Apparel Engineering is a New Concept of Garment Industry

Last Updated on 17/07/2023

What is Apparel Engineering?
Apparel refers to clothing, garments, or attire that is worn by individuals. From the manufacturing of apparel to reaching a buyer is the work of apparel engineering. Apparel engineering is the modern technical science of proper production of products with maintaining quality. Industrial engineering is the new concept of apparel engineering. Engineering makes things useful to man. Industrial engineering is the engineering approach applied to all factors, including the human factor, involved in the production and distribution of products and supplies.

apparel engineering

Apparel engineering is a questioning technique, it questions each process/operation of the total work content and by using innovative methods of construction and technology you can reduce the work content and increase profitability.

The world economy is changing in significant ways during the recent years, especially in the areas of international trade and industrial organization. Two of the most important new features of the contemporary economy are the globalization of production and trade. Therefore, today’s technological systems are characterized by orientation to productivity; this can be achieved through the apparel engineering.

Simple industrial engineering applied specifically to the apparel industry. Main activities of an industrial/apparel engineer Plant layout:

  1. Production flow system
  2. Machines and adjustments
  3. Operator performance
  4. Operator training
  5. Production control system
  6. Cutting room
  7. Quality control

Role of Apparel Engineering:

  1. Distribution
  2. Payroll system / incentives
  3. Plant safety
  4. Maintenance

Methodology of Apparel Engineering:

1) Standardization:
Supervisors will always appreciate the need for standard condition in managing a department efficiently. Higher amount of confusion would result if the work is not standardized. Some case studies are as follows:

  • If each sewing operator performed their work in different ways.
  • If each sewing operator use different type of machine for same type of work.
  • If payroll department changed its method of paying employees each week.
  • If quality specifications changed every day.

Effective supervision would be impossible without standardization of methods, equipments and conditions. Engineering helps to standardize.

2) Production scheduling:

  • Without a firm production schedule, the department’s ability to produce efficiently is hampered.
  • Impossible to plan the quantum of work to be loaded.
  • It would result in the delay in delivery or more idle time.
  • In order to schedule work accurately, someone needs to know how long it takes to go through each operation.
  • Engineering data help to prepare a firm production schedule.

3) Fair payment to the employees:

  • To ensure fair payment to the employees.
  • Need to know the value of the work produced by an employee.
  • Need to measure the work.
  • Compare the employee’s contribution.

4) Prevention of any system failure:

  • Any attempt to run any department or firm without standardized conditions, without production schedule and without fair payment to employees is doomed to chaos and failure.
  • Without having someone performing the above functions, it would be impossible to operate for very long.

Tools and Techniques for Apparel Engineering:

The most common tools used by an apparel engineer are stop watch and calculator.


1. Method analysis:
The procedure of studying methods used to determine the best way of job. The apparel engineer studies not only the way in which the operator handles the work, but also the machines used, the layout of the workstation and the work aids used. The whole purpose of a method analysis is to find a better way to do a job.

Some of the more common ways of performing a method analysis are as follows:

  1. Observation – Look at method over and over.
  2. Hand chart – Write description of simultaneous movements of left and right hand.
  3. Principles of motion economy – Compare motions in use with a checklist of proven economical motions.
  4. Slow motion analysis – Use either motion pictures or video tapes to slow down activities for better observation. One of the most important traits of an effective apparel supervisor is the ability to recognize good and bad methods among operators and to correct when necessary.

2. Time study:
This is the most common technique used by an engineer to set targets. It helps in setting and developing standards in terms of allowed time to produce a certain number of units in a normal workday.

3. Capacity studies and strength analysis:
A capacity study is similar to a time study but here it is done to find the operators level of performance. This can be combined with a strength analysis, to determine the wastage of potential we are having, not only with one operator, but also with a line, batch or factory.

4. Follow-up study:
A follow-up study is a means of measuring exactly what is happening performance-wise to an individual operator or a group of operators. In making the follow-up study, the engineer records operator performance and also measures any delays that hamper performance.

5. Bundle diagnosis:
This is a tool used to determine the specific areas where the operators are weak or strong, to focus the effort of training in those particular areas in which she is not at the required level. It measures the performance of the operator at every stage during the performance.

6. Incentive plans:
The development of a fair incentive plan for operators is a basic function of an apparel engineer. The most common form is a straight piecework system, where the operator’s pay is based entirely on what the operator produces. There are cases, however, where such a plan might not be fair to the operator.

For example, utility operator’s performance in each operation would not be high due to frequent changes. For this reason, various types of split incentive plans can be used. Most operators can master the simple arithmetic processes of applying any wage incentive formla.

7. Drill training:
Many companies place their operator training programs under the engineering function, especially when some form of drill training is used. This is a system in which particular jobs to be taught are analyzed and broken down into job parts. The operator learns the job of one part at a time, and this enables her to learn faster than if she tries to learn the whole job at once. It is basically based in learning the different skills required to perform one complete operation.

8. Statistical quality control:
SQC is a means of sample inspection that is designed to measure and control quality without having to inspect each and every unit produced.

9. Scheduling systems:
Engineers are becoming more and more involved with the development of systematic approaches to production scheduling and work process control.

Benefits of Apparel Engineering:

Work simplification:

  • Effort to make the work simpler.
  • Kill the skill of the work enabling a medium skilled employee to perform efficiently. (Higher and consistent output).

Increase in productivity:

  • The ability to produce more within the same amount of time is company’s insurance for survival.
  • Results increase in capacity, and thus, scope for getting more orders.
  • Avoids overtime cost.

Increase in profits:

  • Timely deliveries and increase in the quality and quantity of the product delivered results in higher profits.
  • Ensures smooth operation functions without a break due to continuous orders.

Increase in earnings:

  • Increase in profit will enable the owners and stock holders to reward all the employees involved in the industry.
  • Will enable for further expansion thus creating more jobs and improving the economy of the area in which the company is located.

Apparel engineering is very important for production. It increases the productivity & profit. It makes the operation process smooth & easy. It increases the quality of the product & increases the scope of getting more order.


  1. Industrial Engineering in Apparel Production By- Ramesh Babu
  2. Apparel Manufacturing Technology By T. Karthik, P. Ganesan and D. Gopalakrishnan

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