So, How DO I Create a Tech Pack?
In a previous post, I gave you a rundown of who needs to to use a tech pack, what a tech pack is, when they're used, and why they're so important. I also provided a great template that you can use to create your own tech pack.
But now that you know what a tech pack is for, the next question is usually, "So what goes into the tech pack? How do I create it?"
The first page is your Cover page which shows a black and white front view, back view and side view, if necessary, of your sketch. This allows your TD or patternmaker to get a clear picture of the design. You can also add your basic information into the header (style#, description, designer's name, sample size, date, etc.) as well as your logo. And if you're using our free template, you can double click the existing header, and it will update your information on all pages.
Next is your Details page. Here, you'll callout specific details of your style. They can be special features, but most of the time, this is your opportunity to callout overall style information such as pockets, hem finishes, closures, drop tail, side pockets, etc. This is also a good place to specify the fit, if there is one. For example, if you're designing a pant, you may want to specify slim, semi-fitted or relaxed fit.
On your Measurements page, you can to specify the size and placement for your design lines. Keep in mind that this is not the place for your to add basic spec measurements (neck drop, shoulder width, chest width, waist, sweep, etc.) This is where you specify measurements that are unique to your style. However, if you change something about the basic spec (for instance, if you want the body length to be much longer than your reference block), you may want to specify that information.
On the Stitch Reference page, you'll specify the type of stitches to be used on your outer, visible stitching (hems, topstitching, etc.) Most people indicate the type of stitch (e.g. single needle top stitch, double needle coverstitch) and the needle spacing or gauge (1/8", 1/4"). And on our template, there's a great stitch key at the bottom of the page referencing industry standard abbreviations you can use for each stitch.
The Spec page may or may not be something you fill out. Depending on whether you are a freelancer or consultant or working for a company with an entire team, this may be your job or the job of your Technical Designer. Either way, this page is where the basic measurements would go (neck drop, shoulder width, chest width, sweep, etc.)
The last two pages are your BOMs, or Bill(s) of Materials, and they're broken into Fabric BOM and Trim BOM. Sometimes you'll also see it broken down further into Zipper BOM, Labels and Packaging BOM, if you're responsible for that as well. Here, you'll list each fabric and trim that is used on your garment including linings, interlinings, fills. You'll also specify where the fabric is from, the details (fiber content, fabric weight, finish), the placement (body, sleeve, upper sleeve, body lining, etc.) and the color of each item in each position.
A tech pack can take some time to complete as there is a lot of information to include and specify, but it's pretty important to get it right as this will determine how good your sample will look. And sometimes you only get one shot to get it right (not to mention the expense of making the sample). Being detailed, neat and accurate when creating your tech packs is the best way to ensure you get a (near) perfect garment the first time out!
Mikelle Drew is a teacher and fashion designer working in the fashion industry for over 20 years using Adobe software and teaching Adobe for fashion design for over 10 years. Check out her digital fashion tips and tutorials here at the 383Degrees blog, on her YouTube Channel, or try one of her group classes.