Quality means customer needs is to be satisfied. Failure to maintain an adequate quality standard can therefore be unsuccessful. But maintaining an adequate standard of quality also costs effort. From the first investigation to find out what the potential customer for a new product really wants, through the processes of design, specification, controlled manufacture and sale. In this article I will discuss about quality control system in garments industry.
There are a number of factors on which quality fitness of garment industry is based such as – performance, reliability, durability, visual and perceived quality of the garment. Quality needs to be defined in terms of a particular framework of cost.
In the garments industry quality control is practiced right from the initial stage of sourcing raw materials to the stage of final finished garment. For textile and apparel industry product quality is calculated in terms of quality and standard of fibres, yarns, fabric construction, colour fastness, surface designs and the final finished garment products. However quality expectations for export are related to the type of customer segments and the retail outlets.
- To maximize the production of goods within the specified tolerances correctly the first time.
- To achieve a satisfactory design of the fabric or garment in relation to the level of choice in design, styles, colours, suitability of components and fitness of product for the market.
The Quality System Requirements are based on the principle of PDCA Cycle.
- Understanding the customers’ quality requirements.
- Organizing & training quality control department.
- Ensuring proper flow of quality requirements to the QC department.
- Ensuring proper flow of quality requirements to the Production Department.
- Establishing quality plans, parameters, inspection systems, frequency, sampling techniques, etc..
- Inspection, testing, measurements as per plan.
- Record deviations
- Feedback to Production Department.
- Plan for further improvement.
Establishing the Quality Requirements:
The first step for quality control is to understand, establish & accept the customers’ quality requirements. This involves the following steps.
- Getting customers specifications regarding the quality
- Referring our past performance
- Discussing with the Quality Control Department
- Discussing with the Production Department
- Giving the Feed Back to the customers
- Receiving the revised quality requirements from the customers
- Accepting the quality parameters
Various Steps of Inspection & Quality Control in Garments Industry:
The following levels are discussed at the Garment Making Department assuming that this department is receiving the ready to cut dyed & finished fabrics from the Dyeing & Finishing Department.
Before or Pre-production Inspection
The following parameters & defects are checked prior to cutting.
- Shade Matching
- Fabric Construction
- GSM (grams per square meter)
- Whales & courses if required)
- Dyeing Levelness
- Ecological parameters if required
- Matching of Rib, Collars & Cuffs
- Fabric Holes
- Vertical & Horizontal Stripes
- Knitting defects such as missing loops, sinker lines, etc.
- Yarn defects such as thick & thin places
- Dirt’s & Stains
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During Production Inspection
- Verify cutting patterns
- Cut components measurements
- Cutting shapes
- Fabric defects
- Other specific parameters as required by the customers Rib, Collars & Cuffs matching
- Stitching defects
- Sewing threads matching
- Dirt’s & Stains
- Trims & Accessories
Before Production Inspection
Many of the important parameters of Pre-productions, During productions & Final inspection parameters. This is to ensure that wrong or major defective garments are not packed.
1. PACKING & ASSORTMENT
- Wrong Model
- Wrong Quantity
- Missing labels & tags
- Wrong Size & Colour assortment
- Wrong Folding
2. FABRIC DEFECTS
- Wrong Shade
- Uneven dyeing
- Knitting stripes
- Thick & Thin places
- Dirt & Stains
- Oil stains
- Sinker line
- Poor softness
- Higher Shrinkage
- Crease Marks
3. WORKMANSHIP DEFECTS
- Open seam
- Needle holes & marks
- Unbalanced sleeve edge
- Unbalanced placket
- Insecure shoulder stitch
- Incorrect side shape
- Bottom hem bowing
- Uneven neck shape
- Cross labels
- Broken & Missing stitch
- Insecure buttons
- Untrimmed threads & fabrics
- Poor Ironing
- Double stitch
4. GENERAL DEFECTS
- Shade variation within the garment parts
- Shade variation between the garments
- Defective printing
- Defective embroidery
- Defective buttons
5. MEASUREMENT DEVIATIONS
Compare the garment measurements against the Customers’ Measurement Charts. Following are the some of the important garments’ measurement aspects to be considered.
- Garment length
- Body width
- Shoulder length
- Arm hole
- Arm Opening
- Sleeve length
- Placket length
- Placket width
- Neck width
- Neck opening
- Hemming width
- Rib or Collar width
AQL (Acceptable Quality Level)
A certain proportion of defective will always occur in any manufacturing process. If the percentage does not exceed a certain limit, it will be economical to allow the defective to go through instead of screening the entire lot. This limit is called the “Acceptable Quality Level” (AQL)
Considering the practical & economic aspects, Sampling Techniques are adopted to Accept or Reject a Lot on the basis of the Samples drawn at Random from the lot. It has been found and accepted that a scientifically designed sampling & inspection plan protects a Manufacturer as well as the Buyer economically.
American Military Standards known as MIL-STD-105A to 105E is accepted world-wide for sampling sizes. It has the following sample size levels. Normally for Garment Industry 105D or 105E are followed.
- Special Inspection Levels ( S1, S2, S3 & S4 )
- General Inspection Levels ( I, II & III )
- It has various AQL levels from 0.040 to 25 for Accepting or Rejecting the lots. Normally for Garment industry, the AQL levels of 2.5, 4.0 and 6.5 are followed.
Now all the Customers are asking for Ecological Parameters. Now European Buyers are stressing this. Following are main Ecological Parameters to be considered.
- pH range
- Formaldehyde levels
- Extractable heavy metals
- Chlorinated phenols ( PCP, TeCP)
- Forbidden Amines of MAK III A1& A2 categories
- Chlorinated Organic carriers
- Biocide finishes
- Flame retardant finishes
- Colour fastness to Water
- Colour fastness to acid & alkali perspiration
- Colour fastness to wet & dry rubbing
- Colour fastness to saliva
- Emission of volatile chemicals
- Other specific parameters as required by the customers
You may also like:
- Quality Control Inspection in Garment Industry
- Basic Concept of Quality, Quality Control and Inspection in Apparel Industry
- Statistical Quality Control in Apparel Industry
Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.