Product Development Process in Garment Industry

Apparel product development cycle begins when a conceptual garment design is received. It is a very first stage of introduction of new style. In garment product development process, sketch or design is converted in to a 3D form apparel, with all technical & aesthetic way keeping in mind. This process starts after market forecast, it is the process of creating each individual style within the line. At first two-dimensional (2D) patterns are created that which perform the design; the patterns are cut out & constructed into a 3D prototype. Prototype is reviewed & revised until a sample is approved. Progressing onto manufacturing, grading which can be carried out by the product development team, is undertaken before the pattern pieces are placed in a lay plan or marker that will be cut out in bulk cloth & the garment parts are sent to be manufactured.

apparel product development

Stages of Garment product development process are described below:

Line planning and research:

It is initial step in product development in garment industry. Production development team uses the information from research on trends, colours, materials, previous successes or failures, past sales records, experience from previous lines, & mark-down reports, etc. to brainstorm a plan for the new line. This information assists to designers to sketch design.

Pattern design:

At first, a design of a garment is received. This is followed by the development of a 2D pattern, which represents the design sketch & enables a garment to be cut out in cloth & constructed into a 3D prototype; a time-consuming interactive process occurs, where the prototype is reviewed until the desired shape, style, & fit are approved. There are generally two recognized pattern-generation methods in garment industry: flat pattern cutting & draping. Besides, flat pattern cutting has two approaches: first, a basic pattern, called a block or block pattern. It is used as a starting point for the desired garment. Measurements are taken from the required positions on the body; an allowance of varying amounts is added to specific measurements, which will allow the prototype garment to fit correctly against the areas of the body & the body to move within the garment.

Draping or modeling is the second recognized pattern generation method that can be used to make a pattern for a prototype garment or part of a garment. If a constructed garment has a silhouette similar to the desired shape, then a duplicate of such a garment can be made either by deconstructing the garment and tracing round the parts or by manipulating the garment and duplicating the parts while the garment is constructed. The processes of reviewing the prototype, amending the pattern, & creating additional prototypes continue until an approved sample is established.

Seams and Openings:

During pattern development of an approved sample, makeup & joining methods are incorporated within the pattern to facilitate the manufacturing process & produce a well constructed final apparel. End use of the garment, market level, & fabric properties are considered throughout. Relevant seam allowances are incorporated, depending on the elected joining method. Joining methods include traditional sewn seams by using lock stitch machines; three, four & five thread over lockers; etc. or non-sew technologies such as ultrasonic welding and bonding machines. Besides, openings, such as button openings, zips, etc. are considered & integrated within the pattern. Edge finishes could include binding, trims, facings & again, a relevant seam allowance is incorporated.


Simultaneously, important information is required by the costing department to ascertain a final selling price & ensure that a profit can be made on production of the garments. We know that around 50% of a garment cost can typically be the fabric cost, an estimate of the amount of fabric required for the garment is essential. The costing department will incorporate labor, overheads, profit margin, distribution etc. in their costings to attain a final selling price.


The approved sample is created to perform the base or sample size of the required size Range. Each company will have its own specific size range & body fit measurements on which they work. Thus, accurate body measurements are very important for creating the initial block & approved prototype. Traditionally, a tape measure was used to take body measurements; however, body scanners have been employed in recent years. Allowance is added to the body measurements. From the body measurements, a size chart for the range of apparel sizes can be created; measurements in the size chart will be for the specific finished garment. However, should the garment be made from stretch fabric, which needs to be tight over the body, garment measurements will be decreased in accordance with the stretch properties of the fabric & the desired look or function of the final garment.


Grading is the art of increasing or decreasing the patterns pieces to ensure the shape, aesthetics & fit established in the prototype sample size. It is retained throughout the size range. This task can be performed by a pattern designer or a personnel working within the team. Each pattern piece within the set of patterns, depending on its position within the garment, will have its own amount of grading applied.

There are two broad systems used for grading: two dimensional & three dimensional. Two dimensional grading grades a pattern only in the girth & height, darts are not graded. Three dimensional grading not only increases or decreases the pattern for size but also increases or decreases compression. However, a good working knowledge of pattern cutting is required to use this technique.

Production lay plan/marker:

A series of production lay plans or markers is planned & created. These are similar to the costing lay plans but will incorporate different sizes to ensure that the correct quantities of each size & color are able to be cut & ready for production & that the optimum utilization of the fabric is achieved. But should ordered several colors of the garment.


Cutting is the basic process in garments making which cut out the pattern pieces from specified fabric for making garments. The quantities, planned during the creation of the lay plans, are reviewed; fabric is spread to the required length of the lay plan, with further lengths of fabric being laid on top, until the correct amounts of plies of fabric are achieved. This enables the precise quantities & sizes of the production garments to be cut. The cut work is then sent to be manufactured.


  1. Textile and Clothing Design Technology by Tom Cassidy, Parikshit Goswami
  2. Apparel Merchandising by R. Rathinamoorthy and R. Surjit
  3. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, D. Gopalakrishnan
  4. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye

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