You need a sample or sketch when beginning to source production. Once you are in deeper discussions with a factory, they will expect more specifics details regarding the look, size, and production of your style. At that point, you need to send the garment specifications by emailing a Spec Sheet and/or a Tech Pack. A Spec Sheet (properly known as a Specification Sheet) is a list of requested measurements for your item at all the key points of measure. A Spec Sheet lists the full measurements for your garment in one size, the sample size. The sample size is generally a size medium, or an 8 or a 10, in women’s wear. A size medium or a 32” waist in men’s wear, or in baby wear it is often a size 12 months, a 3T in young children’s wear or a size 8 in older boys and girl’s wear. You need to list all the measurements on each spec sheet including the garment length and width at a variety of pattern points.
A Tech Pack has several pages, including the above-mentioned Spec Sheet. The pages of a tech pack are:
Lead Sheet– This is the first page and has a detailed front and back sketch, along with fabric and trimming details, the sizes, and colors the garment will come in, and delivery date information.
Spec Sheet- (mentioned above) This is a list of desired measurements at all the key points of measure.
Construction Sheet– A page which pulls out and highlights any details that are unique, complex, or have specialty construction instructions – for instance, a novelty pocket opening, special topstitching, a zip-off sleeve, or any other detail that you would like constructed in a particular way. If you do not complete this construction page, then you are leaving the construction decision up to the factory. These design and construction details must be drawn and labeled clearly, or alternately, you can attach a photograph of the detail. Also, this is the page you would illustrate how you want buttonholes stitched, if you want stripes matched up, etc,
Production Sheet– details information such as where the label should be stitched in, what the care labels should read, where the hang tag must be hung, how to pack the garment (i.e.: flat, folded, or on a hanger), how many of each size, and other production and packing details.
Additionally, there is a Colorway Sheet– if you are producing the item in several different color ways that include different color threads, trimmings, or fabric color combos for each colorway; a Materials Sheet, if you have many additional trims and findings that you need to detail what they are and where they come from; and a Cost Sheet, so that the factory and you both have a list of all cost factors- in terms of materials and labor for all services the factory is performing.
The pages and details spelled out in a Tech Pack determine the time and equipment needed by the factory to produce your item, and each detail affects the pricing and lead-time quoted to you by a factory. For more detailed information of Spec Sheets and Tech Packs, Fashiondex published the Vendor Compliance Handbook, which contains templates of the tech pack page sheets.