Clothing samples are real objects that can represent the quality of clothing. Clothing samples represent the actual samples of clothing, and are the standard for clothing production. Use it to determine the appearance, quality, texture, visual color, structure and craftsmanship of batch clothing.
Garment samples are inevitably important and are developed tested before starting the bulk production. It means making a sample of the garment /fabric which requires to be sold. Sampling is one of the main process in Garment Industry and it has a vital role in attracting buyers. Because the buyers generally place the order after they are satisfied with the quality of the samples.
The samples decide the ability of an exporter. The buyer will access the exporter and his organization only by the samples. If the samples are of good quality and with reasonable price naturally the buyers will be forced to place the order. So, it is essential that the samples should be innovative and of optimum quality.
The purpose of sampling is not only to get bulk orders and also give some additional benefits to the garment manufacturer. By doing sampling the exporter can estimate the yarn consumption for developing the fabric, a clear idea on costing more ever the manufacturing difficulties. Besides by doing sampling only, the exporter can optimize the processing parameters for mass production, which helps to avoid all kind of bottlenecks. All these works are carried out by the sampling department, which we led by a sampling in charge.
18 different types of sample in garment industry
In the apparel supply chain, apparel buyers need to ensure that the products they are sourcing from their supplier across the world meet their designs, construction, material quality and fit requirement. To ensure the finished product quality, buyers keep in close contact with their suppliers and in every stage from sampling to shipment they inspect the garment for a given order.
At the different stages of product development and garment manufacturing process, the samples are given a different name. The same sample might be known as different names. There is a defined objective for developing each type of sample.
The different types of samples made by the apparel manufacturers are listed below. All the samples are defined one by one.
- Reference sample
- Proto sample /First sample
- Fit sample
- Mock-up sample
- Size set sample
- Salesman sample
- Photo shoot sample
- Development sample
- PP sample
- TOP sample
- Counter sample
- Test sample
- Shipment sample
- Showroom sample
- GPT sample
- Gold seal sample /sealed sample
- Red tag sample
- Digital Garment Sample
The reference sample is mainly after the first contact and understanding of the buyer and seller, or after the manufacturer of the clothing factory visits the seller, the buyer has an OEM for those brand customers because of the actual product that the seller’s product can produce and the quality level of the product produced by the clothing factory. After understanding the samples through garment production, the seller sends the buyer some relevant produced products for the buyer’s reference to understand the actual production strength of the manufacturer.
Proto sample in garment industry / First sample
The first sample that is developed from the design sketch or the design concept is known as proto sample. proto sample in garment industry are also known as the first sample. The proto samples are normally made of matching fabric quality (weight and fabric types), as during proto sample development actual fabric are not available with the factory. The proto sample in made in one size. Number of proto samples to be made depend on the buyer’s requirement. At least three sample should be made – 2 samples to send to the buyer for approval. Out of these 2 sample, buyer keeps one sample and send back to the second sample to the factory. Third sample should be made as a factory’s counter sample of proto. In case a third party buying house is involved in sample development, one additional sample may be required.
Fit sample in garment industry
As the name suggests, fit samples are to ensure the adequate fit and fall of the garments and they’re made in accordance with the sizing requested by the brand. Measurements and construction need to be accurate and correct in order to pass the fit evaluation. The fit sample can be made of a similar fabric as the one intended for the final design, and many adjustments could be necessary before the desired fit is achieved. Garment fit is one of the most important parameters in garment design. Fit sample is developed according to the spec sheet measurement and design sketch. Purpose of developing FIT sample is checking the garment fit on the dress form or on the human model. The measurement specifications are verified using the FIT sample and measurement are corrected as per fit requirement. Fit sample is developed after the proto sample and prior to size set sample. Like the proto sample, the fit sample is made for the middle size. 2-3 samples are developed for the fit sample. Normally, the sample resubmission rate is higher in FIT sample compared to other approval.
A model or a copy of something, often the same size as it, that is used for testing, or for showing people what the real thing will look like. Mock-up sample main use the bulk fabric and accessories, trims sewing them together doing some internal testing, such as test the body fabric and contrast fabric color matching, the color fastness, if the construction of this area stable strong enough etc. propose use this sample.
Size set Sample
The objective of the size set sample is checking the garment fit of multiple sizes. The size set samples are normally made for jump sizes. Like S, L, XXL. A number of samples required for size set depend on the buyer’s requirement. Pattern grading is checked in size set sample. If the technical team found some sizes are not giving correct fit, they do correction on the pattern grading until they get the correct fit. After the size set approval, the supplier can develop the PP sample. Size set samples are made using actual fabric. In case actual fabric is not available, the similar quality fabric can be used. (Final decision for fabric quality is buyers’).
Salesman sample (SMS)
The salesman sample in garment industry main serving the selling. Salesman sample is developed using original fabrics. Salesman samples, known as SMS, are developed for displaying the design in the retail stores. The purpose of displaying samples in the store is forecasting the order volume. Salesman samples are also known as the marketing sample. More about the SMS sample discussed here.
As the name suggests, the salesman samples or SMS are the samples that are used for marketing and promotions of the product range. They are made with the final fabrics and final touches in the approved basic sizes. These are generally put on display in retail stores or exhibited at trade shows to get orders from respective retail channels.
Photo shoot sample in clothing industry
Photo samples are mainly for customers to see sample styles. Photographic sample customers mainly look at the style, which is used to make color reference samples for large-scale goods, and they have relatively high requirements for colors and styles. The name of the sample clarifies it. For capturing a photo for the catalogue and e-commerce sites photo shoot samples are made, and the photo is taken on model or dress form. The photo sample is what a customer asks to make him a piece of clothing for them to take photos of.
Preproduction sample (PP Sample)
The pp sample in garment industry is to make sure the bulk garment production all correct. The PP sample is made with actual fabric. The PP sample is made by the factory in the production line. All the development samples are made in the sampling room. Read the importance of the PP sample and more about PP sample.
Gold seal sample
An approved sample for bulk production. The PP sample can be called as sealed if buyer sealed it. Some buyers and factory used to call the approved PP sample as the sealed sample. Gold seal sample also known as a Sealed sample. Buyer seals the approved using coloured tag, which can’t be removed from the garment without damaging the garment. Some buyers give a unique code to each sealed sample, and number if embossed on the tag. Garment sample is sealed by the buyer to avoid tempering the actual approved sample by the factory tea.
TOP Sample/Production Sample
TOP is abbreviated as Top of Production. Factory starts bulk production after the PP sample approval. After the bulk production start, few garments are picked randomly from the production output of the first production run for quality checking by the buyer’s QA. These samples are known as Top of Production sample.
When a factory makes samples for different sample approvals from the buyer, the factory makes 2-3 additional samples for their internal reference. These samples are called as the counter sample. A counter sample can be of the counter size set, a counter of the fit sample, counter SMS, or counter of the PP sample. Counter samples are a copy of the original samples. In case, approved samples are not available when needed or the sample required by the different teams at the same time, the factory can refer the counter sample by giving internal merchandising or quality team.
Ship sample: (Shipping Sample) refers to the bulk sample that will be exported for shipment and is a representative sample. The products must be produced in accordance with the requirements of the customer or the requirements of the order or the requirements of the modification or confirmation, and the products are packaged in accordance with the requirements. The ship sample generally needs to be sent to the customer before shipment. Buyers need to keep a random garment piece from the final shipment audit. This sample is referred for packing details, all detailing attached to the finished garment, that will be going to the stores. Factory keeps 3 samples for shipment samples – one for the buyer, the second one for factory and the 3rd one for the buying house merchant. Shipment sample is kept by the buyer as well as by the factory for future reference if any complaint raised by a customer regarding deviation of the product design and product detailing in the sold garment.
Show Sample/showroom sample
The apparel manufacturers and suppliers prepare a sample for the displaying on the in-house design room or in the exhibition. Sometimes garment manufacturers develop garment sample by themselves and show those samples to there prospect apparel buyer.
The sample that is collected from the bulk production and send to a testing lab for garment performance test (GPT), are known as GPT sample. In GPT sample, garment performance tests like seam strength, seam slippage, button pulling strength, print quality, chemical tests of metals, and dyed and printed colors are done. List tests to be performed by the lab are defined in buyers protocol. Generally, buyers don’t ask for GPT sample submission. They need the GPT test report on the desired test parameters for their product. The factory needs to send at least 2 pieces of GPT samples for production.
The development samples are those sample which made until the final factory gets bulk production approval. The proto, fit and size set samples are considered as development sample.
Red Tag Sample/ Sealed sample
A red tag sample is the same as the gold seal sample and sealed sample. A different term of the approved and sealed sample for bulk production approval. A red colored tag is attached in the sealed sample. Read more about the sealed sample.
Digital Garment Sample
A garment sample that is made on the software and shows the 3D form of the garment, is called a digital garment sample. On the digital sample, a customer can see the garment fit, fabric fall, pressure points (tight fitting) on the selected digital model, both as a still form as well as the digital model moves on the screen. With the aid of digital technology and to reduce sample approval process time, many buyers and made-to-measure customers go for digital garment samples. The comments and feedback on the sample are given based on the display on the screen, which is accepted by the buyer like a physical sample.
The key points of various garment samples
The process of sample development depends on the buyer’s various requirements. There are so many different types of samples in garment industry, but not all the clothing bulk production order required all the samples, this is also no need ask all the samples.
The purpose of samples is for communication between buyer and manufacturer/seller, make sure the understanding clearly, without misunderstand, confusion, as long as that clear will no need make one more sample, the garment sample making cost is many times than one bulk production goods, but some samples is a necessary can’t be reduce that sample steps, anyway, you have to base on actual situation of your bulk garment production orders.