What is a tech pack?

In the dynamic world of sportswear, where creativity meets performance and technology, the concept of a fashion tech pack emerges as an indispensable tool. It serves as the blueprint, the nucleus, and the guiding force behind the creation of every sports garment that graces the track, court or race or finds its way into our wardrobes. In this blog, we delve into the intricate details of what a fashion tech pack entails, its significance in the activewear industry, and its role in shaping the future of sportswear innovation.

What is a Tech Pack?

The tech pack is essentially a comprehensive document that encapsulates every vital detail related to a garment’s design, construction, materials, and specifications. It serves as a bridge between the creative vision of designers and the technical execution required for sampling and mass production. Picture it as the ultimate instruction manual, providing precise guidelines for manufacturers to bring a designer’s vision to life.

What goes into a Tech Pack?

1. Design Details: At the core of a sportswear tech pack are the design specifications. This includes detailed CAD sketches, colour swatches with pantone references, and detailed descriptions of the garment’s silhouette, style, and any embellishments or special performance features.

2. Measurement Chart: Accuracy is paramount in sportswear, and a detailed measurement chart ensures consistency across all of the required sizes is paramount. From bust to waist, inseam to shoulder width, every measurement is meticulously recorded to maintain uniformity in sizing. The tech pack needs to have a detailed size chart that is fully graded across all sizes and include measurements of every aspect of the garment. A typical tech pack would include around 15+ different measuring points.

3. Material and Trim Specifications: The right choice of performance fabric is the essence of technical activewear, and the tech pack enumerates the exact materials required for the garment and athletes requirements. Sourcing the correct fabric from the right supplier is critical to make sure the garment delivers in terms of performance, fit, function and it will hit the required target cost price. Most tech packs created by freelance sportswear designers don’t include the specific fabric detail with nominated supplier as they don’t generally source fabrics and components. This makes the tech pack almost useless, and we equate this to an architect specifying glass for the windows or wood for the front door and leaving the builder to choose.

If you plan to work with a designer that doesn’t look after production, make sure they have suitable fabric knowledge and suppliers where you can choose the fabrics based on the criteria of the products performance. If they do not source the fabrics, we suggest you don’t proceed with that designer. The same supplier nomination of trims, buttons, zippers, and other embellishments should also form part of the tech pack.

4. Construction Details: From stitching techniques to seam allowances, the tech pack leaves no stone unturned in outlining the construction process. This includes information on stitch types, seam finishes, and any special techniques required to achieve the desired outcome. Sportswear isn’t fashion. It is technical and needs to perform and the construction of the garment will be paramount to making sure the fit and function works.

5. Labelling and Packaging Instructions: Even the smallest details matter, and labelling and packaging instructions ensure that the final product reflects the brand’s identity. This includes details on labels, tags, and packaging design, maintaining brand consistency from production to presentation. The materials of the labels and packaging is also important to reflect you brands values with many brands now opting for fully sustainable options.

6. BOM: The bills of materials specify to the factory where to obtain every ingredient the sports garment is made from. The BOM would include the contact details of the fabrics and trim suppliers and the code and description of each item listed. All fabrics, trims and branding should be specified with this information so you can rest assured that the quality is approved by you and the performance of the ingredients matches your brief.

If your designer cannot provide suppliers and quality references for all of the fabrics, trims and packaging, then we suggest you look for another designer, otherwise your tech pack is only 50% complete.

Importance of getting the tech pack right.

1. Streamlining Production: The sportswear industry is driven by tight deadlines and fast-paced trends and new technology and therefore efficiency is key. Sportswear tech packs streamline the production process by providing clear and concise instructions, minimising errors and reducing lead times. The samples you will receive from a factory that has a detailed and complete tech pack will be far superior that if you have a tech pack that isn’t complete. The chances are, this will cause delays and you will require more samples to get to the finished result you desire and if you leave the factory to source and nominate the fabrics and trims, you have no guarantee the quality and performance will be right.

2. Quality Assurance: Consistency is the hallmark of quality, and fashion tech packs serve as a benchmark for ensuring consistency in every aspect of garment production. From fit to performance, adherence to tech pack specifications guarantees a high-quality end product. You should be able to pass a tech pack to any factory that produces quality sportswear and end up with similar costs and samples.

3. Communication Tool: Sports fashion and activewear is a collaborative effort involving brand owners, designers, fabric mills, trim suppliers and sportswear factories. Tech packs serve as a universal language, facilitating communication and ensuring that everyone involved is on the same page.

4. Cost Optimisation: By providing detailed specifications and eliminating guesswork, fashion tech packs help in optimising costs. Manufacturers can accurately estimate material requirements, labour costs, and production timelines, ultimately leading to cost savings. Every ingredient of the garment should be nominated and provided to the factory so the ingredient element (fabrics, components and trims) are easily costed so the only cost to calculate would be the manufacturing element the factory would provide.

5. Sustainability Focus: With sustainability emerging as a central concern in the sportswear industry, tech packs now play a crucial role in promoting eco-friendly practices. From specifying sustainable materials to optimising production processes, tech packs can facilitate the transition towards more sustainable and ethical fashion practices.

The Future of Sportswear Innovation

As technology continues to revolutionise the fashion industry, the role of sportswear tech packs is poised to evolve further. Advancements such as 3D modelling, virtual prototyping, and AI-driven design are already reshaping the way garments are conceptualised, developed, and produced. We now provide a 3D render option to our client so they can visualise the garments better. This also helps the factory work out the drape and fit and the factory are supplied with patterns they can use to produce the 1st prototype.

These 3D sportswear designs are also useful for our clients to present their ranges to investors or buyers who might pre order before they even start to create the 1st prototypes with the factory.

Find out more about 3D sportswear design here

In conclusion, a sportswear tech pack is much more than a simple document; it’s the lifeline of the activewear industry, guiding the journey from concept to creation. As sportswear continues to evolve in the digital age, the importance of tech packs in driving innovation, performance, ensuring quality, and fostering sustainability cannot be overstated. A tech pack is the step-by-step instructions of how you expect your product to be manufactured and locks in cost, quality, performance, sustainability and consistency.

Contact us for more information.

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