we can provide an X-factory date.
BALI: 90 days
CHINA: 25 – 50 days