5 Questions to Ask Clothing Manufacturers before Working With Them

If you are new in the clothing business and want your clothing brand vision to come to life, then you need an by your side. You might be thinking that how clothing manufacturers can help you grow your business, there are industry standards that you need to meet to succeed in the business. And clothing manufacturers might help you achieve them.

Author John Cary
MARCH 17, 2023

Another factor is working with a good factory will help you grow your business and also help in estimating the cost of manufacturing your clothing line. Finding a good clothing manufacturer Finding a good clothing manufacturer is challenging nowadays, as many manufacturers work in the market. There are different ways by which you can find manufacturing factories in trade shows, on social media platforms, online, or by contacts.

Your best approach to reach clothing manufacturers for your brand

Once you have looked and checked all the manufacturers and shortlisted your options, there is still some research remaining. Although filtering out the best companies for your brand is a little time taking process that it’s critically important for your brand. It won’t be justifying to spend a lot of dollars in the manufacturing of your clothing line just to find out that clothing manufacturer ruined your project. You must check every little detail and then make a decision.

Suppose you have spotted the proper manufacturer to produce your clothing line. They seems like a good manufacturer, they have done the similar projects as you want, but this doesn’t mean that they are perfect for your project. Every project have different specifications and details to notice so you must analyses your requirements first and then make a list of asking the right questions from manufacturers, this will make your process more easy.

Also read: everything you need to know

Why it is important to ask right questions

Making a match with the custom clothing manufacture or any other business partner is one of the most critical decision for you to make. Not only they manufacturer clothes for you but also they are representing your brand in clothing industry. And before working with any kinds of business it’s quite important to see that who might be the best fit your clothing line.

For that you need to have your own questions analyzed and well versed as your clothing project needs. You should always ask the right questions to filter out the best manufacturers for your business. Align your question as per your needs to analyses that if the manufactures standards met with your brand or not.

Here are some of the potential reason for you to ask the question from manufactures:

The quality control: As you will not be present their when manufacturers will be working on your project so you must analyze the quality control procedures of the manufacturer to analyze that whether they will be a good fit or not.

The cost factor: Questions like additional services charges, additional design charges, their production capacity, turnaround times, urgent deliveries, minimum order quantities and similar factors will provide a clear ideas about the costing of the company.

Communication: when you are working with an overseas manufacturers, communication is the best tool and only method of delivery your clothing ideas to the customer. So you must ask question about the communication process or what process or apps they use to fill the communication gaps and deals with issues like change in timelines, change in the design requirements etc.

Questions You Should Ask From Clothing Manufacturers Before Working With Them

The primary job of the clothing sample makers is to cut, sew, and assemble the clothing sample or prototype and make it a fully finished product. Using their hands and machines, the clothing sample makers collect client's requirements information, specifications, and sizing needs and then create the clothing samples for clients.

Before moving to bulk production, the sample production unit in the clothing sample is responsible for manufacturing and testing the product by creating a sample. Moreover, you can also check a number of things like garments, sizing, colors, patterns, style, and fabrics by manufacturing a sample product before you start with the bulk production of a clothing line.

In garment sampling, different types of samples vary according to the need of brands and clients. When we are talking about the samples, it depends on the manufacturer and the sample type they want. This blog outlines all kinds of samples manufacturers create that customers might ask for.

What Type of Question Will Be You Asking?

When working as a clothing brand or with a clothing manufacturer, you should consider several things such as fabric selection, inventory management, custom order delivery, logistics, and more. So, you will need to ask some questions to help you analyze the abovementioned factors.

This blog has listed several questions you can ask the manufacturer before working with them. So, let’s get started:

  • Can you source the type of clothes I’m looking for?

    There are different types of manufacturers working in the fashion industry. Some clothing manufacturers can source everything for your brand, from the type of fabric you are looking for to the components like zippers, buttons, and labels, and make a complete product for you.

    On the other side, some manufacturers require you to provide them with the buttons, zippers, labels, and tags you want on your clothing line. Now, if your brand is easy to deliver raw materials to the manufacturer, then working with such a manufacturer is fine.

    You can ask them about they do screen printing, cut and sew manufacturing, sublimation printing, fabric dyeing, embroidery or whatever you need to get done.

  • Proto sample

    The word proto refers to "first," so these proto samples are developed at the initial stages of product development. These samples are created from the manufacturer's end and delivered to the brand or client to check the design and style of the sample.

    In this type of sampling, substitute fabric and trims are used instead of the original material in case they are unavailable. The sample is manufactured based on the tech pack provided to them. So, it's critical to mention all the details in the tech pack.

    Most clothing sample makers also offer tech pack design services like us. We are a one-stop shop for brands looking for sample-making and bulk manufacturing of their clothing lines.

    But if you want the manufacturer to handle everything from scratch till the production of a finished product, you can choose the first type of manufacturer.

    A manufacturer might have an excellent reputation, but there are still chances that the deal might not work for you if they are not handy with the type of manufacturing you are looking for. So, you need to analyze and identify the type of manufacturing you are looking for are the manufacturers capable of producing it. You can look over their portfolio and find a similar product. Lead a deep conversation about the type of clothing line you want with the manufacturer.

  • Are you a wholesaler, agency, or manufacturer?

    Before you connect with a manufacturer, it’s very important to understand their business model, whether they are wholesalers, agencies, or manufacturers. If you expect to directly connect with the source who will be directly producing your clothing line, then connecting with the clothing manufacturer is an excellent fit for your brand.

    Plus, you can directly communicate with the clothing manufacturers and discuss your requirements, making it a sorted situation. This is unlikely with the wholesale and agency.

  • Are they taking new orders?

    Sometimes, when there are many orders in the pipeline, the manufacturer puts the customer on hold, so before getting things started and saving time, you should ask them if they are taking new customers.

  • Which language do you speak?

    That’s a critical question that you should ask initially. Language plays a vital role in hassle-free communication. If the language will common, then both buyer and seller will be easily able to understand each other concerns and have a meaningful conversation.

    A common language will help the buyer or brand convey their message to the manufacturer, which is very important. You must understand clothing terms to get into the details of the clothing line. Sometimes a minor misunderstanding can lead to a significant error in the clothing product. So, being loud and clear while talking with the manufacturer is essential.

  • What is the other brand you have worked with?

    This will let you know about the working experience of the manufacturing. You can ask for their portfolio. If they claim to have expertise in cloth manufacturing, they might have worked with several brands, while some might be popular.

    You can verify about them for their previous clients, and you can visit their physical store website to look over the quality they are serving. This will help you understand the capability and reach of the clothing manufacturer and help you make a more informed decision.

  • What is your MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)?

    As the name tells, the MOQ refers to the Minimum Order Quantity. It means that what is the least of the quantity you can order from clothing manufacturer. Suppose you are a startup and don’t have much budget to get things started, so you might search for a manufacturer who accepts the lower quantity order.

    There are different types of the manufacturer. Some offer you a MOQ of 200-250 pieces per design, while some manufacturers work with a LOW MOQ of 50 parts per design, like Steve Apparel. Steve Apparel is dedicated to helping startups and established brands grow with diversification in their clothing line.

    So, having a low MOQ is a plus, as with such a manufacturer, you can produce more designs and a significant number of clothing lines. If you can’t find the manufacturer offering your required MOQ, then further communication is no point.

  • When do I visit your factory?

    There are two types of manufacturers, overseas manufacturers and local manufacturers. The local manufacturer works in the same country or city you live in. While on the other side, the overseas manufacturer works abroad country.

    You can ask your local manufacturer about visiting their factory to eyewitness their production unit, which will create a sense of trust that you can work with them. At the same time, you can ask an overseas manufacturer to show their production unit via video calls. Normally, the overseas manufacturers will keep updated about your order at every step of production.

  • When can I expect my order?

    As the clothing manufacturer are continuously working on production, so they are most likely to give an estimate date of your project completion. The date of project completion is one of the major thing that you should discuss with them so it doesn’t become a problem in future.

    They will let you know the clothing sample delivery date and duration between which your order might be delivered. If you want to negotiate over the project completion date then you can discuss your concern with the manufacturers and ask them to make this whole manufacturing quickly for you, this way you would be able to rack up your articles in your desired time.

    Advice: You should ask for a delivery date that is at least 1 month before the date when you want your products to be live in the market. So that you handle the products easily if there is any problem in it.

    You can talk with your garment manufacturer about the matter if you have a tight deadline to meet. A good manufacturer could be able to deliver your order before your deadline, which could help you save both time and money.

  • What will the cost estimation of my product be?

    Another thing that you should not forget is to ask about the cost estimation of your product making. This will give you an idea of whether working with that manufacturer might suit your budget.

    Before placing an order, you must inform your manufacturer about the details you expect in your clothing line. Suppose that if you are manufacturing sportswear, you should know about the fabric you want, the functionalities you are looking for, the color, sizes, zippers, collars and buttons, and more.

  • Are you connected with any 3rd party suppliers?

    Sometimes, manufacturers are connected or linked with the 3rd party suppliers. Working with the 3rd part suppliers of manufacturer means they are the middlemen and you are most likely to pay them extra just to convey your designing needs to the manufactures. Involvement of the 3rd party suppliers makes the process more risky challenging than it needs to be.

    For example, the fabric type that you want in your clothing is short at the 3rd party manufacturers’ end, this will increase production time and your order might get delayed.

  • What will be your terms of payment?

    It is essential to ask your clothing manufacturer about when and by which method they are accepting the payments. Different manufacturers have different working modes. A lot of manufacturing requires advance from the client’s end to start the garment manufacturing process. Its starts with a minor part of the payment initially, while the rest of the payment is done at the time of the delivery.

    Moreover, be sure to pick a manufacturer that holds the authority to import the clothes, as when you work with such manufacturers might help you save money. They have the license for import, so it removes the extra taxes, shipping charges, and additional payments.

  • Clothing manufacturers have terms and conditions, be sure to ask for their terms and conditions documents and read them carefully to understand their way of doing business.

  • What is your turnaround time?

    The turnaround refers to the total time from the order you place until the date the order is delivered. Different manufacturers offer different turnaround times.

Before your start your project with any clothing manufacturer, it’s critical to question them about the working strategies and business process. Do your research, shortlist your options, ask them the right questions that fits your projects specifications and you will land yourself a reliable manufacturer.

Author John Cary

About the author:

John Cary is a keen fashion blogger who primarily provides detailed guides and advice about anything that comes under fashion. He has worked closely in the fashion industry, which enhances his experience and makes him more passionate about the fashion industry. When it comes to clothing and fashion John Cary makes absolute sense.