If you’re a fashion designer actively working in ready-to-wear, you are probably very familiar with tech packs. And if you aspire to work in fashion or start your own line, you’ll need to become familiar with them. So in today’s blog post, we’ll discuss the 5 “W’s” of tech packs: what it is, who creates them, when they’re used, why they’re so important, and lastly, where you can get a great tech pack template.
So, what is a tech pack? A tech pack is the blueprint for your design. It provides the framework and the directions to create your first sample or prototype. It will also eventually be the final guide to executing a beautifully fitting garment for yourself or others who will buy your design.
Who creates a tech pack and who needs it? A fashion designer will normally create a tech pack but often a technical designer, if you have one, will also contribute information to it as well. For example, while the designer creates the design and detail sketches, design measurements, stitch information (for the outside of the garment), and completes a bill of materials (or BOM), a technical designer adds a spec sheet, construction details and stitch information (for the inside of the garment.)
When is a tech pack used? Once the style is designed, a tech pack is created. It is then handed off to your sample room or a sewing factory to make your first prototype. Normally, you will then receive your first proto, fit it and then update your tech pack again based on any changes made during the fitting. You will sometimes have costing meetings or negotiations before or after your fitting. Any aesthetic changes should also be reflected in the updated tech pack.
Why is a tech pack so important? Making a sample of your design can be both time consuming and costly. Having clear directions on how a garment is constructed, what fabrics to use and in what location on the garment, the measurements of your stylelines and the fit, can all contribute to making your first sample as successful as possible. In addition, if you are working with patternmakers and sewers who do not speak English (or whatever your native tongue is) as their first language, an accurate and concise tech pack increases the chances of you getting what you want on the first try (or at least pretty close to it.)
Where can I get a template to create a tech pack if I don’t have one already? You can download a tech pack template here. Open it in Adobe Illustrator to update it with your logo, sketches and style information. And in my next post, I’ll review in more detail what information should go on each page.
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.