How To Master Sample-Making

Fashion design is a dream for a lot of people—but realized by just a lucky few. For those who do get to live their dream, they know it can be a long and arduous process.

When you get through the research, design conception and fabric sourcing processes, you reach arguably the most crucial and satisfying step in the clothing line development journey: sample-making.

Here are all the different stages of sample-making, and why each is critical to the design process.

Proto Sample

Sample-making begins with pattern making. This is the rough prototype of your design. At this stage the fabric is merely used to showcase what the measurements, drape and fit of your design will be like. The proto sample is usually made of muslin.

Considering that there are various specialized methods of pattern making, it’s advised that you consult a professional to help you with the pattern of your design.

Fit Sample

The fit sample (or the first sample) is made from the final fabric you intend to use, so the hang of the garment isn’t inaccurately represented.

Designers use the fit sample to test their design’s concept. It allows them to get the fabrication and fit closer to what they intended it to be.

Sew By

At this stage, the designer finalizes the garment by adding all the required construction details.  While the prototype sample can technically be used as the sew by to save time and money. More intricate garments require that they be separated into different stages.  

In any case the sew by is used by factories to estimate the cost of production.

Pre-Production Sample

In order to get your sample approved, you’ll need one that reflects what your factory manufactured bulk orders look like. That’s your pre-production sample.  

It allows the producer to assess the cost-effectiveness and consistency of your design, so they can determine whether it can be replicated for production. You’ll need this in order to devise a budget.  

Showroom/Sales Sample

Once the pre-production stage of your design is handled, you’ll head to the showroom (for the sales sample). This is where duplicates of your design will be manufactured; they’ll be sent out to marketing channels and potential buyers.

This means fashion retailers, editors, sales agents and more. Apart from a few tweaks here and there, this sample accurately represents what customers can expect to receive.

Performance Test

Think of this sample as your garment’s quality control stage. Before it goes into full-scale production, it’s essential that your design is tested for its physical and chemical durability under various conditions and time periods.

To be specific, it’ll be tested for colorfastness, shrinkage, bleeding, seam performance, etc.

Sizing Sample

The purpose of the sizing sample is to check whether your garment can be produced for all intended sizes.

It includes every aspect of your design but is scaled to larger and smaller sizes while keeping consistency in mind.

Shipping Sample

Once sizing and production are dealt with, your design will be ready for shipping. This sample will be the final product that reflects details such as tagging, folding, bagging, labeling and final packaging.

Having an industry professional to guide you through the sample-making process will help you save time, money and effort.

In addition to being a garment pattern maker and clothing sample maker based in Los Angeles, we are a clothing production company Los Angeles that’s partnered with various designers, retailers and fashion brands.

Get in touch with us today! Call us at +1(323)515-9266.

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