Sportswear Designers – Creating Tech Packs, BOM, Source and Project Managing an Activewear Factory

Having a technical CAD design and Tech pack is key to successfully producing great samples and eventually quality products.

Imagine an architect turning up on-site to meet the builders with rough sketches and scribbles and some photos of competitive products. The builders wouldn’t have a clue what to do and while they may try their best, the end results would be far removed from the vision the architect had.

This is why architects and sportswear designers need to create very accurate and detailed computer-aided design drawings that are backed up with detailed tech packs and a final BOM (Bill of Materials). Only when a factory receives these can they fully understand exactly what to produce.

The tech pack should have all the key measurements to create the block so the patterns cutter can cut these accurately. The components and trims can be developed or ordered from the correct source with the knowledge they will not only suit the particular design but also function well.

The material will be nominated or specified from a fabric mill so again they will perform for the athlete but also hit the agreed target cost and quality.

Prints, appliques, films, transfers and embroideries will also be specified with scale diagrams and measurements to make sure there aren’t any distortion or quality issues with the application of the branding and prints.

The quality of prints also needs to be determined based on the fabrics they will be applied to and the colours of all components, materials and trims will also need to be specified.

It’s really no different to an architect specifying the size of rooms, walls, windows and doors and then specifying where to purchase these from or how to manufacture them so that the end product represents the vision but also hits the quality and price stipulated at the start of the brief.

If you don’t have technical computer-aided designs or a tech pack, you can guarantee the factory will need to interpret your sportswear design and it will take much longer and cost a lot more to get to a position you will be happy to go into production. The factory will no doubt need to create a BOM and tech pack for the production line to follow and will calculate the cost to do this into the finished product.

It’s therefore imperative you have these completed before you start to talk to any sportswear factory and ideally the designer would create both the original design, tech pack and BOM and then source and manage the samples and production.

Try not to use a designer to just create the CAD designs and then pass this to someone else to create the tech packs and then a factory to produce the goods.

Not only will the original vision become diluted as your design gets passed around, but it’s key that the sportswear designer understands where the finished product will be manufactured so that the sportswear design represents their skill base and technical ability of this factory. When designing technical sportswear, the designer will need to understand the factories capabilities, the cost for specific manufacturing processes and labour costs so features are designed to accommodate the target price. The designer also needs to factor in the costs of all the materials and components otherwise the approved design will probably not hit the quality or agreed price and therefore be compromised. 

This process is exactly the same as an architect, who is responsible for the design and technical specification for the building. They will then place the build with one of their known builders that specialises in that type of construction and this includes the components that make up the build, be it windows and doors for a building and zips and buttons for a garment. 

Understanding the whole picture is paramount to creating a range of products that hits the clients brief. If you don’t have all of the key ingredients in place then the production will most probably fail in some way.

Here at Blue Associates Sportswear, we manage the whole process from the initial concept, with our clients through to the design, tech packs, BOM, sampling and production management to guarantee that your sportswear vision is never diluted and the final product hits the agreed target price and is produced to the quality and performance required.

Contact us now to discuss your project.

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