Knowing the fashion-industry vocabulary is truly important for the new designer, manufacturer or retailer entering the market. Fashion has a lingo all our own and it is helpful to get familiar with all the terms. There is terminology relating to design details, construction, fabric, trim, pricing, sourcing, and production that you may be unfamiliar with. You will be at a disadvantage when you talking to factories if you are unfamiliar with these terms. If a factory rep mentions lab-dip or strike-off or spec sheet or MOQ, or serged seam, you should know what these are.
If you’re new to the industry and diving in with a great new idea, it’s easy to learn some of the lingo online or through an industry textbook or dictionary. But do take the time to have an understanding of the language before you source. Factories want to work with established companies and build futures with them. You even if you must fake it to you make it, a little prep on the lingo will go a long way to factories taking time speaking with you. That way the factories understand what you want and need and you can respond industry-intelligently to their queries. If you really don’t know a word or understand how to describe a detail or a fabric, again it is fine to bring yours or another manufacturer’s samples with you as a visual. Let the factory tell you what it’s called. Plus, showing a competitive garment to a factory so they can see how you want a neckline finished, or a pocket constructed is common practice.