7 Steps of Garment Manufacturing Simplified

7 Steps of Garment Manufacturing Simplified

In just over half a century, Bangladesh has shot up to become the second-biggest garment exporter in the world. From Bangladesh’s humble beginning till now, the journey has been like a rollercoaster ride.

One of the biggest reasons for the success of Bangladesh’s garment industry is our efficient manufacturing process. Each and every one of the garment factories built are to be highly efficient and effective. This ensures that the manufacturing process is reliable and able to meet any requirement.

To better understand how we have come to where we are, we will be looking at the steps of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh. We will simplify the seven steps in the process so that everyone can follow along easily.

Garment Manufacturing in Bangladesh

Bangladesh’s journey to the second position in the global garments manufacturing and export industry started back in 1970. At that time, the country was struggling after our independence war and was looking for ways to strengthen its economy. At the start, the garment industry was looking to make clothes to meet the local demands.

However, everything started to change in 1980. The government discovered the potential of the clothing industry in the international market. Seeing this, the government made various changes to help grow the industry. More were implemented, from allowing tax breaks to the duty-free import of machinery and smoother export procedures.

These were to encourage foreign companies to invest in Bangladesh and make it easier for businesses to operate here. The changes made it more attractive for companies to start making clothes in Bangladesh and helped the industry grow.

Despite all the new changes, Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturing industry keeps showing that it can handle it. The future outlook is promising with the possible integration of new technologies.

New technology, like Industry 4.0, is going to make a big difference in how clothes are made in Bangladesh. From machine learning to AI to data analytics, all of these new technologies will make the garment industry in Bangladesh work faster, better, and smoother in the future.

7 Steps of Garment Manufacturing

1. Conceptualization and Design

The first of the 7 steps of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh and everywhere else starts with figuring out which clothes to manufacture. Designers of the manufacturing company work with either clients or their teams to create unique and comfortable designs that match the target audience’s preferences.

Once a concept is accepted, it is put to paper. During the design process, designers will make changes to ensure the final product matches the accepted concept. The design team will use various digital tools at this stage to make the process smoother and simpler.

2. Fabric Sourcing

Based on the concept and design accepted above, garment manufacturers will start the fabric sourcing process. In Bangladesh, a diverse collection of fabrics is used in garment manufacturing. Some of the fabrics selected are cotton, polyester, denim, and blends.

Most of the major garment factories in Bangladesh are actively working to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These manufacturers believe in using recycled materials like recycled polyester fabric, plastic, and paper.

To ensure that the manufacturers get the cheapest and best quality fabrics, they connect with various suppliers. The biggest manufacturers have a supply chain that ensures quality and makes their processes even more cost-effective.

3. Grading and Pattern Creation

Pattern making and grading are two of the seven steps of garment manufacturing that are very important. Firstly comes the pattern creation, which is about creating a blueprint of the patterns that must be followed to create a specific piece of garment such as a t-shirt or dress. For this step, designers must use special tools and accurate measurements to ensure the final product fits perfectly.

Next comes grading, which is just as important as patterns and closely related. Think about when you picked a shirt of two different sizes. Both of them fit you and someone else perfectly, even though one is bigger or smaller than the other. This is because that garment’s grading was correctly done.

Designers will increase or decrease the size of a piece of clothing while maintaining the proportions to ensure the final product fits and looks perfect. That is what grading is. Like with pattern creation, grading also requires special tools and accurate measurements.

4. Sample Production and Quality Maintenance

Sample production is a dry run. This is to check if the design, patterns, grading, etc have been done properly. Skilled garment workers will follow the outline and measurements set to create a small batch, which will go through quality maintenance.

During the quality maintenance, the samples will be checked to see if they meet certain standards. Every part of the garment will get thorough checking. From stitching, the fit and the overall garment quality will go through a microscope, in some cases, to ensure nothing is wrong.

If there are any issues, adjustments will be made to the design, pattern, and grading. Once everything is cleared, the manufacturer will move to mass production.

5. Production and Cutting

We are nearing the end of our 7 steps of garment manufacturing. The start of mass production is about production planning. Based on the client’s or brand’s specifications, a plan will be created on how many clothes will be made, how long it must take, and what and how much resources will be needed.

With the planning done, the cutting can begin. At this step of garment manufacturing, skilled workers will cut selected fabrics according to the design, pattern, and grading with special machines or tools. This step must be done with a lot of care so that resources aren’t wasted because of any silly mistakes.

6. Assembly and Final Touches

With all the pieces of the fabric cut, workers can now begin to assemble them. The majority of the assembly process is done through sewing. Detail assembly will require smaller machines or hand sewing to keep the quality high or meet client or brand requirements. On the other hand, the bigger work, such as putting the fabric pieces together, is done with bigger automated sewing machines.

Once all the fabrics are sewn into garments, they go through final touches. The small details are done at this step, like adding buttons and checking if the stitches are done properly. You can also think of this step as like quality checking.

7. Packaging

The last of the 7 steps of garment manufacturing is packaging, where the garments are prepped to be shipped locally or internationally. The garments will be steamed, ironed, and then folded properly during this step. Once they are folded, they will be packed and then boxed for shipping as well.

Potential Issues in Garment Manufacturing

 

Garment manufacturing in Bangladesh might seem flawless, but no big system like manufacturing is without issues. The 7 steps of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh ensure as few issues as possible, but things still happen.

Here are some examples of potential issues seen in Garment manufacturing in Bangladesh:

Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain disruption is a major and common issue in garment manufacturing. This issue is basically about problems related to getting the right materials for making garments.

The reasons for disruption vary a lot, but the common ones are delays in shipping, shortages of materials, or problems with suppliers. When this happens, it can slow down production and cause delays in delivering the clothes to customers.

Quality Control Issues

Another issue Bangladeshi garment manufacturers face is quality control. Mistakes or defects in the final products make them unsellable. Common mistakes and defects seen are stitching coming undone, fabric tears, or color fading.

Quality maintenance is done during or after sample production and assembly to eliminate this issue. Quality control is important to ensure customers get well-made and durable clothes. Quality control issues can damage the brand’s reputation and lead to unhappy customers.

Labor Shortages or Strikes

About 80% of women’s empowerment in Bangladesh, especially in the lower or middle class, happens in the garment industry. Issues like disagreements with the management or low pay can and do lead to labor shortages or strikes at the factories.

When manufacturers are designing their steps of garment manufacturing, they need to consider these possibilities. Labor shortages or strikes can disrupt production and lead to delays in fulfilling orders. It can also impact the well-being of the workers and create tension between management and employees.

Environmental Concerns

Environmental concerns have become one of the leading issues in garment manufacturing in Bangladesh and worldwide. Pollution from factories, excessive water usage, and improper disposal of waste are just a few of the problems that factories need to address in their manufacturing process.

Manufacturers looking to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are working to ensure their process is as environmentally friendly as possible. They are implementing sustainable practices to minimize their environmental footprint and ensure the planet’s long-term health.

Compliance with Regulations

Last but not least, being unable to comply with regulations is a major issue in garment manufacturing. Many manufacturers are unable to comply with labor laws, safety regulations, and ethical standards for various reasons.

Failure to do so leads to fines, legal troubles, and damage to the company’s reputation. Manufacturers must stay updated on regulations and ensure their practices match with industry standards and legal requirements.

Conclusion

The 7 steps of garment manufacturing in Bangladesh allow us to stay as the top 2 garment exporters in the world. These steps ensure that our garments meet international standards while also being affordable and environmentally friendly.

From the start of designing and conceptualizing to quality maintenance and packaging, each step is built for the best results. In the future, better technology and machines will be implemented to ensure the final products are better looking, more comfortable, and cheaper.

However, no system is 100% foolproof because issues can persist. From supply chain disruption to regulation, non-compliance can lead to manufacturing issues and damage the company’s reputation.

But you can combat these issues and improve your reputation with better management and refining the production process. As we have seen repeatedly, Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturing industry can handle anything that might happen.

FAQ’s

Q. How long does it typically take to complete the garment manufacturing process in Bangladesh?

The duration varies depending on factors like order volume, complexity of designs, and production capacity. Still, it typically ranges from a few weeks to several months.

Q. What are some challenges faced by garment manufacturers in Bangladesh?

Challenges include:

  • Fluctuating raw material prices.
  • Compliance with safety and labor regulations.
  • Maintaining competitive pricing amidst global competition.

Q. Is Bangladesh only known for manufacturing apparel?

While garment manufacturing dominates the industrial landscape, Bangladesh also produces textiles, leather goods, and agricultural products for both domestic and export markets.

Q. How has technology influenced garment manufacturing in Bangladesh?

Technology adoption has improved efficiency, quality, and sustainability in garment manufacturing, with innovations like automated cutting machines, digital pattern making, and eco-friendly dyeing processes.

Q. What measures are in place to ensure ethical practices in Bangladesh’s garment industry?

Factory inspections, worker training programs, and industry collaborations aim to improve the garment sector’s working conditions, labor rights, and environmental sustainability.