Simply we can say that sampling is a particular process to develop some prototype products through some trials before going to start bulk production. Garment sampling isn’t a quite different process than other sample development procedure. Same practice is followed during garment sampling. In the context of garment business, sample making is an essential step before getting the bulk order. The main purpose of sampling is to minimize the hassles of doing wrong procurement of raw materials or eliminate the percentage of mistakes done by the merchandiser in bulk production that is not accepted by the buyer. The gist aspect of sampling is to realize the scenario before step into bulk production to predict their potential customers buying interest.
Sample making practice also helps to check the garment fitting to make it perfect, quality checking of trims and fabrics, help to prepare costing for approval of complete finished garment. Each buyer has a particular procurement policy to keep the standard of their garments, especially what sorts of samples they need; when they need it to fix size grading and color assortment; and a number of pieces are needed for each sample type. Everything is done during sample making process. Please find different sort of samples from the design concept to bulk order.
- Proto sample
- Fit sample
- Size-set sample
- Counter sample
- Sealed/Red/Yellow label sample
- Pre- production sample
- Lab test sample
- Photo shoot sample
- Salesman sample
- Gold sample
- TOP sample
- Shipment sample
In garment sampling, it has been done through several steps like 1st proto, 2nd proto, fit sample, photo shoot sample, PP sample. At first product developer designs the concept through sketches; then prepares product specification sheet and details for the new product. Meantime technical team starts working to choose trims and fabrics quality, then prepare a measurement chart, size breakdown to fit the sample. Beside this some individual tasks have to do during sampling like pattern making, pattern grading for different sizes, fabric development, processing of fabrics, raw material sourcing (choosing right fabrics and other trims), print or embroidery development (if exist), sample making, sample checking through quality, dispatch, cost sheet making and wait for sample approval from buyers. It is mention-able that vendors have to obey several times changing request during sampling if buyer desire to get a perfect sample. Usually, buyer frequently asks to prepare sample several times until it becomes perfect to fulfill their requirements.
Vendors who desire frequent bulk order from buyers have to prepare themselves to pick the upcoming challenge regarding sample development that is design concept, clear understanding on line layout, raw material consumption, machine requirement, risk analysis of making the new garment design, product costing etc. Beside this, they should keep the buyer’s requested time frame for sample submission and approval.
From the design concept to sample dispatch, it would be done by garment manufacturers or by the brand itself. Sometimes buying agents accomplish sample development task on behalf of buyers or prepare several styles for their selections. Buyer likes to get different sort of samples at various stages of sampling to grab the upcoming market. It would be starting from the proto sample to fit sample to size set sample to salesman sample and pre-production sample. All of the attempts have to be done to get a perfect sample. Garment manufacturers can’t proceed to bulk cutting as well as bulk production without getting pre-production sample approval. They have to wait till PP sample approvals. Garment manufacturers have to follow PP comments strictly in their bulk production.
Each buyer has different requirements regarding sampling that is how many steps and pieces they require for getting approval. I had to work with several renowned buyers during my long tenure of service life. Usually, I have to submit a proto sample or fit sample by using available trims and similar quality fabric (weight and fiber content). Cause actual fabric was not available at the initial stage. On the other hand fabric and accessories, sourcing and proto sample development is going on simultaneously. Once arranged actual fabric and trims have to submit PP sample.
Some buyers sample development procedure is totally different. The proto sample and size set sample is done by buyers end. After that buyer will provide actual fabrics, trims, original sample, comments and markers to garment manufactures to develop PP sample. Factory just needs to make PP sample before going to start bulk production. Even buyer will provide suppliers address and unit price for material procurement. After production start factory needs to submit TOP sample or shipping sample from the production line.