Dissecting The Garment Specification Sheet
How do you communicate with someone at the production line about your vision for the construction of a garment? Only base measurement is not enough for the manufacturer to prepare an apparel as the chances of error are extremely high. So, how will he know where to sew a button or put a label? A garment specification sheet is an effective way to communicate with the clothing manufacturer by providing the smallest of detail about the apparel pattern.
Importance Of A Specification Sheet
Specification sheet is the most effective way to communicate your design and vision of the garment to the production team. It is the most important document when it comes to garment production due to the following reasons:
● The specification sheet or ‘spec sheet’ makes the factory production of your garment easier as it helps the manufacturer know the construction and trims for each style precisely.
● A spec sheet helps in cutting down the turnaround time and provides better quality control.
● It is understood by factories around the world.
● If the production team deviates from the design details given in the spec sheet, you will be in a stronger position to get your money back or to seek legal aid.
● It can also be used as a resource that can be revisited to study vintage collection.
Components Of A Specification Sheet
The spec sheet is made even before requesting for a garment sample. The specification sheet can be revised based on the feedback received after analyzing the sample. Comments on the specification sheet help in modifying material, workmanship, and details in the spec sheet before the garment goes into mass production. Therefore, a spec sheet is a blueprint of your garment which contains all the necessary details, such as:
● Flat pictures
● Construction notes
● Finished garment measurements
● Fabric yields
● Measurement grades
● Size gradation
● Material details
● Trim details
Types Of Details In The Garment Specification Sheet
Every detail matters in a specification sheet. After all, you want to make the garment exactly the way you have imagined it. A meticulously made garment specification sheet can make all the difference. While filling a garment specification sheet, remember to pay close attention to the following areas:
● Points of measure
● Front and back sketches of the garment
● Fabric details such as swatch samples, supplier details, product code, and fibre content.
● Print instructions
● Stitch instructions
● Embroidery instructions
● Label instructions such as placement details and care labels
● Accessories instructions such as trim details.
● Garment washing instructions
● A ‘Comments’ section that will be used by the factory to make a note regarding garment construction
A garment specification sheet is going to be used by the production team, therefore, it is crucial that the language in the spec sheet is in line with the machinery and techniques used in factory production.
To help you understand this better, let’s look at some of the technical terms used in a garment specification sheet:
CF – This means Center Front. It is an invisible line that runs down vertically through the center of the garment.
SS – This means Side Seam. These seams are on the right and left sides of the garment taken from the hem to the armhole’s base.
HPS – This means High Point Shoulder and is located at the highest point of the shoulder. This is where the shoulder seam meets the neckline.
Across Chest – This measurement is taken horizontally from edge to edge and 2.5cms below the armhole.
Garment Base Width – This measurement is taken horizontally straight from edge to edge.
Shoulder Drop – This measurement is from the shoulder seam at the armhole to the HPS
Leg Opening – This measurement is taken across the bottom edge of the leg opening, horizontally.
Knee Opening – This measurement is taken 30.5 centimeters below the crotch and is perpendicular to the trouser leg from side to side.
Inseam – The measurement between the inner leg seam, i.e. the crotch seam to the leg opening.
Sleeve Overarm – It is the measurement from HPS to the outer shoulder edge.
Armhole Straight – It is the horizontal measurement from outer edge to the bottom of the armhole.
Armhole Curved – It is the curved measurement from the outer shoulder edge to the bottom of the armhole.
Front Neck Drop – It is the measurement from the back neck seam to the top edge of the front neck.
Bottom Hem – It is the horizontal measurement, curved or straight, along the bottom edge, from one side seam to the other.
Cuff Opening – It is the measurement along the cuff opening, edge to edge.
Cuff Depth – It is the measurement from the edge of the cuff to the seam.
Create Your Own Garment Specification Sheet
Each garment specification sheet is different. Details and language are the key to an ideal specification sheet that helps deliver an accurate quality product. Identify the bottlenecks and provide the necessary information to avoid it. There are three most important things that you must remember while preparing a garment specification sheet for your apparel.
● Technical language
● Flat images
● Complete description
Some of the best practices in creating and sharing a garment specification sheet are:
● Never have more than 2 pages of the sheet to give to the manufacturer.
● Double-check whether the manufacturer has received the specification sheet or not.
● Changes to the docket or garment specification sheet should be communicated effectively and promptly.
● Enter the correct ‘Pantone Code”. Pantone Colors are 3 to 4 digit codes which are used for giving the correct color reference.
● Measurement of the garment should be meticulous. In short, measure everything.
The garment specification sheet reduces the manufacturer’s guess work and helps produce a quality garment quickly. It, therefore, is an efficient tool which helps the production team and a garment manufacturer understand your requirements better and gets you a product just the way you would desire it to be.