Archives for October 2015 | Rag Sourcing

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Introduction to the new Rag Sourcing website

Welcome to Rag Sourcing! We are a privately owned fashion design, sourcing and manufacturing company and this is our new blog. Dedicated to all things fashion, we want it to be the go-to news site for fashion trends, business solutions and insider info on how we help get brands moving, putting gorgeous fashion first.

 

With years of industry experience, Rag Creative specialises in the whole fashion supply chain process. For those of you who have just discovered us, here’s a quick intro: we help start-up fashion brands right the way through to household names turn design and manufacturing visions into reality.

 

Have a look at our new, improved website www.rag-sourcing.com. We hope it’s easier to navigate and gets you all the information you need on our work to help your business grow.

 

If you encounter any issues or simply have some thoughts to share on how we could improve our user experience, then we’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below, call us or email to get in touch.

 

Loads more information on what we offer can be found throughout the site. As you navigate through the site, discover snapshots of the products we create, collections we’ve worked on, as well as our design & sourcing capabilities. Read our commitment to ethical trading and how we can help turn your ideas into fashion reality.

 

As if that’s not enough, why not subscribe to our free newsletter for regular updates on what we’re up to.

FDS News

FDS Logo

FDS Design Job Vacancy, We’re currently looking for a new apparel designer to join our team. More information and full job spec can be found on our website.

Judas Logo

Judas Sinned SS13 Collection has been delivered. Iconic graphics combined with oil dye techniques remain key to their ongoing success. www.judassinned.com

Savant Logo

Savant collection is in store now with a fresh design focus, with sublimation printing, a new product area in this seasons collection. www.blahblahblahclothing.co.uk

Pendleton Logo

Pendleton The new season order has been placed & in work, delivery is scheduled for AW’13 and the SS’14 collection design has now been finished. www.fashiondesignsolutions.com

Salt Logo

Salt of the Earth One of our clients is looking for UK & European sales agents & distributors. To enquire please contact us via our website. www.fashiondesignsolutions.com/contact-us

Lansdown Logo

Lansdown Design has just been completed for lansdown’s in season SS’13 collection and work is due to commence on AW’13 very shortly. www.lansdowncountry.co.uk

Son of Wild Logo

Son of wild From the owners of My Yard, Son of Wild is all set for launch this AW’13. We’re finalising the last few points of their production order as well as the development of their SS’14 range. www.sonofwild.com

 

Rag Sourcing Recent Success

With years of expertise behind us, Rag Sourcing just keeps on growing. We’ve been doing a lot of new things, we’ve welcomed in a lot of new clients and we’ve got fashion led information to share in spades.

 

Most importantly we want to say a big thank you to both our existing & new clients. We’ve had a great start to the first half of the year running with some exciting projects and new techniques.

 

Highlights

 

  • Over the past year our UK team has more than doubled in size, so much so we’re looking for a bigger UK base.
  • We appointed our own satellite office in Turkey. This is a proud moment for Rag Sourcing and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our team & our clients. Thank you to everyone involved.
  • We’ve expanded each and every department of the company. The design team keeps on growing and excelling in their work.
  • Our merchandise & OC team has doubled in size. And with the appointment of personnel in both the UK & Turkey you’ll find our directors, running back and forth more than ever before!

Have you seen our new website yet? www.fashiondesignsolutions.com So many changes mean we’ve given the Rag Sourcing site a major new overhaul.

 

Make sure you bookmark it for all the latest information on our work and services. Check out the new meet the team section on the improved site, discover who’s who and how we can help you further with your fashion business.

How to get the Perfect Fitting Jeans for your Shape

We got some advice from Fast Fashion News on the perfect pair of jeans. For many men, jeans are the most important part of your wardrobe. You wear these when you hit the town with friends. You wear these to work (sometimes, at least). You wear these when you are just hanging out around the house.

 

While jeans may not be the most expensive piece of clothing in your closet, there is no denying the fact that you get your use out of these, time and time again. With all this in mind, you know one thing to be true: your favourite pair of jeans is not going to last forever. When it comes time to make a purchase, you need to know what goes into doing so.

 

If you have ever shopped for jeans in the past, you know that finding the perfect fitting pair can be a challenge. No matter how hard you try, it seems like there is a roadblock around every corner. It is easy to believe that as long as you buy the right size that you will feel comfortable each time you put the jeans on. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are many details to focus on along the way, ensuring that you are getting exactly what you need for your shape.

 

Price may always be a determining factor, but you don’t want to focus solely on the cost when making a buying decision. Here are several additional things you can do to ensure that you get the perfect fitting pair of jeans for your shape:

 

1. Classic fits are best for most men. In today’s day and age, there are more jean styles available than ever before. While you may be tempted to try out one of the new styles, most men find that this is nothing more than a waste of time and money. To protect against making a mistake, do yourself a favour and opt for a classic fit such as: straight, slim/straight, slim, relaxed, relaxed/straight, or standard. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? There are many choices, but it doesn’t mean you have to be confused when making a decision.

In addition to getting the help of a sales associate, don’t shy away from trying on many different styles. This is often times the best way to find out what works best for your shape. Start with a straight leg or boot cut and go from there. Once you have tried on every pair imaginable, it will be easy to see which one fits you best.

 

2. Know your shape and purchase your jeans accordingly. For example, if you are on the heavy side you probably don’t want to opt for jeans that are too tight. This is going to show off your weight, not to mention the fact that you are not going to be very uncomfortable.On the other side of things, if you have skinnier legs, you can probably get away with a pair of straight leg, skinny jeans. If this is not your style, opt for something a bit baggier. Just make sure you don’t go too baggy, as this will not match your body shape.

 

3. Focus on three key areas. When shopping for jeans, you want to get something that looks and feels good in an overall sense. You can do this by focusing on three key areas: waist, legs, and crotch. In short, your goal is to ensure that the jeans are not too tight in any of these areas. Do you look good both from the front and back? Remember to check yourself in the mirror. This may sound like the “girly” thing to do, but guys need to realise the importance as well.

Also, never forget that jeans are likely to shrink over time, even if you never put them in the dryer. For this reason, you may want to purchase a pair that is slightly longer than what you need. Not only does this allow you to account for shrinkage, but if you need to make any alterations in the future you can do so.

Regardless of your shape, you know that jeans are a big part of your wardrobe. The more pairs you have the better. Sure, you may have your favourite but you want to know that you can pull out a good looking pair at any time.

When you let the three tips above act as your guide, you should be able to purchase the perfect fitting jeans for your shape. This is not something you want to rush, but instead spend as much time as necessary to make a purchase you are going to be happy with. This way, every time you put your jeans on you are comfortable and knowing that you look your best.

Tricks of the Trade to Disguise the Dreaded Beer Belly

If you are the type of guy who enjoys drinking a cold beer from time to time, you have to consider what this means to your belly. Is your beer belly growing by the day? Are you worried that this will continue to be a problem well into the future?

While there is nothing better than exercising to get the weight off, for the meantime you may be looking into ways to disguise this. After all, you don’t want people to see just how big your beer belly has become.

The first rule of thumb is simple: don’t take off your shirt. If you do this, all bets are off. At this point, it is not difficult for anybody to see that your belly has grown out of control.

 

Five Tricks of the Trade

 

Now that we have all the basics out of the way, including the fact that you should keep your shirt on at all times, let’s take a closer look at five tricks of the trade. By using one or more of the tips below, there is a good chance that you will be able to disguise your beer belly until you are able to get rid of it through exercise and a healthier diet:

 


1. Avoid tight clothing. Let’s face it: the tighter the shirt the more your beer belly is going to show. Why not opt for loose clothing to ensure that this never becomes a problem? This does not mean you have to by a shirt that is noticeably too big. What it does mean is that you should step up a size, just enough to ensure that your belly does not protrude through your shirt.

 

2. Wear dark colours. Did you know that dark colours have a slimming effect? For this reason alone, you should consider adding a variety of dark coloured shirts to your wardrobe. Some of the best colours to consider include black, charcoal, grey, and navy blue. For many years, this one trick has been helping heavier guys hide their stomach. Women use this trick as well, and that alone should be enough for you to realise that it is beneficial.

 

Note: just because you are wearing dark colours does not mean you should revert back to smaller, tighter shirts.

 

3. Tailor your suit. As tempting as it may be to throw on your old suit or buy one off the rack, you want to avoid this if you are attempting to disguise a beer belly. Instead, you should find an experienced tailor in your local area. Tell this person what you are trying to accomplish, and let him or her tailor your suit to make you look your best. Don’t be embarrassed, as this is something that many guys do. You want to look your best when you put on a suit, and one of the best ways of doing so is through a visit with a qualified tailor.

 

4. Tuck in your shirt. It is easy to believe that leaving your shirt untucked is the best way to hide a beer belly, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you do this, your entire look is going to appear messy. Is that what you want? When you choose the right size shirt, you can easily tuck it in to ensure that you look “put together.” Furthermore, you never have to worry about your beer belly looking like it is going to pop out.

 

5. Wear a jacket. This is one of the best ways to disguise a beer belly, however, it is something that many men overlook time and time again. When you wear a stylish jacket you are adding another layer on top of your belly. You can throw this on over a button down or T-shirt, ensuring that you look good while keeping your belly in check.

 

Tip: if you are going to wear a jacket, make sure it matches everything else, including your shirt and your pants. The last thing you want to do is kill your sense of style.

 

Many men have a bear belly and believe that there is nothing they can do to hide it from others. While you may not be able to get rid of this excess fat in a hurry, there are things you can do to disguise it. The five tricks of the trade detailed above are a great place to start. If you implement just one of these tips, you will find yourself not only hiding your belly but also looking better along the way. By combining a couple of these tips, you may soon realise that your problem is gone for good. In fact, this may work out so well for you that you forget your diet and exercise, knowing that you can always hide your belly!

Shirt Suppliers and Fabrics: An In-depth Look

If you are in the business of selling shirts, you know that a shirt is only as good as it feels. That’s why choosing the proper shirt fabric is so important. After all, a shirt that is uncomfortable to wear is going to make the person that dons it feel fairly miserable. And if a customer is not happy, they will most likely not patronize your business. As such, it is important that you not only get a bead on what fabrics are used by shirt suppliers, but you use that information to determine what fabrics may be right for your clientele.

 

Fabrics at a Glance

 

Diving into the world of fabrics to see what may work best for you and your business is not as easy as it may look. It is a world that goes well beyond the realm of cotton, denim, polyester, and the other fabrics that your average person knows about. To be sure, shirt suppliers have a host of materials at their disposal, including several that don’t readily come to mind. However, getting to know as much information as possible about as many fabrics as you can is crucial to your business’ success, since clothing stores rarely live on denim or cotton alone.

 

Some of these fabrics include:

 

• Broadcloth – This is a tightly woven fabric that is marked by a simple over-under weave as well as a slight shininess. These qualities combine to make a very dressy shirt. The fabric also tends to be thinner and lighter, which makes it an ideal fabric for summertime. White broadcloth fabrics have been shown to be a little transparent, which makes wearing an undershirt in conjunction with shirts made from such cloth to be pretty essential.
• Flannel – This seasonal fabric was highly trendy during the grunge movement in the early ‘90s, and has been shown to be making a comeback in some fashion circles. The fabric’s calling card is its thickness, as they are typically made in thicker weaves, thus making them ideal for the chillier weather in the fall and winter.
• Melange – This particular fabric is known for being very thin yet very soft, smooth, and luxurious. They achieve this reputation because of a special type of construction; one where each of the yarns that are used in the fabric is a combination of fibers which are not-dyed and dyed. These colored fibers are then woven together to create a look that looks slightly yet deliberately inconsistent, which in turn gives the fabric a completely organic quality.
• Oxford Cloth – This casual fabric is made with a symmetrical basket weave that is looser in comparison to some other weaves. It is not to be confused with the more formal Pinpoint Oxford, which can feature a tighter weave and a lighter thread. The heavy, rougher texture and durable nature of the threads themselves has made this particular fabric popular for sports use.
• Egyptian Cotton – Simply stated, this fabric is made from a particular type of cotton that is culled from the plant known as Gossypium Barbadense. This particular cotton can differentiate itself from other cottons because it contains longer staples, which in turn can enable it to be threaded into finer, stronger threads. It typically features thread counts of anywhere between 80 and 100; this thread count allows it to differentiate itself from another fabric known as sea island, which is made from the same cotton plant but has a higher thread count.
• Royal Oxford – As the name implies, this particular fabric is one of the dressier fabrics that shirt suppliers will feature. The reason it has the reputation as being dressy is due to its sheen and texture, as both of those particular aspects are highly visible in nature. This particular fabric should not be confused with oxford cloth or pinpoint oxford; despite the similar names, they are completely different.
• Twill – This fabric is marked by its distinctive diagonal lines or texture; this shape allows the fabric itself to exhibit a shiny quality. It is weaved extremely tight, and can therefore come in extremely high thread counts – so much so, the fabric can sometimes be mistaken for silk. Another important quality to note about twill is that it is relatively easy to iron and has a tendency to be resistant to wrinkles.
• Dobby – The thickness and weight of this fabric can be very similar to broadcloth, and its thickness or the way that it is weaved can almost make it appear as if it is twill. This fabric falls somewhere in between the two fields. This particular fabric tends to feature stripes, although it can be a solid color.

 

Other Things to Note About Fabric

 

Once you have gotten a basic grasp on the various types of fabrics that exist out on the market, there are still a couple of items that you need to be aware of before contacting the right shirt suppliers.

The first of these terms is thread count. Specifically, this term defines the thickness of the size of the yarn that is being used to make the shirt. The rule of thumb here is that the higher the thread count number, the higher quality the fabric – and ultimately the shirt – will be.

 

The second of these terms is ply. In essence, ply is defined by how many yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread. The typical shirt will be designed to be either single ply, meaning that one thread was woven into the fabric, or two ply, meaning that two yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread which is then woven into the fabric.

 

Getting familiar with these terms as well as the fabrics that are talked about in conjunction with these terms is essential if you want to maximize the overall quality of the clothing that you want to sell. If you don’t, you greatly increase the risk of obtaining a vastly inferior product, which could ultimately have a negative impact on your business and your bottom line.

10 Do’s & Don’ts To Piecing Together A Quality Fashion Portfolio

A fashion portfolio is mandatory for success in the fashion industry. It doesn’t matter whether you are applying to fashion school, trying to get a job at a fashion firm of even making an attempt to get onto a fashion reality show. Without a portfolio to showcase your skills and talent, you aren’t going anywhere!

 

Just for clarification, we want to remind you that a portfolio is nothing more than a visual resume. It’s your way of showing to employers and others what you are capable of producing. However, piecing together a good portfolio requires a lot more than just throwing all your work together.

Fashion Portfolio Do’s

Here we are going to look at things you absolutely should (dare we say: MUST) do to ensure your fashion portfolio stands out from the crowd.

Keep It Updated

Your portfolio is a like you — it changes as time progresses. Likewise, your portfolio should be well maintained and up-to-date. Any time you produce outstanding work, take the time to add it (and add it properly) to your portfolio. Also, make sure your portfolio is set up in reverse chronological order. Your most recent works should be up front, while your works from the past should be pushed to the back.

Set Up A Digital Portfolio

In this day and age, it’s fundamental that you maintain both a traditional portfolio and a digital portfolio. Imagine that you are at a portfolio show, but some of the potential employers who stop by just don’t have the time to review your entire presentation at the moment. All you would have to do is hand them a business card that contains a link to your online portfolio.

Keep Your Portfolio Simple

Try to keep your portfolio as simple as possible, and limit the number of pages. If you have too much work that you want to share, consider creating a mini portfolio to supplement your main portfolio. Also make sure to rely on a fairly simple but eye-catching fashion portfolio cover. Take a look at the books on fashion that you own, do any of them have a flashy cover? Probably not!

Add Sketches

Despite common belief, your portfolio should, in fact, contain sketch work. Sketching is a highly desired skill in the fashion industry. Your sketches can tell a lot about not only your creative process, but your problem-solving capabilities as well. Plus, sketch work can serve as a decent filler in case you’re relatively new to fashion and don’t have that many pieces to share with prospective employers.

Include Mood/Trend Boards

Make sure you include mood/trend boards that support the overall feel you are trying to create for your portfolio. Again, such additions help display how you think, how you collate research, and how you reach a final product. They also display your comprehension of such fashion basics like texture, colours, fabrics and trends. If you must choose between sketches and boards, go with boards!

Fashion Portfolio Don’ts

Here we are going to look at things that can ruin your portfolio.

 

Sloppy Presentation

 

There is no easier way to completely destroy the worth of your portfolio than by being sloppy. Your portfolio should be absolutely pristine in its presentation. It is meant to showcase your personality, your creativity and your professionalism, so it should be obvious why it would be a major turn-off if you turned in something that looked like a 12-year-old could have bundled together.

 

Too Much Content

 

Your portfolio should not be an archive of all your work. It should only contain the best of the best. Furthermore, it should focus on those areas of fashion in which you excel the most. The general consensus is that someone who acts like a jack-of-all-trades is usually a master of none. And when it comes to fashion, it is much better to be masterful at a few select things than to be just amateur at everything.

 

Avoid A Static Portfolio

 

A portfolio need not be static, and it is perfectly fine (and, in fact, recommended) if you adjust your portfolio for specific scenarios and job opportunities. If you are applying for a position within a fashion company that deals exclusively with menswear, for instance, then it would make perfect sense to remove all non-menswear pieces from your portfolio and replace them with better fitting examples of your work.

 

Don’t Overdo It

 

The most a fashion portfolio should contain is around twenty-five pieces, and that’s only if you have a decade or two of experience working as a fashion designer. If you are just starting out (such as if you just graduated college), then your portfolio should be limited to around ten pieces. Just remember that it’s not about the quantity of pieces you include, but rather the quality!

 

Make Excuses

 

It’s very possible and likely that you will make mistakes your first or second time around. Whatever you do, don’t make excuses when confronted or criticized by an employer: be upfront and accept responsibility. Employers understand that you’re young and just starting out. With that said, it’s important to be humble and accepting of any and all criticism you receive, because arrogance will not get you very far.

 

Piecing Together A Great Fashion Portfolio

 

Piecing together a quality portfolio doesn’t have to be hard, so long as you work hard at what you do. Just be sure to use common sense. Also, take the time to ensure your portfolio is polished. It’s okay if you make a mistake your first time around, but truthfully it’s always better to take the time beforehand to be flawless in your execution. Believe us when we say that prospective employers will appreciate it!

Find the Perfect Little Black Dress for any Budget

Every woman knows one thing to be true: they need a little black dress that they can wear at any time. If you have one of these in your closet that you are comfortable with, you can breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, if you don’t have the perfect option it may be time to set your sights on making a purchase in the near future.

It is one thing to say you are going to find the perfect little black dress, but another thing entirely to make a purchase that you are going to be comfortable with, both in terms of your style and your budget.

 

It is a myth that you have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for a dress that looks and feels good. While some are sure to set you back a thousand dollars or more, you do not have to set your budget this high. In other words, you can find the perfect dress regardless of your budget.

 

Five Tips for Success

 

If you understand the importance of having a little black dress in your wardrobe, you will realise that there is no better time than now to make a purchase. Here are five tips that will allow you to buy this garment, regardless of how much money is in your budget:

 

1. Consider a variety of dress manufacturers. Although you may have your eye on one designer or another, there is nothing wrong with opening your mind and considering a variety of others. Remember, the more dresses you try on the better chance there is that you are going to find the one that is right for you. It does not cost any money to research a number of manufacturers and designers with the hopes of finding the one that is perfect for you. Who knows, you may come across one that you were not previously aware of.

 

Note: some designers are cheaper than others. Find those that price their dresses within your budget. This will save you a lot of time during the search process.

 

2. Shop online. One of the best ways to save money on a little black dress is to shop online. While there are benefits of buying at a local store, such as the ability to first try on the dress, you may find that you are paying more money. Shopping online does not always save you cash, but it can definitely put you in position to do so. On top of this, you are going to open yourself up to a world of opportunity. The selection online is much greater than any one store, since you can jump around from one website to the next within a matter of seconds.

 

3. Search the sales rack. Most stores that sell these dresses are aware that some people are on a budget. For this reason, they often times move some of their inventory to the sales rack. Don’t shy away from these sections of the store because you think something is wrong with the dresses. Instead, realise that you are able to shop these racks as a means of saving money on your purchase.

 

4. Know your shape. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you shop, if you don’t know what you are looking for in terms of shape and size you are going to come up short in the long run. Every woman has a unique shape. Which type of dress works best for you? Once you pinpoint your shape and have an idea of what you are looking for, you can narrow down your options with hopes of making an informed and confident decision in the near future.

 

5. Know what type of style you are looking for. It is easy to believe that every little black dress is the same, but the only thing that is identical is the colour. As you begin to look around, you will find that there are many different styles to choose from. How long do you want your dress to be? Are you looking for one with straps or no straps? Are you interested in one with a V-neck design? These are the types of questions that can help you find a dress that suits your style.

 

You want to do more than find a little black dress that fits you well. You want to find one that also matches your budget. With the five tips above, you should be able to shop around until you find the one that fits you best without breaking the bank. When this happens, you will have a smile on your face as you make a purchase and think about the first time you get to show off your new dress.

Fashion Design Solution’s Blog Post Round-Up

This week Fashion Design Solutions takes a look at the ethics of the overseas garment factory, why we believe Turkey is the best value for money when it comes to garment production, how to find a quality clothing manufacturer, as well as tips and tricks for getting your t-shirt design noticed by High Street shoppers. See below for an overview of our five most recent posts, and click the links to visit each article.



Easy Ways to Attract Immediate Attention to Your T-Shirt Design – The classic t-shirt has been a widely owned staple of nearly all closets since its creation in the early 1900s. With t-shirts encompassing everything from cheap underwear to high end name brands, how do you get your design and style noticed? We have a few ways that will get your Ts immediate notice.


What to Look Out for When Looking For a Clothing Factory – Finding a high quality manufacturer for your fashion line is perhaps the single most important decision you will make in the entire production process. A high quality line made from quality materials and sturdy stitching will sell your brand for you, while low quality garments that fall apart after the first wash will ruin your entire business model. Here we delve into what makes a good manufacturer, and what doesn’t.


8 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Turkish Clothing Manufacturer for Your Business – With clothing factories located all over the world, from China and Bangladesh to Italy and Turkey, how do you know where you will get the most for your money? Fashion Design Solutions utilises manufacturers in Turkey for all of our brands, and here’s why we think Turkey would be the right location for you.


The Ethics of the Garment Factory: A Primer – if the idea of using a clothing manufacturer outside of the UK conjures up images of the dreaded sweat shop, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, international clothing manufacturers have been plagued by misconceptions of the international garment worker, and in this article we cover not only how much of the world is implementing ethical trade practices, but also establishing worker rights and legal benefits.


Fundamental Traits Needed to Excel As a Menswear Fashion Designer – Do you have what it takes to design fashionable menswear? In this article we provide a brief overview of the skills needed to succeed in this niche of the fashion industry.

A Denim Suppliers Guide To Denim Fabrics & Denim Washing

As you are probably aware, the world of denim is teeming with a near endless assortment of different dyes, weaves and fabrics. ‘Weaving’ your way through this mess can be quite confusing, especially if it’s your first time around dealing with denim suppliers. Today we want to simplify the adventure for you by first addressing what denim is and then talking about the different types of denim. Ready? Let’s go!

 

What Is Denim?

 

The word denim derives from the French phrase “serge de Nîmes.” It refers to a cotton textile that relies on a twill weave with diagonal ribbing to achieve those wonderful pairs of denim jeans we all wear. The amazing thing about denim is that it’s available in so many different styles. Denim can basically be used to match any form of attire.

 

The most original denim was made from 100% cotton serge and referred to as cotton serge denim. These days, denim is available in an abundance of different materials and blends from a variety of denim suppliers. The four most common ones that we want to cover today are listed below:

  • Dry/Raw Denim
  • Selvage Denim
  • Stretch Denim
  • Ramie Denim
  • Poly Denim

What Is Denim Washing?

 

Before we even start talking about the various types of denim, we need to understand what is meant by ‘denim washing’. When people talk bout ‘denim washing,’ they refer to the ‘washing’ techniques used to modify denim before the denim product or products are put to sale and distributed to consumers.

 

Denim is “washed” or “processed” to achieve a special effect, such as fading. The usual goal is to make the denim product look aged and worn. However, there are advanced wash techniques (such as acid washing, stone washing, sand washing, sand blasting) that create contrast, selective fading, etc. Why do people like denim looking like this? You’d have to ask a psychologist. All we know is that such worn-out-looking denim sells like hotcakes!

 

What Is Dry/Raw Denim?

 

Dry or raw denim is denim that has not been washed. It is 100% raw and thus does not contain any special effects like fading. This gives it a very raw, vintage look that’s rugged and sexy. Unfortunately, dry/raw denim comes with a few notable drawbacks.

 

1. It’s very stiff compared to washed denim. This means you must wear it a number of times before you feel anywhere close to comfortable in it.

 

2. It’s not ideal to wash raw denim in a washer/dryer. This fades the denim. The better option is to wear it as much as possible and then dry clean it when necessary.

 

3. It’s a real pain to maintain. To own raw denim, you need to be willing to maintain it religiously! Otherwise, why even waste extra money on it?

 

So why do people buy raw denim? They like its authenticity. The thing about raw denim is that isn’t completely unaffected when you receive it. As a result, every mark, line and tear it accumulates in its lifespan comes from your daily life and activities. Simply put, raw denim tells a story!

 

What Is Selvage Denim?

 

Selvage denim is a special, luxury-grade form of denim that relies on a tighter weave. Back in the day, all denim was selvage. Clothes makers used traditional shuttle looms to construct densely woven denim fabric in long, narrow strips that contained selvage edges. These edges were required so that the strips could be turned into trousers.

 

Things changed in the mid 1900s when clothing manufacturers started using projectile looms to keep up with increasing demand. These looms let manufacturers use wider materials, thus taking away the need for a selvage edge.

 

What makes selvage denim so pricey is the fact that it’s so durable and crisp and classy. Plus, making selvage denim is harder than making non-selvage denim.

 

What Is Stretch Denim?

 

Back in 1959, a chemist named Joseph Shivers invented what we now know as spandex. It’s a synthetic fibre that possesses incredible elasticity. Now imagine what happened when, two decades later, fashionistas decided to combine spandex with denim? Stretch denim was invented!

 

Stretch denim differs from other forms of denim because it conforms to the body’s shape. Most denim items needed to be broken in before they fit perfectly. This isn’t the case with stretch denim.

 

Unfortunately, because of the stretch factor, stretch denim tends to be less durable. Over time, the elastic fibres break down, thus causing the denim item to lease its stretchiness. Stretch denim products also fray much easier than regular denim garments.

 

What Is Ramie Denim?

 

Ramie denim is an especially unique form of denim only dealt with by a select few denim suppliers. It is simply standard denim mixed with the fibre crop Boehmeria nivea, or ramie. This crop is added to denim because of its numerous advantages:

  • It’s naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew.
  • It’s very absorbent and thus comfortable to wear.
  • It’s resistant to stains.
  • It’s not damaged by mild acids.
  • It dyes very, very easily.
  • It can withstand high-temperature laundry.
  • It doesn’t shrink in size.
  • It can be bleached.

By combing ramie with denim, denim suppliers are able to make their denim garments more resistant to bacteria, mildew, stains and more. They are in effect able to improve it just by making a simple change to their garments’ construction.

 

What Is Poly Denim?

 

Poly denim refers to the mixture of denim with polyester, the latter of which is a manufactured fibre that’s extraordinary strong. It’s also resistant to mildew, shrinkage, stretching, chemicals, wrinkles and even abrasions. Plus, it washes and dries much more easily. These factors make poly denim very useful for when constructing work clothes. The drawback is that polyester makes denim garments less breathable.

 

What Are Denim Suppliers To Do With All This Info?

 

This is a lot of information to cover, but it should just be a starting point. If you are serious about denim fashion, it would be prudent for you to continue learning as much as possible. Speak with denim producers. Examine some denim gear. Become an expert on denim!

How Turkey is Using Apparel Sourcing to Clothe the World

Check out any one item of clothing you’re wearing right now. Your shirt, your pants or anything else with a label will do. Now, without looking at the label, do you know if this item of clothing is made from cotton, polyester or something else? Don’t worry if you don’t know – most people don’t.

 

While you might not think a lot about fabric, you do come in contact with it every day, usually all day long, with different fabrics surrounding you at night. Fabric isn’t just keeping you warm and fashionable. It’s also the lifeblood of the entire fashion industry. It is, literally, the fabric that holds the entire industry together.

 


Let’s go back to that item of clothing you’re wearing. While you probably know what store your shirt came from, do you know where it was actually made? The answer usually depends on what the item is. Fashion has always been a particularly global enterprise. If you’re looking for stylish, modern women’s fashions, Paris, France, is the place to be. If you’re interested in classic men’s styles, you’ll be looking along Savile Row in London, England. Milan, Italy, is your home for casual elegance. And New York and Los Angeles are your source for America’s fashions. But what about the cotton, polyester and other textiles which make up these fashions? Would it surprise you to learn it might just be from… Turkey?

 

The country of Turkey isn’t just ready to roll, it’s ready to sew. This European country has quietly been working hard, and is now the number one apparel sourcing nation in the European Union. Turkey’s Apparel and Textile industry has been a powerful engine for Turkey’s economy, roughly 10% of the entire GDP, and now the country is looking to expand that success by expanding exports to as many countries as possible.

 

Turkey’s status as the reigning champ of cloth has been in the making for decades now. The entire country began industrialization efforts in the 60’s, when great effort was put towards revitalizing their entire textile industry. At first, the industry was limited to small workshops. But as the 1960’s turned into the 1970’s, production improved in leaps and bounds. Soon, Turkey was exporting their wares to other countries. Starting in 1980, Turkey stopped importing textile machinery, and started in-country production of low and mid- level machinery. Today, they produce a huge variety of quality textile machines, and they’re also one of the most important clothing exporters in the world.

 

Three key factors as to why Turkey has found such success as an apparel sourcing nation are its:

  • Low labor costs
  • Qualified workforce
  • Relatively cheap materials

With over four million people employed, the Turkey textile industry is worth $20 billion. Almost 60% of its textiles are exported, making the country one of the top ten producers of wool and polyester in the entire world. So even if your clothing item wasn’t made in Turkey, it’s very likely the polyester it’s made from was. Not made of polyester, you say? Your item of clothing is made of cotton, you say? (Oh, by the way, you can look at that label now.)

 

There’s a very good chance that cotton came from Turkey, too. Turkey is the seventh largest cotton producer around the globe. Not only do they export this cotton, they also increasingly use it themselves to produce clothing. Exporting ready-to-wear clothing is better for Turkey financially compared to exporting just the cotton.

 

The United States, Russia and Germany are some of the main recipients of all of these textile exports. But there are other major players with is comes to apparel sourcing, such as China.

 

In 2005, a decades old quote system on Chinese exports expired. This has led to an increase in China’s textile exports. With their massive population, and relatively loose laws related to production, China has a massive workforce able to work long hours in order to make a lot of textiles for export.

 

This has affected apparel sourcing across the globe, including in Turkey. They weren’t able to compete on a production level as they would have liked. All of their progress over the decades was threating to come undone.

 

Recently, however, Turkey’s textile industry has shown surprising new life. After all, Turkey once took what was basically a non-existent textile industry in the 60s and turned it into one of the greatest in the world in just four decades, so it’s never wise to count them out.

 

Since Turkey is a European country, it was able to easily adapt into European standards as they relate to product quality, environmental regulations and worker safety, issues which are sometimes an area of concern in Chinese textile plants. As China has started producing lots of lower quality textiles and apparel, Turkey has repositioned itself as makers of some of the world’s finest textiles. Apparel sourcing has shifted to emphasize a new focus on quality. People have made clothing in Turkey for several generations now, and they want the world to know how good they are at it. The “Made in Turkey” label is achieving recognition around the world as the sign of quality apparel.

 

When you go shopping for clothes, you have options from all around the world. The global textile and fashion economy means most clothes are likely to be more well-traveled then the average wearer. It can be confusing. While you want a good price on your clothes – and that’s the rationale behind textile globalization – you also want a quality product.

 

“Made in Turkey” might be just the perfect label for the American clothes shopper. They have the best equipment, easy access to cheap and high quality cottons and polyesters, and their citizens are some of the finest clothing artisans in the world. The next time you go shopping, you just might be surprised what you look for when you look at the label.

An Overview Of The World’s Top Regional Textile Producers

The world contains five primary textile production zones: China, Bangladesh/Pakistan, India, Italy and Turkey. While other countries also export garments, it is these five regions that dominate the industry. Here’s the thing, though — each region offers it own unique advantages and disadvantages.

 

To be successful in fashion (especially if you are interested in starting your own brand), you need to understand the benefits and drawbacks to each of these regions. The assumption, of course, is that you are going to outsource your manufacturing. By the way, we highly recommend you do outsource!

Why Should You Outsource?

 

Before we get into the precise advantages and disadvantages for each world region, we want to quickly review the many reasons why you should consider outsourcing your fashion manufacturing.

  • Reduced Labour Costs: British workers must be paid the federal minimum wage, which at the moment (April 2014) is £6.50. Unfortunately, these costs get funnelled directly to you when you work with a UK manufacturer. When you outsource instead, however, you get to deal with manufacturers that aren’t limited by such regulations. As a result, you incur lower costs.

  • Reduced Overhead Costs: Manufacturers must also contend with costs for electricity, gasoline, water, etc. And not surprisingly, the costs for these utilities are much higher in the UK than they are in countries/regions like China and India, to name a few.

  • Improved Quality: This may surprise you, but many offshore manufacturers offer even better quality products than their onshore counterparts. Why? They have been manufacturing for decades. Furthermore, because of the reduced costs in their respective countries, they have more money to dedicate to quality assurance.

  • Reduced Risk: Outsourcing can also result in reduced risks, assuming you do it right. The key lies in outsourcing your manufacturing to SEVERAL offshore suppliers and manufacturers. This case you have backup solutions available immediately in case something goes wrong, e.g., a manufacturer suddenly goes out of business.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With China?

 

China represents the largest exporter of textile goods in the world. In fact, the Chinese manufacturer Esquel just happens to be the largest producer of standard cotton t-shirts, with yearly output levels exceeding 60 million.

 

Unfortunately, China is not as up to date on trends and fashion as it should be. Suffice it to say, it’s better at producing sportswear and technical garments than it is at producing genuinely fashionable items.

 

One great benefit to China, however, is that it offers incredible prices courtesy its incredibly low labour and overhead costs. Keep in mind that workers in China are starting to call for better working conditions and wages. As this movement continues (which it should), the prices will likely increase.

 

Other things to know about China include the fact that its manufacturing firms tend to be extraordinary large. Also, it’s lead times tend to be extraordinarily long. The average time is 90 days, excluding 30 days of freight. Plus, Chinese manufacturers demand high minimum order quantities (MOQs) in the 1000 to 10,000 range.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With Bangladesh/Pakistan?

 

Bangladesh and Pakistan offer some of the lowest prices in the textile industry. This is because while 38% of the entire work force in this region is involved in textiles, a large majority of that workforce is compromised of unskilled labourers. Plus, these countries rely on poor material handling techniques and outdated equipment.

 

Because of these factors, the quality of goods from Bangladesh and Pakistan is that all that great. Suffice it to say, it’s not a good idea to use one of these two countries for more sophisticated designs.

 

Other things to know is that the lead time from this region is as bad as the lead time from China. Plus, the MOQs are just as high.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With India?

 

Let’s start with some basics. India offers mid-level MOQs and long production lead times. Furthermore, its prices are lower than that of China, but not as low as that of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

 

India also lacks when it comes to sophisticated fashion items, though it does perform well with hand-based items (think beads).

 

Keep in mind that India contains a rich base of raw materials. Plus, its workers are able to handle a variety of materials, from cotton to wol, silk and jute.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With Italy?

 

Italy has really nice MOQs and a decent freight time of 60 days, including 10 days freight. Also, Italy is equipped to produce high-quality fashion items, from blouses to dresses, suits and more. Plus, the Italian people themselves are very appreciative of aesthetics. It shows in their work!

 

Italy also happens to be a first world country. As a result, it makes sure to enforce fair working practices. This means that its manufacturers must contend with much higher labour and overhead costs, which in turn means that the prices for goods are significantly higher in Italy than they are in its Far East and Southeast peers.

 

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Working With Turkey?

 

Turkey represents the best of the best, and for many good reasons:

  • It hosts a quick and powerful production capacity courtesy.
  • It offers relatively cheap labour (workers earn £1.47 per hour).
  • It’s lead time is only 60 days, including 10 days freight.
  • It follows all international environmental standards.
  • It’s known for fairly low MOQs around 100 to 300.
  • It utilizes a unified monetary policy.

Plus, Turkish manufacturers can make anything, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, jeans, knitwear and more. All of these can be had at prices that aren’t as low as China, but that surely aren’t as high as Italy either! This makes Turkey the perfect middle-of-the-ground region for textile manufacturers.

 

Is There Anything Else To Know?

 

There is a lot more to know. If you are serious about outsourcing, make sure you take the time to learn a lot more about the region that most interests you. Do not just trust our summary. You need to be equipped with as much knowledge as possible if you want a chance in hell of succeeding in this very tough industry!

The Ethics of the Garment Factory: A Primer

One of the biggest stigmas that has dogged the clothing industry – and continues to do so – is the plight of the international garment worker. Indeed, there have been scores of reports and documentaries conducted from news outlets the world over that highlights how rough the conditions at a garment factory can get. These conditions are succinctly summarized by the catch-all phrase “sweat shop,” and it has given rise to the notion that the world of the garment factory is somewhat lawless and immune to various practices and procedures that would otherwise keep them in order.

 

However, such mindset ignores the fact more and more garment factories around the world are moving forward to implementing ethical trading practices at a perpetually growing rate, complete with granting worker’s rights which include legal benefits.

A Look at Ethical Trading

 

Ethical trading as it exists in the garment factory worker environment is dictated by what is known as the Ethical Trading Initiative, also known as ETI. This particular initiative is a critical alliance of companies, trade unions, and voluntary organizations armed with the singular goal of improving the lives of poor and vulnerable workers from around the world, including those who toil within the garment factory business.

 

The term ethical trade means that the retailers, brands, and their suppliers of goods such as garments work together and take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the very people that create the products that are sold worldwide. Most of the workers that this mindset touches are employed by supplier companies all throughout the globe, but with a special concentration in poor countries where the employee protection laws that would otherwise be in place in other parts of the globe are either inadequate or outright ignored.

 

The companies that adhere to the precepts of ethical trade adopt a code of labor practice. This particular code comes with the expectations that the garment factory that they do business with also adhere to this code. The code itself addresses several major issues that have been known to infamously plague these workers, such as:

  • Work hours
  • Health concerns
  • Safety concerns
  • Wages
  • The right to join free trade unions

The benefit of working with garment factories in Turkey is that they fall under and abide by EU law. What this means is that, unlike places such as Bangladesh and Pakistan, you won’t find any child labour. Furthermore, Turkish garment factories boast some of the best working conditions in the world. It is one of Fashion Design Solutions’s top priorities to ensure any factory or distributor we work with follows ethical trading rules and is audited regularly… we do not support unethical practices!

 

The Purpose of Ethical Trade

 

In essence, the inherent purpose ethical trade is to provide a streamlined way in which companies that want to do business with supply chains can tackle uneasy issues in a unified way. This sort of unionized alliance will provide multiple resources that will allow for an easier means to deal with a supplier who, for example, ignores the notion of a living wage or routinely deploys children in the workplace.

 

Ultimately, the purpose of ethical trade is to bring about positive change for the workers whose rights have routinely been ignored. These rights, ranging from improvements in health and safety to the reduction of child labor and excessive overtime, are in place to create a fairer labor environment. On a larger scale, these rights seek to allow companies that use these garment factories as a means of supply the ability to conduct business with these entities without fear of unearthing unpleasant working conditions that may otherwise run counter to their own company ethics.

 

Ethical Trade and Ethical Consumerism

 

Perhaps the biggest impetus behind ethical trade from a business standpoint is to lessen the impact of ethical consumerism that may be brought about in the wake of a company unwittingly working with an unscrupulous supplier that does not promote ethical work environments.

 

In essence, the term ethical consumerism (also known as ethical consumption, moral purchasing, or green consumerism) is a type of consumer-based activism that is primarily based on a concept known as pound voting. This term is defined more or less as the process in which consumers give approval to a company through their own purchasing power. If a consumer does not like the practices of a particular company, they will not buy a product associated with that company. This act of indirect activism extends peripherally in the garment world; if a company does business with a supplier that is shown to conduct unethical business practices, the consumer may cease to do business with the company until the association with the company that is deemed to be unethical is severed. While this concept of activism may not be widespread enough to cause the downfall of a major corporation, it can have a negative impact on a smaller company’s bottom line. As a result of this, it is essential that any smaller sized company take a good, long look at a supply company and see what their actual policies are, lest they potentially pay a hefty price.

 

A Long Way to Go

 

Despite the inroads that ethical trade organizations have made in getting garment factories to conform to more morally favorable conditions in the workplace, it must be noted that conditions for many workers in this industry the world over remain startlingly poor. Researchers have determined that some principles that are fundamental to the rest of globe, such as a worker’s rights to join a trade union and negotiate as a cohesive collective, are still not addressed sufficiently. The research has also derived that several areas that can be linked to a worker’s rights, such as the right to work in an environment free from harassment and discrimination, are not being met. Furthermore, there are still reports of workers not receiving wages that are sufficient enough to keep up with the increased price points of essentials for modern living, such as food and fuel.

 

As such, it is clear that the ethical trade movement still has plenty of steps that must be taken in order to eradicate the scourge of an unfair and unscrupulous work environment. That said, there have been plenty of signs that the initiatives that have been put forth by organizations that seek to remove unethical conditions in the workplace have been making a significant impact in the garment factory industry; so much so, one could remain hopeful in their goal of eradicating these unethical practices for good.

What to look out for when looking for a clothing factory

The act of finding a good clothing factory to assemble your clothes is one of the more critical steps that you can take. The ability to make a quality product is an important metric to measure a clothing factory, of course, but there is so much more to the process of finding the right one than merely discovering that they make a pretty good shirt or dress. They have to be efficient with their production. They have to have the reputation as being a trusted business partner. And above all else, they must operate under the guise of being an ethical company with a reputation for treating their employees fairly and equitably.

 

Because of this, finding a clothing factory that will fit your needs can be a tough challenge if you want to find one that matches your needs ideally. And while there are not any real shortcuts as to how this can be accomplished, there are a few guidelines that are in place that should be able to make the process of finding a factory to fit your needs much more streamlined.

 

Getting to Know Them

 

The most important thing that you can do when researching for a proper factory is to dive as deep as you possibly can into the company’s reputation and practices. In order to do this, you cannot merely take whatever is stated on their website at face value. Obviously, whatever is on their home page or the “About Us” section of the page is going to sound great and flowery, and there could very well be some truth to whatever they are saying. However, it would be a grave mistake to just base your search on that metric alone.

 

Instead, you can use the Internet to dig into some research regarding the company’s true reputation, and not just the reputation that they try and paint on their website. Some of the ways in which you can do this include:

 

  • Visit product review sites – There are a host of professional websites that are devoted to breaking down the pluses and minuses of a company or a product in a manner that is factual and objective. These reviews will give you a general understanding on the factory’s strengths and weaknesses as a whole.
  • Visit customer-driven review sites – It is true that everyone has an opinion, and no more is this evident than the various review sites that are solely driven by consumer opinion. These sites will feature the occasional review that has to be looked at as over-the-top or exaggerated – remember, everyone has an opinion, even the ones that aren’t the best informed – but taken together, you should have a general idea as to how the clothing factory operates from the perspective of customers that have actually used their services, including ones that have used them extensively.
  • Ask around – If you are in the clothing business, chances are you know other people that are in the clothing business. As such, it would behoove you to talk to them to see if they have any record of working with a particular company, and if so, what their experience was like. If they did, they will be able to give you an honest opinion that can be broken down on a level that you may be able to understand implicitly.
  • Follow up on testimonies – When you do visit the company’s website, and if they have various testimonies plastered on the page lauding the company for their services, don’t just take their printed comments at face value. Follow up with them to see what compelled them to make the statements, and how their experience truly compared to the experience that is implied through the website’s verbiage. If there is a major discrepancy between what is written and what is said, that should give you an idea on how forthright the company actually is.

Dropping By

 

In addition to surfing the web and talking with fellow people in the industry, you can take your research to the ultimate level by taking a visit to the actual clothing factory. This can prove to be the most difficult step in the research process – if you are an upstart or small business, you may not have the financial means needed in order to pay a visit to a company if it happens to be halfway across the globe. However, if you can swing it, there is truly no better way to get a feel for how a company truly operates, from their overall business practices to the way in which they treat their employees. Seeing operational tactics and working conditions up close and personal may make the difference between you going with a company and looking elsewhere.

 

Fashion Design Solutions

 

You may be able to forge a key partnership with a local supplier such as Fashion Design Solutions; one that not only has access to quality clothes, but understands the market that you are in on a more intimate level than a company that is thousands of miles away. It is critical that you make sure that you do plenty of research before you pull the trigger on finding the company that is right for you. It will take a good chunk of time if you do things properly; however, the time that it takes at the beginning of the stage has the potential to save you a lot of business-related grief down the road.

8 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Turkish Clothing Manufacturer For Your Business

The world is brimming with clothing manufacturers from the likes of China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Italy, Turkey and numerous other countries. So which country should you choose to do business with? If you’re an amateur, you might be tempted to spin a pinwheel and hope for the best. However, we have another idea. We recommend you choose a Turkish clothing manufacturer. Why? Read on to understand!

 

Background: Turkish Clothing History

 

Textile production started in Turkey back during the Ottoman period between the late 1200s and early 1600s. It wasn’t until the mid 1920s that Turkey elevated itself into a major player in the textile industry. These days, Turkey exports over £6 billion in textile goods every year. These good are produced by a variety of manufacturers — some small, some large. There are in fact over 11,000 individual manufacturers producing clothing goods in Turkey alone.

 

Reason 1: Powerful Production Capacity

 

Turkey excels in the production of yarn and woven fabric. This production is due in large part to huge investments that were made in the mid 1900s. Between the early and late 1900s, production of just yarn grew from 670,000 tonnes to a whopping 1.92 million tonnes. Similar growth spurts occurred with wool, cotton yawn and synthetic yawn (polyester, acrylics, viscose, etc.)

 

Turkey also keeps a very abundant supply of raw materials handy. For instance, it’s the sixth largest producer of common. It falls behind only the U.S., China, India, Uzbekistan and Pakistan.

 

The point is that a Turkish clothing manufacturer is not apt to ever run out of raw materials and fabrics!

 

Reason 2: Cheap Labor

 

According to Werner International, average wage rates in the Turkish clothing industry hover around £1.47 per hour. This is admittedly significantly higher than rates in China (£0.26), India (£0.29) and elsewhere. However, it is still much cheaper than hiring UK employees.

 

The point is that you would save bundles of money by outsourcing your manufacturing to a manufacturer in Turkey.

 

Reason 3: Fast Transportation

 

Turkey’s geographic location lends itself toward relatively fast transportation times. This means you wind up spending less to get your goods transported all the way from Turkey to your office or retail outlet in the United Kingdom. In fact, Turkey’s lead times are significantly shorter than those for its competitors from other countries. Based on our own experiences, the average lead time is 60 days, including 10 days of freight travel.

 

The point is that you’ll save time and money on transportation costs if you rely on a Turkish clothing manufacturer.

 

Reason 4: National Focus (Passion)

 

In Turkey, the textile industry makes up a very large chuck of its economy. In fact, the country employers almost 1 million workers throughout tens and thousands of textile companies. Furthermore, textiles make up almost a quarter of all its exports.

 

The point is that the Turkish people are very passionate about textiles, and passion should count when looking for a manufacturer.

 

Reason 5: Environmental Safety

 

Turkey is one of a select few countries that mandates that all its textile manufacturers comply with internationally accepted environmental standards. As an example, unlike many Far East and Asian countries, Turkey bans the use of carcinogenic dyes. This results in more environmentally safe products.

 

The point is that Turkey is serious about protecting the environment, and this is a definite talking point that you can use in your sales copy.

 

Reason 6: Low MOQ’s

 

When you’re first starting out in the business, you’re not really interested in buying in bulk quantities of 1000, 10,000 or even 100,000. Not only is it not feasible on your budget, but it’s also full of risk. It’s much better to take the time to slowly build your way up to those levels. Along the way, you’ll find out if the manufacturer is able to maintain quality with the quantity.

 

It just so happens that Turkish clothing manufacturers offer some of the lowest ‘minimum order quantity’ (MOQ) rates in the world. We’re talking MOQ’s as low as 100 to 300, which is pretty amazing for this industry!

 

The point is that Turkey is much better suited for fashion designers and artists who are just starting out and thus not interested in bulk orders.

 

Reason 7: Plenty Of Options

 

Turkey manufacturers rank higher than many of its admittedly cheaper Far East competitors because they offer a wider selection of goods. In particular, Turkish clothing manufacturers can make t-shirts, sweaters, dress shirts, jackets, jeans, knitwear and more. Furthermore, these goods are offered at very reasonable rates.

 

The point is that Turkey is equipped to handle the type of ‘fancy’ gear people are accustomed to in first world countries.

 

Reason 8: Unified Monetary Policies

 

Some countries suffer from a severe case of divided government. Take Australia for instance. Each of its individual states and territories abide by a plethora of different rules and regulations. This makes conducting business with Australia a genuine pain in the you know what.

 

Turkey, on the other hand, utilizes monetary policies and banking systems that are uniform throughout the whole nation. This means that it doesn’t matter where in Turkey a manufacturer is located, because the rules will still remain the exact same.

 

The point is that dealing with Turkey is much easier than dealing with countries where each province, state or territory hosts its own rules.

 

Final Thoughts: Choose Turkey

 

We realize that some of you might still be stuck on the wages. They are admittedly higher than the wages in many Far East countries. However, please keep all the other benefits in mind:

  • An exemplary production capacity.
  • Short lead times.
  • Environmental standards.
  • Low minimum order quantities.
  • Diverse options.
  • Unified financial policies.

Overall, you are going to be much better off if you choose Turkey. If you’re outsourcing, you’re already taking a big risk by putting your trust in entities that exist outside of your border and thus outside of your government’s jurisdiction. So if you are going to take a risk, why not minimize your risk by going with a country that ranks miles ahead of its competitors?

The Art of Finding the Right Clothing Manufacturers

We’re all undoubtedly familiar with the phrase “clothes make the man.” But what about the people that make the clothes? If you are a business owner that is looking to sell clothes to the masses, finding clothing manufacturers that you can trust from a business and a quality perspective is an essential part of finding success within the industry. Of course, if you don’t have a whole lot of experience, this could be easier said than done. As anyone in the industry can tell you, the world of clothing manufacturers can be a rather unscrupulous place, as it is rife with various businesses cobbling together poorly constructed goods as well as scammers looking to rip people off. It may be enough to intimidate the newbie into thinking twice about opening up a shop that sells clothes.

 

However, finding the right clothing manufacturer is not all doom and gloom. The road to finding a good, trustworthy company that will provide you with quality clothing – and ultimately, a rock steady business relationship between you and your customers – is a path that can easily be walked upon. It just takes an adherence to a few basic rules.

 

Steps to Take When Finding a Clothing Manufacturer

 

The first step that you must take is something that, in a way, occurs before you even begin to sift through clothing manufacturers to find the items that fit your needs. Everything you do must be done with a great measure of diligence, which is brought about putting together a specific strategy and sticking to it from start to finish. Keep in mind that the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to affect your business and its profitability in the long run. Not having a well thought out battle plan at the ready – or even worse, wavering from that plan once you get the ball rolling on things – could have a profoundly negative impact on the bottom line of your business.

 

Of course, there are a few key elements that must be in play regardless of what strategy you decide to deploy. For example, you need to clearly define who your clientele is going to be, and how the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to reach out to that clientele. If you own a little boutique store on the coast and are surrounded by surfers and beach-going families, you are probably not going to be all that successful selling flannels and work boots. Conversely, you aren’t going to sell a whole lot of beachwear all year round if you live in a mountainous range or if you live in a place that has definitive seasons.

 

Another important task is to get yourself completely assured of the clothing manufacturer’s reputation. This is a critical step for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it would behoove you to make sure that the company that you are working with is not in the habit of acting unscrupulous or shady. Secondly, working with a clothing manufacturer that has a poor reputation may make some of your more industry-savvy customers a little gun shy in doing business with you. Both reasons could end up making your business less profitable.

 

In order to ensure that you are working with a clothing manufacturer is on the up and up, you need to do a little more than just check their website. The company page is undoubtedly going to tell you what they want you to know, so you need to do a little digging. This can be accomplished by performing the following tasks:

  • Check what other people are saying – There are plenty of other websites that are out there that will go beyond what the manufacturers’ website is saying. Because of this, you should go elsewhere online and check various reviews that may have been written about the company and its standards and practices.
  • Follow up on website accolades – If the company has testimonies listed somewhere on their site, follow up with the people and companies that gave such web-based praise and dive a little deeper into what those words actually mean.
  • Pay a visit to the factory where the goods are being made – If at all possible, you should try and visit the factory where the clothes are being made. Getting a distinctive visual as to how the clothes are constructed will go a long way into helping you decide how ethical and forthright the company truly is on a business level and on an employer level.

 

Other Important Tips

 

Another thing that you may want to consider as you try to find a clothing manufacturer that works for you is to find a few local companies that you may be able to feature in your store. Keeping things local is a big selling point in plenty of other business ventures, so it stands to reason that a similar motif would play very well in the world of clothing design. A local manufacturer may have a solid pulse on the likes and dislikes of your potential clientele even before you stock their stores with their wares, so featuring them in your store could enable you to reach out to your surrounding area in a more personalized manner; something that may not be as readily possible if you look beyond local borders.

 

But perhaps the biggest thing you can do on your quest to finding the right clothing manufacturer for your store is to reside yourself to the fact that it won’t be easy. Yes, you could strike gold immediately and find the perfect manufacturer, but these types of scenarios are few and far between. The actual work involved is uncomplicated on the surface, but the likely probability of you needing to research several companies in order to find just the right one is a process that can be time-consuming. However, if you manage to remain patient throughout the process, you will most likely find the clothing manufacturer that speaks to the soul of your business, and ultimately, your customers.

The Range Plan: How Clothes Designers Plan Their Fashion Lines

What is fashion? More than just what people wear, fashion is the art of creating clothing and “looks” which reflect the society and culture of a certain place and time. It’s partially influenced by fashion designers, of course, but it’s also partially influenced by society as a whole.

 

Think back to a time when men always wore suits and hats. Now, remember the time when tie-dye ruled the land? Or, even further back, think of a time when men wore white wigs and powered their faces. Some of it might seem weird now, and some of it not, but it all meant something unique to the culture of its time.

Fashion Designers and Their “Superpowers”

 

Fashion designers, in a very real way, decide what’s cool. They have their pulse on what’s hot, what’s not, and what the next big thing is going to be. The trick is to see where styles are going, and then produce clothing which reflects those styles.

 

How does someone do this? Well, it’s a little bit of a science and a little bit of an art. Styles do return in fashion, to a certain extent. While certainly there’s nothing strange about seeing someone wearing a tie dye shirt, it would perhaps take a real fashion-forward person to don the powdered wig and face powder before hitting the town to run a few errands. So while you can look to fashion’s history and learn about its future, there’s also a real art to knowing what people will consider cool.

 

House of Ideas

 

A fashion house is the term used for a company which produces multiple different clothing lines and accessories. They are often named after the primary designer and founder, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Christian Dior. Often, as these houses grow in size, the lead designer will employ more and more designers, who work under the lead’s approval.

 

Each designer will produce clothing which is only considered new for only a short period of time. This doesn’t mean “new” in the sense the clothing will fall apart quickly, but “new” in the sense of fashion as an art form which is considered always in motion. This is why fashion lines are based around seasons, and each major designer typically has at least a winter line and a summer line each year.

 

Here’s an interesting side note: The idea of modern fashion, as something created by specialized clothes designers, began in 1858 with a man named Charles Frederick Worth. He not only designed and created clothing, he was the first person to put his name on a label sewn into the clothing. It’s this idea of a brand which has continued on to this day.

 

Many Different Styles, for Many Different Audiences

 

Have you ever seen a fashion show from a big-name designer? Even if you’re into fashion, you’ve probably looked at some of the outfits and wondered who possibly wears these outfits, and where? Well, there’s actually more going on than you may think.

How Shirt Manufacturers Collar the Men’s Clothing Market

The collar can arguably be the most important part of a dress shirt. Even if the shirt that you are wearing is freshly pressed and free from the scourge of wrinkles, if you have a collar that is bent, crumpled, or just simply won’t stay in place, you’re entire outfit can be ruined. At least, it can certainly feel that way if you’re the one that is wearing the shirt.

 

This is the reason that any shirt manufacturers that care about the quality of their product will use an extra measure of care in order to make sure that the collar looks as every bit as good as the rest of the shirt. In a way, it sets the tone for the look, style, and sophistication of the person that wears the fabric.

 


Types of Collars

 

There is no “one size fits all” type of method when it comes to collar production. Indeed, shirt manufacturers can deploy a host of different techniques and design styles in order to make a person’s collar look perfect.

 

Spread Collar

 

Perhaps the most well recognized collar is the spread collar. The classic collar design features points that are angular as they come down over the top of the shirt, but they do not flair outward nor do they point directly downward. It is arguably the most versatile of all collars, as it tends to look stylish with a suit and tie and it also looks right at home with a more casual, at-home look.

There are different variations to this particular collar that different shirt manufacturers utilize in order to create a unique look. These variations include:

  • Tall-Spread Collar – This variation adds a couple of inches in height to the collar to make it stand out a little more prominently when a person is wearing a suit or a sport coat. It also works well with a variety of tie knots and sizes.
  • Semi-Spread Collar – This variation features a wider collar blade, which gives it an even more casual appearance than a typical spread collar. That being said, it is still versatile enough to appear dressy, and can still act as an ideal compliment to a tie or a jacket.

Eton Collar

 

Another popular collar type is known as an Eton collar, also known as a club collar. This collar, which originated around the early part of the 20th century, has long been considered a classic mainstay in men’s fashion. It is short and tight, and features slightly rounded edges, thus giving it a softer appearance. While its size makes it a perfect option for a business casual look, its compact size and tight underlining allows it to sit perfectly under a coat with a necktie.

 

Point Collar

 

A point collar, on the other hand, does not contain the rounded edges of an Eton collar. As the name suggests, it features edges that are sharp and angular, giving the shirt a more geometric shape that fits right into streamlined clothing styles. Like the spread collar, a point collar can be designed to be various sizes in height, with each height carrying a different connotation in formality and style. As such, it is not uncommon to see a point collar on more casual button down shirts, such as ones that feature plaid patterns or prints.

 

Cutaway Collar

 

One of the shortest collars that shirt manufacturers use is a cutaway collar. Typically, this particular collar is distinguished by being slightly flared and small to the point where it is barely there. This design choice is intriguing because it gives the shirts that feature the collar a distinctively old-time dashing quality to it without feeling like it stuck in the past. This quality allows it to deftly straddle the line in between vintage traditional style and modern sensibilities, arguably better than any other collar can. It looks just as slick with a bowtie as it does without any neckwear.

 

Those that want a little more length to this particular style of collar could deploy a deep cutaway collar instead. In essence, this particular collar is larger than the traditional cutaway and also has a more pronounced spread. This added length and width may make it a little more receptive to fuller tie knots, but can still look just as sleek and rakish as a traditional cutaway without the presence of neckwear. This particular looks especially sleek if you are one that is into wearing a shirt that features a contrasting white collar.

 

Button-down Collar

 

Another popular modern collar is the button-down collar. This particular collar is distinguished by the presence of button holes at their end points, which allows it to be properly fastened to the body of the shirt. It is the most high-maintenance of all the collars that are used by shirt manufactures – after all, there is an extra step involved in making the collar look proper if you are wearing it with a tie – but the presence of the buttons makes any shirt that features them look sleek and professional. The person that wears s a shirt with a button-down collar will look like he means business when he wears it with a tie. However, if he wears it out sans neckwear, he will send a message that says that he not only works hard, but he plays hard, too. The attitude that this type of collar cultivates makes it the ultimate collar to wear for that company trip when business invariably mixes with pleasure.

 

Bringing it All Together

 

Even though there are plenty of different collars that shirt manufacturers can use in creating a button down shirt, the one common bond that ties them all together is the fact that each collar plays a role in helping the wearer create a definitive sense of style. Even though a collar makes for a small portion of the overall shirt, its size, style, and framing capabilities can set the tone for not only the rest of the shirt, but the rest of the outfit, as well. As such, selecting a collar is something that should not be something that is taken for granted.