Specification sheet, also known as garment specification sheet is a technical document that illustrates the measurement details, diagram and associated construction information about the product (garment). The sheet is vital for established apparel brands and designers, as it is used to prepare required patterns, grades according to various sizes, outsource materials and develop samples.
A sheet is a form of blueprint that communicates the design, stitch class, type of seam and most importantly the different measuring groups in alphabets, making it crucial for the manufacturing process of any clothing. It has to be comprehensive, incorporating each and every aspect of the garment including labelling and packaging. Further, a well-designed spec sheet that is constantly reviewed and amended allows manufacturers to improve or maintain the desired quality standards and helps suppliers to provide the correct sample with accurate costing.
The Need of Spec Sheet in Fashion
Manufacturing or working with garments would be impossible without a good specification sheet, and verbal or written description does not seem to be enough. This is because with spec sheet you can achieve:
- Blueprint: As stated earlier, the sheet acts as a blueprint and effectively conveys the expectations of buyers. Using it, the workers will no longer have to decode the particular design for their queries, rather they can simply refer to the specific data of the sheet and get the job done seamlessly.
- Precise Estimate: With the sheet, the manufacturers are able to allocate equipment and manpower for completion of the entire order, and are able to realize where value-additions has to be outsourced from other factories.
- Time and Action Calendar: The time and action calendar is a spreadsheet in which factories state the start date and end date of the critical events that are necessary to deliver the order on-time. Again, spec sheet enables them to maintain the time and action calendar in a hassle-free manner.
- Maximizes Co-ordination & Minimizes Errors: Manufacturing garments can be a complex process and demands the active participation of many departments. Some procedures tend to work successively, while others have to be dealt simultaneously. The spec sheet is given to concerned workers of every department, ensuring optimal coordination and minimal scope for any kind of errors in production.
- Decrease Lead-Time: As the sheet helps in all the processes, like pattern making, samples and more, it keeps the factory and buyer on the same page, saving both money and time. Moreover, factories are able to save time in choosing fabrics and trims from suppliers, as the sheet contains all the relevant information.
Tools To Create a Spectacular Spec Sheet
Creating an exceptional and colorful spec sheet is a systematic process that involves four different elements and these are: description of the product in detail, description of the various embellishments that have to be incorporated into the product, a description of the interior of the garment, recorded information on the specification (sketch/diagrams, size range, label information, color range, manufacturing instructions and more).
For the process, there are a few things that you will need and these are enlisted below:
- The designing software can be used for creating technical drawings and other illustrations, for this you can take the help of a technical designer too.
- To write proper specifications, you must have a good understanding of the quality and cost, the target market and company
- A specialized professional with having competence in pattern and pattern making can be beneficial with grading specifications and measurements
- Multiple excel worksheets contain details associated with style like trims, & fabrics, fittings, grading and more. This should be brought together into one fine document
- Most of the reputable companies rely on databases that include the information of competitor's apparels along with their knowledge and experience.
Working on Different Sections of the Specification Sheet
A specification sheet should be created as per the product and design requirements of the producer or the client itself on standards, materials, quality and so on. Each page of the sheet must have a particular heading, reference number, date, buyer or customer name and factory name. This provides a unique identifier to the spec sheet. This is extremely beneficial when you want to amend any part of the sheet later. The factory would be able to find the page immediately that has to be reviewed or replaced. The following information should be part of every page:
- Date: This is the date on which the sheet was submitted, and helps the supplier to keep a track of their timeline.
- Client or Brand: The client or brand name along with the logo will let the manufacturers get back to you in case of any queries.
- Garment Description: What you need should be indicated in the sheet and that is used for reference. This is either one to four words, such as a shirt, tops, skirt, T-shirt, 3/4 pants and more. It can be in a number format like LLDD12-tops 001.
- Total Number of Pieces: This would be the overall quantity required with respect to the size mentioned in the specification sheet.
- Fabric Details: The fabric details must focus on the type of fabric including product code, swatches, supplier details and fibre content.
Apart from the general information, there are specific details that should be present on the different pages of the sheet such as: front & back image of the garment, indicator lines for seam, alterations, screenshot for print or color, PoMs or Points of Measure, stitch and label instructions, BOM (Bill of Materials) and Comment Section (used both by clients or factories to mention their feedback or queries).
There you have it, creating a wonderful spec sheet is as simple as it can be. But, when implementing them do remember: no matter how detailed the garment sheet might be, its interpretation is utmost importance and this can only be carried out by factories that are producing the right kind of product. Therefore, never forget to match the specification sheet with reliable factories for quality assurance.