Dictionary of Terms
All of the terms in this dictionary are explained in the context of the Research, Design, Development and Production process. If there are any terms which you are still unsure of, get in touch and we can clarify it for you!
All-over-repeat - A graphic is digitally tiled to repeat seamlessly. This means that it can be printed along a length of fabric and no edges or connecting lines are visible.
Athleisure - A trend in fashion in which clothing designed for workouts and other athletic activities is worn in other settings, such as at the workplace, at school, or at other casual or social occasions. Athleisure outfits are yoga pants, tights, sneakers, leggings and shorts, that "look like athletic wear" and are characterised as "fashionable, dressed up sweats and exercise clothing".
Brand Identity - The outward expression of a brand including its name, trademark, communications, and visual appearance.
Bulk fabric/garments - Bulk fabric quantities are large quantities as ordered for the manufacture of your entire collection. Bulk garments are large quantities of garments which are ready to be shipped following manufacture.
CAD - Computer Aided Drawing (usually made in Adobe Illustrator). Black & white design sketches are also known as CADs.
CMT - ‘Cut, Make, Trim’ costing means that the factory is responsible for cutting the fabric, making the garment and ‘trimming’ the garment. ‘Trimming’ in this context refers to finishing a garment, and includes factors such as labelling.
Colour-up – Is a full colour version of a CAD. These colour-ups are used to decide which colours look best/most suitable for the designs, and are very useful for the merchandising of a collection.
Colour Specification – A digital colour is given a Pantone number. Pantone is a Universally recognised colour coding system, which enables suppliers & factories to produce Lab Dips and Strike-offs for fabrics within your range.
Concept - An abstract idea, plan or intention which is used to explore and develop the design direction of a collection.
Construction - How the garment is put together. There are a huge variety of stitching methods and techniques to construct an apparel item, all of which are suitable for different fabrics, garment types and aesthetics.
Critical Path - The sequence of stages determining the minimum time needed for an operation.
Develop - the process of creating an item/object within your collection. This includes the development of the garments themselves, a new fabric, a branded trim within the collection, a print execution, a dyeing technique and so on.
Development Budget - How much it will cost to develop your designs prior to your bulk/production order.
Digital Presentation - The format in which you will receive work from Image Coming Soon. We will use various software to produce work for you, and send all work in a digital PDF presentation via email.
Execution - The technique or style with which an artistic work is produced or carried out. For example, how a placed print is applied to a garment.
Fabric - Cloth produced by weaving or knitting textile fibres. There are an endless variety of fibre types and fabrics available, all of which have different properties which are ideal for different uses and functions.
Factory - The building in which the garments are manufactured.
FF - Fully-factored partners manage your entire development & production process.
Fit Model - A human model of certain measurements which match a ‘standard size’. This model is booked to fit your garments, to ensure that the collection is sized correctly to appeal to the mass market.
Garment Technology - The study & understanding of the manufacturing, materials and design innovations that have been developed and used to create a garment.
Graphics - Graphics are visual images or designs. Graphics can be applied to apparel in various ways, and techniques can be developed and executed depending on the end use and aesthetic you would like to achieve. Types of graphics typically used on apparel are Placed Graphics and All-over-repeat Graphics. They can also be used to develop badges or trims.
Hardware - Another word for the trims which are used to decorate and/or ensure functionality of a garment. For example; buttons, zips, hook & eye closures.
Lab Dips - Small cuttings of specific fabric which are dyed to match your colour specification. Generally, a factory will provide several lab dips showing variations of a colour, which may only vary very slightly. One lab dip is selected and approved, and that recipe will be used for future production of that fabric and colour.
Lead Time - The length of time it will take to receive/develop the item.
Measurement Specification - A chart which specifies every measurement of the garment in order to produce exact pattern pieces. Measurement specifications are unique to a specific garment and design.
Merchandise - Literally means ‘goods to be bought and sold’. In the context of building a range, merchandising is used to promote the sale of goods, especially by their presentation in retail outlets. For example; what colours will look good together?
Pattern Pieces - These are 2D templates which are laid on top of the fabric. The fabric is then cut out in the shape of the patten piece and then stitched together to create a 3D garment. The measurements & shape of the pattern pieces in combination with the way they are stitched together dictate the shape and fit of the garment.
Placed Graphics - Graphics which are designed to be used as an independent feature on a garment. Placed graphics do not need be be repeatable, and are often used on the front of t-shirts and on trims such as badges or tapes.
POV - Point of View; how one sees & thinks of something and their opinions & attitudes. In the context of a brand; what do you want to say with your product? How is your opinion different to a competitor? How does this inform the product? Without a point of view, you will struggle to stand out!
Prints - Another term for graphics. Prints include all over repeat prints and placement prints which are on your garments.
Production - The manufacture of your collection.
Production Process - A broad term used for the manufacturing journey of ‘retail-ready’ product.
Prototype - A first or preliminary version from which other forms are developed.
Quality Assurance - The maintenance of a desired level of quality in a service or product, especially by means of attention to every stage of the process of delivery or production.
Quality Control - The system of maintaining standards in manufactured products by testing a sample of the output against the specification.
Quality Control Report - A report detailing the results of Quality Control testing.
Range - Another word for an apparel collection.
Range Plan - A plan of your apparel collection, used to define the range and ensure cohesion within it.
Reference garment - Used to aid the development of a new design/product by referring to an existing item. For example; ‘I love this legging because the fit is almost perfect, but how can we make it even better?’, or ‘This vintage item is really inspiring, can we use it to develop a new pocket construction?’.
Sample Size - The standard size you choose to use as your ‘fit’ size throughout your development process. The sample size should be consistent and used across all items within the range. Your Fit Model will be selected depending on which sample size you select. Eg; Small/Medium, 8/10 etc.
Screen-printing - A printing technique which uses a screen to apply the graphic to the surface/fabric.
SMS - ‘Sales-Man Sample’; a sample which is of good enough standard to use for sell-in to retailers/photoshoots/pubilicity.
Strike-Off - An example of a print or execution on a fabric. For example; if you have an all-over-repeat graphic, the factory will send you a strike-off to approve the print before large lengths of fabric are printed. Strike-Offs enable an approval system throughout the development process.
Suppliers - Companies which supply components to a factory. Eg; a fabric supplier will ship your fabric to a factory for garment manufacture.
Swing tickets - The labels which are attached to clothing to identify them. Garments in most stores have swing tickets on them and this is often where the price/barcode is displayed.
Tech Pack - A short hand term for a technical specification document.
Technical Specification - The Technical Specification of a garment can be compared to the blue-print of a building. A technical specification document includes all information about the item to enable manufacture.
Trend - Direction in which something is developing or changing. A very dominant factor within the fashion industry.
Trim - A component used to decorate and/or allow for functionality of an item.
USP - Unique Selling Point; a feature or characteristic of a product that distinguishes it from others of a similar nature and makes it more appealing. In the context of a brand; a unique selling point will give customers a reason to buy your product as opposed to the product of competitor brands.