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Garment Costing | The Basics

Garment costing is the process of determining the total cost of a creating a garment. It is extremely important that garment costing is done correctly, because doing so allows you to factor in all your costs and also maximize all your margins. Accurately devising the cost of a garment may save you only a few cents per garment, but when your garment undergoes mass production, those few cents can turn into hundreds of dollars.

Estimating the cost of fabric is a major factor to garment costing. Since 25% - 40% of the cost of making a garment is spent on fabric, deciding on how much fabric to purchase can seriously affect your bottom line. Establishing the fabric yield rate -- the amount of fabric needed to produce one garment -- is the most difficult part of garment costing. To begin, patterns are digitized, so that they may be archived and communication between vendors is streamlined. When working with a vendor to digitize your patterns, be sure to have all the information about your pattern on hand, including piece names, the positioning of the grain lines, and the style numbers. Then, patterns are graded and marked. Grading is the process of producing different sizes of your base garment, while marking is the process of figuring out how to best fit your patterns onto fabric to maximize fabric yield. Extra fabric needs to be taken into account during marking, as portions of garments overlap and some fabric may be damaged when cut. Once pattern pieces are digitized, graded an marked, you will be able to determine your fabric yield, and subsequently, the cost of fabric.

Aside from fabric, the costs of trims, such as the woven label, care label, and hang tag, must be included. The cost of labor, such as packing and folding, cutting and sewing apparel, must also be incorporated, along with the transportation costs accrued during the production of the garment. If the garment is to be knit or woven, the machinery used to do so will add to the total; if the garment needs a particular dye, the type of dye used and the color of the dye will also have an affect on costing.

The above mentioned are factors you should take into account when costing a basic garment. Some elaborately designed garments are embellished with accessories such as zippers, buttons, sewing threads, and beading. Others, still, have beautiful motives or prints on them. Select vendors who possess the required machinery for embellishing and printing may charge a premium for these additions to your garment.

Sound like a lot to you? Let LA Fashion Source assist you with garment costing to help you minimize your financial investment and maximize your profit.

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