Basic Fundamentals of Apparel Production

Last Updated on 13/01/2021

The Basic Fundamentals of Apparel Production

R.S. Balakumar
Associate Professor
Dept of Fashion Design & Arts
Hindustan University, Chennai, India


Apparel Production
The apparel production business has long been out of the hand – needle or foot – power stage. It has been an “engineered” industry in present time. The properties and characteristics of the following three physical elements which are present in every apparel production process:

  1. The raw materials being processed – Materials
  2. The processing equipment – Machines
  3. The man executing the process – Men.

Awareness in the fourth area must also be added to the three areas:
The geometric principles of apparel design many types of material are sewed into the variety of products of the apparel manufacturing and allied manufacturing industries. A knowledge of the working properties and characteristics of these materials is therefore of prime importance for the formulation of efficient qualitative and quantitative production. It is therefore necessary first to be able to identify the physical properties of fabrics and to understand the nature of the characteristics of these fabric physical properties.

Fundamentals of Apparel Production
Fig: Fundamentals of Apparel Production

Present time apparel industry was known as “Needle – Trade” industries originally, this encompassed in any industry producing products:

  1. Which were made from fabric (or)
  2. Which are produced largely with sewing machines
  3. Basic types of Apparel production processes.

The following three major types of production phases of apparel (allied) manufacturing:

  1. Cutting
  2. Sewing
  3. Pressing

1. Cutting: Serving the raw material into shapes for assembly and or finishing sewing and or pressing operation.

Fabric cutting
Fig: Fabric cutting

2. Sewing: Assembling and or finishing the cut or pre-made pieces with stitches for cutting, pressing, packing or shipping operations.

Garment sewing
Fig: Sewing fabric

3. Pressing: Shaping cut or sewn material with pressure, with or without heat and or moisture, for further processing or marketing.

Pressing garments
Fig: Garment pressing

There are three other types of production used for assembling, decorating or finishing purposes; they are riveting, cementing, and fusing. Riveting is used for closures, decorative and reinforcement functions; riveting operations are executed with punch presses. Cementing consists of joining two (or more) sections with the use of cement, glue, paste, or any other adhesion medium.

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The exact combination of production steps is determined by the following items:

  • Product style
  • Raw materials used
  • Available production equipment
  • Available production space
  • Available labour supply.

The following are only a few of the general production sequence used:

  1. Cut – sew – press – pack, store, or ship
  2. Cut – sew – press – sew – pack, store, or ship
  3. S-C-P-S-C-S- pack, Store, then ship
  4. S-C-S-P-C-C-P- pack, or store, then ship.
  5. P-C-S-P-S-P-, etc.

The term cut, sew, presses C or the symbols C.S.P mean that one or more such operation take place on the production phase. The construction characteristics and the physical properties of the materials control the manner in which these materials react during, and to, the individual production operations. This situation also varies with the type and degree of mechanical action and human effort (mental and physical) necessary to perform the production operation.

Now-a-days sophisticated sewing and allied machineries are being made to fulfill the requirement of globally oriented apparel manufacturing industries; therefore more productivity expectation to meet the timely requirement of the global oriented buyers will become the latest trend.

India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Vietnam producing more volume of apparel for indigenous / domestic and Export purpose. Mostly, USA, UK countries expecting apparel product from the above mentioned countries.

The development of Apparel production sectors will be yielding better job positions to men and women. Countries economic condition will also be flourished. Foreign exchange gained considerably and the under developed countries wealth rate also be increased tremendously.

In apparel manufacturing industry, sewing machines are being used for joining the fabric parts which is supplied from the cutting section. Various types of stitching are done in sewing production plant by the unique help of sewing needle and also different accessories are sewing by this machine.

The most and important sewing machines are used in Apparel manufacturing industry are mentioned as follows:

1. Lock stitch / Plain / Regular sewing machine: This machine is basically used to stitch / sew all types of garments.

2. Twin needle lock stitch machine: Normally used for decorative stitching / seaming purpose. Suitable for woven fabric.

3. Chain stitch machine: Used to stitch as well as woven and knitted garments.

4. Double chain stitch machine: Used stitch as well as woven and knitted garments.

5. Over lock machine (3- Thread): Used for knit and woven fabric sewing. Normally used in side seam, armhole, sleeve portion to prevent raw edges of fabric.

6. Safety Stitch over lock machine (5 – Thread): This m/c is used for knit and woven fabric for sewing a plain seam with over lock application on side seam, arm hole portion.

7. Flat lock machine: Used for covering chain stitch. Mostly used for producing knit wear.

8. FOA m/c with cylinder Bed: Specially used for the sleeve portion, trousers in seam joining and front risebackrise attaching purpose for pyjamas /Bermuda’s / Boxer shorts.

9. Buttonhole machine: Used for sewn the button hole in the garment.

10. Button sewing machine: Used to sew the button is the garment.

11. Bar lock machine: Used in trousers Belt loop joining, pocket corner and zipper fly portion.

12. Blind stitch Machine: Is used for bottom ham of the pant, skirt, shorts, and pyjamas.

13. Kansai Special Machine: This machine is used for front placket and waist band or —– sewing purpose. Also this m/c has a —- needle with 0.5 to 2.5 inch distance and very much used for special attaching purpose with required seam distance.

14. Pocket sewer Machine: Specially used for sew pockets of the coats and overcoat with heavy weight fabric.

Now – a- days apparel manufacturing sewing machines with latest technological knowledge to be learned or target by the trainer to gain more productivity in a given lesser time.

Clothing plays an important role in recent times. Quality oriented apparel products are always having the marketability. Apparel manufacturers are making their products to meet their customers requirement and as well as the expectations. Though the cut throat competition among the apparel manufacturers are common in present days, but the survival is most important. Many more modern types of machinery are made and introduced for the benefit of the growth of the apparel industries, and manufacturers are highly benefitted.


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Analysis-Jacob so linger.
  2. An introduction to garment manufacture-Gerry Cooklin.

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  3. Process Flow Chart of Denim Manufacturing
  4. Flow Chart of Apparel Manufacturing Process
  5. Buyer Inspection System in Apparel Industry
  6. Quality Control System in Garments Industry
  7. Cutting and Sewing Quality in Readymade Garments
  8. Quality Control for the Apparel Industry (Domestic/Export)

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