- Reduce waste and carbon. An average of USD7-8 billion is spent on physical samples in the apparel industry every year!
- Improve the overall design and technical efficiency.
- Review and edit your virtual sample to see instant results fitted on custom-sized models before you make your physical garment.
- Say goodbye to time-consuming dress forms and multiple-size set and fit samples.
- Reduce overall development time and cost. Speed up your time-to-market anywhere in the world without shipping initial physical samples around.
SAMPLE TYPES EXPLAINED
VARIATIONS TO SAMPLE PROCESS
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, around 60 days must be allowed for fabric to be made. This will however, reduce bulk production time.
FIT SAMPLE PURPOSE: This is a sample made from the first pattern and intended to test the designer’s idea. This sample is often made in substitute or cheaper fabrication, however, they may also be made in correct fabric, if sample yardage is available in white or stock colour (without dye or print) to ensure the fit and drape will be more accurate from the beginning.
Generally 1 – 2 revisions are expected at fit sample stage.
QTY: Only one copy is made at FIT sample stage, any adjustments need to be returned to the factory pinned with fit notes and updated tech packs.
COST: Fit samples may be a small fixed or variable (pending fabric) cost including patterns and 1 to 2 x free labour alterations pending the extent of change.
PURPOSE: This sample is the result of previous alterations from FIT samples. This sample should meet the designer’s test for fit and execution made ideally in “correct” material, colours and trims if available. The prototype is used for costing. If the proto is approved, SMS samples may not be necessary. The fit and execution of this sample must be approved, and all treatment and trims confirmed by swatches strike off’s at this stage.
Sizes are graded upon approved sample size. A grading speck sheet will be provided by the designer and must be approved along with samples and final updated tech pack, this will be used as bulk production sew-by. Changes after grading will cause a domino effect of double handling and cause additional cost and extended timelines.
QTY: If the prototype is approved and no SMS samples are required before bulk, then duplicates are recommended as the factory will need reference samples during production. Otherwise, the client must send back their only sample which may be needed for sales and marketing.
If adjustments need to be made, the samples must be returned to the factory pinned with fit notes and updated tech packs.
COST: 2 – 3 x bulk F.O.B price
SALESMAN SAMPLE (SMS) PURPOSE: This is the updated (if changes to Proto was required) or duplicated version of the Proto sample, which is also made with confirmed fits and in all correct material, colours, trims and qualities if available. SMS samples are for the purpose of duplicated samples required for sales and marketing and will be used as bulk production sew-by.
QTY: Duplicates of the approved pre-production sample must be made for each party.
COST: 2 – 3 x bulk F.O.B price.
PURPOSE: These samples are made in various sizes for photo shoots. This may not be necessary if you can pin a garment strategically on the model or use a model that fits your
sample size. Grading of sizes can only be made after confirmed Proto or SMS samples (above) are made.
QTY: A copy for the client only.
COST: Same as Proto and SMS
SIZING SAMPLE PURPOSE: Sample the grading of sizes if a graded speck sheet is not sufficient for confirmation prior to bulk. If silhouettes vary greatly between styles, test sizes of various styles my be needed. If there is a large range of sizes, there may be a limit to how many colourways and sizes can be sampled.
QTY: A copy for the client only.
COST: Same as Proto and SMS
PRE PRODUCTION SAMPLE (PP)
PURPOSE: This is the final approved version made in bulk material after PO order is calculated, the material is purchased and received, and size grading is approved (via spec sheets or size samples), and before bulk cutting start.
PP samples are always part of the process with our factories in China, however, in Bali we recommend to avoid them wherever not necessary if Proto or SMS samples and strike off for bulk material swatches are approved. This is because: Lead times are longer in Bali and whilst waiting for approved PP samples, production is put on hold. PP samples have to be made in the sample room and therefore are higher cost for the factories, but are usually only charged at bulk prices.
QTY: Generally 2 copies per style only in one colour for the client only.
COST: Same as bulk F.O.B prices.
REMARK: PP samples should be specified with bulk PO.
SHIPPING SAMPLE (Also called TOP/ Top Of Production PURPOSE: A set of samples are pulled from production prior to shipping the entire bulk to double-check all qualities are approved before shipping the reminder. This process is generally required unless external QC is hired.
QTY: 1 x unit per style/colour /size will be shipped to the client from finished bulk order for pre-approval 1 week before shipping bulk.
COST: Bulk prices/part of PO (bulk) order/invoice.
REMARK: Shipping samples should be specified with bulk PO.
CUSTOM DYE, LAB DIP’S & STRIKE OFF’S:
WHAT IS IT?
They are a “test swatch” of either custom-dyed colours (Lab dip) or prints (Strike off) onto the material for pre-approval before sample metres or bulk material is purchased. You must choose Pantone TPX or TPG dye and print colours unless your print method is digital.
This service is only offered to existing customers or new customers intending to produce with our factories. The request for lab dip’s and strike off’s must be placed along with tech packs and tentative order QTY.
Some of the factories have dye and printing in-house facilities, but most commonly this is outsourced.
GENERAL LEAD TIMES
(not including shipping time)
LABDIP’S & PRINT STRIKE OFF: 10 -15 days
BULK FABRIC DYE: 20-35days (pending dye method)
BULK FABRIC PRINTED: 30-40days (pending print method)
Manual dye or manual print method (eg: screen print) is a process used for small MOQ and common in Bail and India (not China). This method is more unpredictable with accuracy and timelines than machine dye or machine print such as digital or rotary print. This is not only because it is done by hand, but also whether will impact how the colour develop.
Once your strike-off is approved, there is generally a 5% tolerance between sample and bulk accepted.
**If you require the same colour dyed across multiple fabrics types, please be aware of the following (in particular for the hand-dye process):
- There will be a tonal difference between fabric types as they will absorb colour differently, especially if the dye method is manual.
- For a faster and more cost-effective process, please request lab dip on one fabric type first, once the correct one has been approved, you can request the remaining fabric types to be matched according to the approved lab-dip.