7 Types of Garment Samples

7 Types of Garment Samples

Having a sample made is important when bringing your design to life. Factories use samples as references on how to carry production through and customers use samples to decide if they would like to place an order. That being said, getting the sample right is super important.

There are 7 different types of samples. Each sample varies depending on your stage in production.

Let's get to it.

1. Muslin
The "Dummy Sample" is made of muslin which is a lightweight cheap fabric, it drapes easily and is easy to maneuver. The muslin sample is usually a start sample that pinpoints major design points and creates a quick silhouette of your style.
Best Time to use this type of Sample: In the beginning before making the pattern and sample with the fabric you want. Muslin is usually a cheaper alternative and can be easily manipulated to reach the look you want!

2. Fit Sample
The fit sample is a sample you use as a "style reference." It is the fit you want your final product to have.
Best Time to use this type of Sample: In the beginning to help make the sample and pattern fit correctly and consistent to other styles. This is used a reference for fit and sizing.

3. Sew By Sample
The "Costing Sample" is looked at by factories to determine how much it would cost to manufacture it.
Best Time to use this type of Sample: When starting production and going to factories! Make sure this is your final sample and all adjustments have been made because this is the sample your manufacturer will be copying!

4. Sales Sample
The "Counter Sample" is created to show your style to customers. It is made in your sourced fabric and trims.
Best Time to use this type of Sample: When selling/sending your line to retailers! Make sure you have the fabric and notions that you used on this sample before sending it out.

5. Photo Sample
The photo sample is usually made in the model size and is used for photography.
Best Time to use this type of Sample: Best for when you want to begin selling and marketing your product. Make sure your model and your sample are the same size to keep the photography session quick and easy and to keep your line consistent!

6. Size Run
This is your sample in the different sizes you want to produce
Best Time to use this type of Sample: This should be done during pattern making. Grading is the term used when a pattern is adjusted to fit various sizes. Bring a size chart to your pattern maker. If you don't have a size chart, communicate with your designer to come up with one.

7. Top Of production
Each production run you pull a few pieces and keep it as a sample and reference.
Best Time to use this type of Sample: This should be taken from your production run and is a great way to keep track of the different fabrics and trims you used each order. You can pull one piece, a few from each size or how ever many you would like. The amount you keep is all up to you.

Final thoughts
In this post I explained the 7 different types of samples. Of course, if you have the budget and time, be as thorough as possible and make sure you create as many samples as possible until you get your product perfect. Also, keep in mind, not every designer or factory will require all 7 samples, it all depends on your design and time frame! Having a sample aids in consistency which is a HUGE factor is building a happy client base.
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