Many factories provide a wide variety of services; however, only 15-20 years ago there were separate factories for sewing, embroidery and so forth. There still are, but today, many factories do everything! Today, many fabric mills also even capable of garment-making. It is easier now to have to coordinate with just one factory per order, as opposed to with many factories as was the case in recent history. Many factories are vertical; in which they have the capabilities to manufacture the fabric, make patterns, cut fabric, embellish pattern pieces, sew the entire garment, and inspect and pack. Not every factory, of course, is at this level. Therefore, you need to know what services you need a factory to provide. You must communicate that to them when you are sourcing your production. Some production factories will make samples for you, and others will not. Samples are expensive, and many factories do not want to spend the money and time creating samples they know may never become a committed order. If seeing fit and production samples is important to you, then you must find a factory that’s willing to make and send samples. Some factories purchase fabric for you, and some do not. There are factories that only do CMT (cut, make and trim) packages. This means they will cut the fabric, sew the garment & trim and label the item. But do not make patterns and markers or source fabric. Ther are many factories that also make patterns for you – and when they do, that service goes into the price. Additionally, you may require other services, such as: beading, printing, embroidery, or garment dyeing– in these cases, you need to source factories that have those capabilities, in-house preferably. If you find a cut and sew factory that seems good and you have embroidery on your design and they say they can make the garments even though the factory doesn’t have embroidery facilities, then you need to find out where are they doing this embroidery. If they are sub-contracting out services, you must know where they are working. How far is that factory? What are the conditions of that factory? Can you see embroidery samples from that factory? It is not advisable to let another factory outsource part of your production order, as there is no transparency in that case. These are the factors you must keep in mind. Look for a factory with capabilities to produce what your item requires, or work with a factory group that has partners who can make the various components your item might require.
Do know that the more you ask the factory to do, the more the garment will cost. Adding services such as silk-screen printing, sequin sewing, beading, pattern alterations and so forth are all services that require time, labor and overhead, and therefore go into the price quotation. You do want a factory to cut, sew, trim, label and package; but work out in advance any other services your order requires. Search for factories that have the capabilities and equipment needed and are the right production facilities for your specific product.
Lastly, when you discuss production with factories, do know if you are purchasing the fabric, or if you want the factory to source and purchase the fabric as part of the package price. If a factory purchases the fabric, you will approve the quality, weight, and color, and the sourcing, fabric and fabric shipping price all gets rolled into the garment cost quoted by the factory. When a factory sources the fabrics and trimmings, and takes care of all other details, it is called a Full-Package Sourcing.