At its most basic, a tech pack is a blueprint for the manufacturing of a product. As one of the most essential tools for a designer, a tech pack is often overlooked in terms of importance. Your tech pack will contain every piece of information that your manufacturers need to bring your product to life. That includes every piece of technical information, such as the colourways, size gradings, seams, measurements, trims and labels. Dismissing the importance of a tech pack means opening the door to miscommunication and costly errors. When there’s a technical or production problem, the lack of a defined tech pack is often the source so we're going to dive into what makes a great tech pack for a successful production run.
"When you’re producing a new collection, your tech pack will allow you to communicate everything you need to say to your manufacturer."
About Tech Packs
A tech pack (short for ‘Technical Packet’) is used across the entire fashion industry. From jewelry brands to apparel companies, a tech pack will be used to communicate between your design teams and your manufacturers. A robust tech pack will be the single document that contains every piece of relevant information that your manufacturers and your in-house team needs. The more information is included in a tech pack, the less risk there is for errors that will delay production and increase costs. Your product team will use it to track every stage of the product development process, making comments and revisions as new changes need to be made. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the need for multiple samples, lowering costs and ensuring faster speed to market.
"Knowing how to create a tech pack for fashion design is vital, and you will need to provide access to that document for your designers, technical teams, and product developers."
What goes into a tech pack?
Multiple components go into a tech pack. While different branches of the fashion industry will not require every one of the following sections, the more details that are included the better your efficiency. The most commonly seen elements of a tech pack will be:
- Designs: The most important part of the tech pack, the technical drawings, construction notes, CADs, fit log, and dimensions will all be present. A good tech pack will include flat drawings that show the product from all angles, including close-ups of specific details in the design. Included with those drawings and notes will be stitching details and a breakdown of the product dimensions.
- Materials Breakdown: This will include all of the information that you have regarding every raw material used in the production of your design. That will include the name of each material, the colourways, weight, finish, and composition of your product. It will also include details about your planned supplier if there is one in place already. This breakdown is more commonly known as the Bill of Materials (BOM).
- Components Listing: Not every designer will need to add information about the additional components that finish your product, but if you require embroideries, labels, threads, trims, and other embellishments then these too will need to be listed in your tech pack.
- Sizing Guidelines: Your size measurements across the whole size spectrum this product will be in including any tolerances you'll accept.
- Feedback Section: When you receive your initial samples, any comments that you need to make or feedback that you need to give should be done via a dedicated section in your tech pack.
- Order Details: There should always be a clearly laid out plan for delivery dates, as well as basic information about bulk production delivery addresses, and any bespoke packaging guides.
From detailed breakdowns of your stitches and seams to your branding artwork and your measurement specifications, a tech pack is a comprehensive document. However, it shouldn’t be a static one. Just as your designs will go through changes, so too will your tech pack. Knowing how to create a clothing tech pack is only half the battle, because traditional tech packs can be cumbersome documents. And that’s where their digital counterparts come in.
What are digital tech packs and why are they the future?
The most common tools for tech pack creation are Excel, Adobe, and Powerpoint. While these have their benefits, they can all make product evolution much harder to keep track of. Traditional tech packs make collaboration a slower and more challenging process, and that means an increased risk of expensive errors. Miscommunication is all too easy, which hinders seamless collaboration across the entire design process. While these have been the industry standard, they are not without serious flaws. Making changes to them can be laborious work, and you will often have to switch between different software to make relevant changes. Digital tech packs are the innovative solution to all of the negatives of the traditional tech pack. That’s because they utilize cloud-based software that can be accessed by every relevant member of your team, suppliers, and manufacturers. Using tools like Calico, your digital tech pack can be created significantly faster while also being:
- More intuitive
- Easier to share with your teams and your supply chain
- Ideal for accurate pricing from your suppliers
- A real-time collaboration tool
- Able to increase speed to market
- Focused on quality control at every stage
- A way to ensure error-free samples
- A transparent resource that allows for manufacturer accountability
When errors in the fashion industry cost money, a digital tech pack will reduce those errors, saving you both time and your budget. With digital tech pack software, you can create what you need within minutes rather than hours or days, using customizable, pre-filled templates.
The future of fashion brands
Bringing a new product to market is rarely a simple and straightforward process. That means having the tools and resources that will only make your business model more efficient and profitable. If you want to cut down on time waste, money waste, and get your products to market faster than ever, sign up and speak to one of our team to find out how we can get your product from concept to doorstep in record time.