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If I said to you MOQ, CMT or PCS, would you have any idea what they stand for? If so, then this will just be a little refresher for you, but if not then get ready to learn some fashion design and manufacturing terminology. Now you might be wondering, why do I need to know these terms? If you’re starting your own clothing brand, then this is especially important as you will be communicating with designers and suppliers who use this fashion ‘jargon’ all the time. It can be rather confusing to get to grips with on your own, that’s why we’ve made a handy guide to teach you the basics.


Fashion Design Terms

  1. Embellishments – all different types of prints including embroideries, branding and logos
  2. Grading – the difference in measurements between garment sizes. This involves increasing and decreasing the dimensions of different parts of the garment to create additional sizes based on the sample size
  3. Flat-lock stitching – a type of stitching that is flat on both sides of the seam. It doesn’t irritate the skin and is usually used in activewear and underwear. It requires a special type of machine, which only specialised manufacturers will provide, and we are one of them
  4. Pantone – a colour matching system that uses codes to identify different colours. For example, PANTONE 14-3612 is called Orchid Bloom and is a shade of lilac. This helps to standardise colours and make sure they match the design brief during fabric sourcing and manufacturing
  5. Pre -production sample – is one piece/garment that represents the final product which is sent then to the client for feedback
  6. Tech pack – a document containing all the technical information about a product, including a spec sheet with all the garment details, artworks, visual design and colour options – measurements and size charts can be added additionally. This is essentially the blue print that the designers use to communicate to the manufacturer on how to make each item
  7. Technical drawing – a flat lay of the design, showing a front and back view of the garment with embellishment details and the type of stitching to be used


Manufacturing Terms

  1. Bulk – the final production order, once samples are approved
  2. CMT (Cut, Make, Trim) – involves cutting fabric, sewing it together and adding any necessary trims, including zips, labels or buttons. This forms part of the garment manufacturing price. We source all our fabrics and trims ourselves, working with fabric suppliers based in Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey
  3. FOB (Free On Board) – is the cost of manufacturing and delivering the goods, excluding shipping fees, tax and insurance. At V House of Apparel, we don’t charge any extra for delivery or tax, because our garments are made in Europe, so the price you receive for manufacturing is the only price
  4. Lead time – the total amount of time required to manufacture, distribute and receive the final goods. Our lead times are usually 3-4 weeks for design and development, 4-5 weeks for pattern making and sampling and 8-10 weeks for bulk production
  5. MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) – the minimum number of garments a factory is prepared to manufacture at one time, per design and per colour in various sizes. At V House of Apparel, we require at least 3 different garments per order. For small orders of 3-10 different items, we can make 150 pieces of each design and colour including various sizes. For bigger collections of 10+ items, we can produce as little as 100 pieces per design and colour in various sizes
  6. Pattern – a template used to trace and cut out the specific parts of a garment. This can be done digitally or by hand. Be careful not to confuse this with sublimation printing, which involves creating motifs and graphic designs
  7. PCS– simply stands for pieces. For instance, 1000 pcs means 1000 pieces/items. This is often used when ordering trims and specific elements for the garments, such as zips and cords
  8. Purchase Order – the legal contract between the buyer and supplier, indicating product types, quantities and price for design and manufacturing
  9. Seam allowance – the space between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line, which joins two or more pieces of fabric together
  10. Sublimation – is a process of printing fabric by fusing the ink into the material itself, instead of being printed on top. The ink is printed within the fibres of a white polyester fabric in a custom-designed print. There is no limitation when it comes to colours, graphics or size. This type of print can only be done on polyester or blend of spandex fabrics, not on cotton. It requires a sublimation printing machine, which we are able to offer to all our clients
  11. Swatches – are small pieces of fabric that showcase the available materials with composition and weight descriptions. These are usually sent to the clients who then confirm which fabrics will be used for each design
  12. Tolerance – also known as the plus or minus measurement, determines whether a product meets the pre-established quality standards in terms of size. It is impossible to get two garments exactly the same size, which is why there is a tolerance allowance. For example, a garment will still pass the quality inspection if it is 31cm instead of the intended 30cm as the tolerance is +/- 2cm
  13. Trims – are anything extra that you add onto the garment, such as zips, drawstrings and cords

Click here to download a handy portable guide summarising all of these useful fashion design and manufacturing terms.

So now you’ve got the hang of the fashion lingo there’s nothing to stop you from starting your very own clothing brand. If you’ve got an idea for a new clothing collection and want to get started today, get in touch by clicking here and we can start your very first clothing collection journey.

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