Here’s how to differentiate between authentic products and fakes.

Mechanization of processes has led to an influx of fake handlooms and handicrafts in Indian markets. Here’s how to differentiate between authentic products and fakes.

Every individual handcrafted product has a unique story to tell. And yet, as the product moves through the value chain, this story gets buried deeper and deeper in the layers of time till eventually, it is lost to the world. This story is most often a reflection of the craftsman who poured himself into his handicraft. It may speak of the long hours that he laboured at his potting wheel, perfecting minute details by candlelight. Or it may convey the many miles that he had to walk to transport his deftly crafted goods to the nearest market. The story could hold a million possibilities. But by the time it reaches the customer, the artisan behind the handicraft is forgotten. And his story remains untold.

A fine example of the beauty that is created by the hands of artisans, Bandhani. Women artisans tie tiny knots or ‘bindis’ of fabric which is then dyed by a master artisan Today, fewer artisans have stories to tell. With the advent of globalisation and virtual markets, new markets have unfolded overseas. This also means that skilled artisans from around the globe have seized the opportunity to meet a growing, global demand for their work.

For Indian handicrafts, however, international competition is hardly the problem. The real concern for homegrown artisans is the threat posed by colossal manufacturers who produce handicraft replicas en masse. These industrial bigwigs have the resources to keep abreast of customer trends, respond to them swiftly and deliver their products through the right distribution channels. The trouble is, these well-engineered replicas are marketed as original handmade pieces by these corporations. As a result, Indian artisans are losing market share, income and the niche they have worked so hard to create.

During our visit to Bagalkot, weavers tell us how they have been forced to shift to power looms and hence, most of the Ilkals in the market today are not handloom There are a number of sectors that have been straining under the pressure of the ballooning counterfeit craft industry.

Varanasi, for instance, has long held a place on the world map as the cradle of Banarasi brocade. While the Uttar Pradesh government has not released any statistics about the weaving industry or its size in Varanasi today, one report suggests that the town is home to approximately 5,00,000 weavers. The 2011 census revealed that amongst these, only 51% are currently engaged in spinning and weaving. Today, only about 10% of weavers work on handlooms; the rest have abandoned it in favour of power looms. This hasn’t been an overnight phenomenon. This migration of workers started back in 2001, when India lifted quantitative restrictions on silk imports. This paved the way for Banaras to become a cesspool of cheap, Chinese silk yarn.

Chinese silk yarn is ideal for power looms. Composed of between 18 and 20 filaments, the thread flows easily through the machinery. Indian thread, on the other hand, contains only 10 to 20 filaments, making it more difficult to work with. But while Chinese silk may match the quality of its Indian counterpart, Indian silk is far more durable. Some Banarasi saris are even made in China, and are imported and sold in shops in Banaras. Mind you, the imitations are just as beautiful, and can bedazzle any customer with their vibrant colours and vintage motifs. You would never even know that it was made in a factory. Yet, the difference lies in the detail.

Handloom saris are inspired by Mughal designs, and feature handmade patterns like amru, ambi and domak. Saris made in factories cannot match this level of detailing and do not carry these traditional Persian motifs.

The reality is that a handloom weaver in Banaras typically takes about fifteen days to complete one sari, and his earnings in a month are just south of Rs. 4,000, hardly enough to sustain an individual, let alone a family. Ironically, the government has provided free electricity to power looms, and handloom workers have been relegated to the side lines. Since 2002, over 175 Banarasi weavers have committed suicide as a result.

Today, it is more lucrative for a weaver to share weaving techniques and skills with a power loom than to continue in his own profession. By sharing know-how about traditional patterns and weaving styles, he can earn more than if he were to weave a single sari.

The obscure town of Sualkuchi in Assam is the silk centre of the state. Its beleaguered silk industry, however, is struggling to survive. The influx of Chinese silk has hurt the small community. In September 2013, after realising that they needed to protect their interests and combat spurious silk imports, the weavers of Sualkuchi formed the Sualkuchi Tant Unnayan Samiti, a committee dedicated to prohibiting unscrupulous traders. But perhaps the efforts of the denizens of Sualkuchi were too little, too late. In 2007, the Association of Handloom Units released a report that announced that 60,000 Bodo households would lose income as a result of counterfeit products. The economic decline in the silk town has continued ever since.

The toy town of Channapatna, in Karnataka, has been similarly challenged by the invasion of China-made wooden toys in the country. In December 2015, the Lok Sabha acknowledged the harm done to the Indian toy industry as a result of Chinese imports. Toy imports increased at a compound annual rate of 25% between 2001 and 2012, a solemn indicator of how harshly local craftsmanship has been overthrown by Chinese automation. Although the central and state governments have taken steps to alleviate the downslide, they have not been very effective. The Karnataka government has allotted subsidised power and 254 houses to toymakers in the town. Yet, there are droves of workers who are still left unsupported. There are only around 1,000 artisans in Channapatna now, and the numbers are dwindling. Children of craftsmen are seeking livelihoods in other industries, and the Channapatna toy engine is slowing down. Channapatna artisans using the ‘gari’ leaves that give the naturally dyed colours a unique sheen. Be sure that you buy naturally dyed channapatna toys made by artisans from Channapatna and not the cheap Chinese imports that have flooded our market.

In May 2016, the Enforcement Wing of Quality Control Division, Directorate of Handicrafts directed raids in handicraft shops in Srinagar to validate the authenticity of their products. Handicraft stores in the valley have earned a notorious reputation for cheating tourists by selling them imitation versions of original handicrafts. Kashmiri Pashminas, in particular are adroitly replicated by power looms and are regularly passed off as originals at lower prices. Weavers in Srinagar and adjoining areas are witnessing a decline in the Pashmina shawl industry and, in the last twenty years, 90% of the women spinners have left the industry because manufacturers and customers have resorted to cheaper alternatives. Perhaps this collective undermining of artisanal skillsets is deep-rooted in something else. Urban perceptions towards handicrafts, for instance, are definitely worth examining. Market trends and preferences often shift based on conscious marketing strategies employed by brands. Large companies build brand consciousness through an array of promotional and advertising tools. Cottage industries, unfortunately, do not have the reach or the capital to employ these techniques, and get left behind in the mind of the customer. Some even consider handcrafted items too traditional, archaic even. Despite the effort and time entailed in crafting a single product, customers expect a low price. Cue, counterfeit products. Positioning handicrafts as novel, aspirational products, requires serious investment and effort. And it is the need of the hour.

The handloom provides a canvas to the weaver, a vision to do justice to their heritage, and the finer nuances during the weaving process make the handloom product irreplaceable. The tragedy is that even the greatest aficionados of handlooms and handicrafts are seldom able to differentiate between genuine handmade products and factory-made replicas. Take handloom for instance.

There are few ways to distinguish between authentic silk and synthetic polyester fabric. One way is by burning a single fibre from the cloth. If the thread leaves a plastic-like residue behind, you know you have a saree made of polyester. But a thread that vanishes entirely, without a trace, is testimony of pure silk or cotton fabric.

There are aesthetic differences too. If you look carefully, you’ll notice that handloom weaves, though meticulous, are not always even. In fact, that is one of the classic features of handloom; the diminutive difference between each thread. Also, when it comes to pure silk, handloom designs can get tremendously intricate. Artisans work arduously to weave minute details in their tapestries, a feat that machinery cannot parallel.

The government has taken certain measures to distinguish genuine products from spurious ones. Tags certifying authenticity have been assigned, based on industry. Handloom mark, Woolmark, Silkmark, Seal of Cotton and Craftmark correspond to the handloom, wool, silk, cotton and handicraft industries respectively. It is up to the customer to inspect a product closely to determine its origin. A good practice is to buy from organisations who follow Fair Trade Norms.

Artisans remain one of the lowest socio-economic classes in India today, and the community is shrinking rapidly. The onus lies on policy makers to strengthen the value chain, drive marketing programmes and empower artisans. Only then, will artisanal products earn the recognition that they deserve. In turn, the community of craftsmen in the country will flourish, and maybe someday soon, more artisans will have stories to tell.

As seen on India Kala


21 Fashion Terms You Should Know that Fashion People Love

To an outsider, fashion words and the industry can quickly become a very strange place. Fashion people have cultivated a bizarre, almost cult-like club. It’s guarded by a cryptic vocabulary of fashion terms, customs and normalcies. You’ve likely come across a few in our fashion week  reviews. Similarly, look at this excerpt from a Gucci collection Review on WWD, “Yet these clothes were not about newness or exaggeration of silhouette, or other such elements that can be telegraphed at a distance.” Fashion terminology certainly isn’t casual conversation for the majority of people. Most readers simply skim over these confusing appearances from the fashion lexicon. Casually picking them out like the unwanted seeds of fruit.

Even more confusing is understanding the context in which some fashion terms appear. For example, in journalism, an editorial is defined as an opinion article, whereas, in fashion it can also describe a photographic style. Understanding the language of fashion provides new insight to dialogue you’ve heard countless times. Fashion terms and phrases like “SS” and “AW” that once looked like scientific formulas soon become colloquial chatter. Similarly you realize that a Resort isn’t a fancy hotel and that a glossy is simply another name for a print magazine.

Let’s end a bit more of the confusion as we define 21 fashion terms that fashion people love to use. You can also take our Style IQ quiz to see how you’ve learned. Already know your fashion terminology,  you can take the quiz now. Fashion Words Quiz!

1. Shoot

Fashion Terms - Photo Shoot - The Dapifer
Short for photo shoot. Typically refers to fashion photography as seen in sources like fashion magazines and advertisement campaigns and videos.

2. Contemporary

A category of apparel that has an accessible price point and a more commercial appeal compared to typical high-end fashion collections. While contemporary fashion is modern, the two terms are not directly synonymous.

3. Resort

Resort is a fashion collection category that represents year-round, season-less fashion. Unlike Spring and Fall collections which transition to meet climate conditions, Resort is unchanging. It is also known as “cruise wear”, reinforcing a notion of leisure, luxury, and travel.

4. Collection

An assortment of clothing, footwear, and accessories that a brand presents for a fashion season or unique event. Fashion collections reflect current industry trends as well as the creative vision of the designer and team.

5. SS & FW or AW

One of two main collection seasons, Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter. Each collection targets its corresponding season and climate. The terms are often shortened to SS and FW respectively. Outside of the United States, Fall is more commonly called Autumn. When referring to a specific year and collection, it is written as the Season followed by the Year. For example, Spring Summer 2017 or SS17.

6. Haute Couture

Fashion Words - Couture - The Dapifer
Coming from french origin, Haute couture is an elite, extremely expensive type of fashion apparel under regulation by law in France. In order for clothing to be called couture or haute couture it must be designed by a fashion house with a couture certification. The Fédération Française de la Couture is the law making body which approves and denies members of this exclusive form of fashion.

7. Silhouette

A favorite term of fashion writers and designers describing the basic outline of a garment. Silhouettes may be defined using adjectives like loose, slouchy and body-conscious. However, it’s not simply referring to the natural shape of a garment. Instead, it critiques how the piece fits on the body.

8. Look Book

A digital or print photo book displaying a collection of images from a particular brand’s fashion collection. Typically, each fashion house creates a new look book for each collection season. Look books can also include several different fashion brands. This is very common in retail where fashion retailer group items from multiple designers into one cohesive collection.

9. Editorial

Fashion Words - Editorial - The Dapifer
Refers to a conceptual style of photography focusing on storytelling through fashion. While editorial is often a blanket term for many genres of fashionable photography, it can also be split distinctly into editorial fashion and editorial beauty.

10. Mood

The theme of an editorial, collection or other fashion focused medium. It also conveys the purpose and inspiration behind a body of work. Fashion editors also use the terminology to describe exactly how viewing the work makes them feel. In the planning and pre-production process, creative teams gather these thought by creating a pinterest type collage of ideas, referred to as a moodboard.

11. Sartorial

Fashion Terms - Sartorial - The Dapifer
References the tailoring of clothing and their unique fit and silhouette. It also refers to all clothes in general. Similar to how the term fashion can appear as either a noun or verb.

12. Capsule

Short for capsule wardrobe. Popularized in the 1980s by Donna Karan’s “Seven Easy Pieces” collections, the concept of a capsule wardrobe is to create a small mini-collection of timeless style essentials to wear year-round. It is a means to declutter closets and simplify fashion. When talking about a brand’s capsule, it becomes a “capsule collection”.

13. Fashion “line”

A fashion line is a clothing category found within a brand’s larger collection. However, lines may not follow a consistent schedule. Examples of a fashion line are the activewear and evening wear groupings found in the Versace collection. A collection can exist independently, however, a fashion line is always found within a fashion collection.

14. Line Sheet

In fashion, a line sheet is an important business document detailing the pieces available to purchase from a fashion collection. Focusing on wholesale to buyers, a line sheet includes details such as garment sizes, size range, SKU number, and color swatch.

15. Pull

Fashion Terms - Pull - The Dapifer
The process of borrowing clothes from a brand for the purposes of reviewing and providing media publicity such as photography. Essentially, it’s like renting clothing, but there is no fee. Brands usually work with PR agencies to determine which magazines, stylists and celebrities can pull clothing.

16. Glossy

Another word for fashion magazine. Often used in fashion writing to note the publication being profiled. The term comes from the hi-gloss effect on pages in popular fashion magazines.

17. High fashion

An expensive type of fashion clothing and design. Involves the use of luxury fabrics and techniques. Some brands are known solely as high fashion brands. For instance, Chanel, Gucci, and Prada are all high fashion brands.

18. Streetwear

Ironically, it’s not what most people wear on the street. Streetwear is a stylish form of fashion apparel originating in California. Taking inspiration from by surf/skate culture, hip hop music, and an urban lifestyle, it reflects youth culture.

19. Pret-a-porter

Fashion Terms - Pret a Porter - The Dapifer
Translates from French to mean “off the rack” or “off the peg”. It most commonly appears in its English form of Ready to Wear. The fashion term refers to mass-market apparel made in bulk and sold in finished condition. Ready to wear differs from other forms of distribution such as couture, which is made-to-order.

20. Diffusion lines

Not to be mistaken for a capsule collection, a diffusion line is a secondary fashion line created by an established high fashion brand. The purpose of this collection is to provide shoppers merchandise at more accessible price points. While still carrying the brand’s name, diffusion lines are separate from it parent. Examples of diffussion lines include Marc by Marc Jacobs and Michael Michael Kors.

21. See Now Buy Now

A newer concept allowing shoppers to purchase pieces from fashion collections immediately after their runway launch. Traditionally, fashion collection debut an entire Season before shoppers can purchase them. For example, Spring collections release during Fall and Winter collections in February just as Spring approaches.

as seen on: The Dapifer > Fashion History > 21 Fashion Terms You Should Know

Wardrobe Rehab

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Closet

The goal is a wardrobe that’s easy to navigate, full of pieces that you absolutely love and are able to create infinite outfit with.

Below you can find the 5 steps, expanded with  videos, tips, tricks and printables for how you can not only organise and edit your existing wardrobe, but how you can also develop your personal style, choose a palette and focus your shopping. All so you can look and feel your best. 🙂


Step 1. Wardrobe Cull

Step 2. Define Your Style

Step 3. Choose Your Essentials

Step 4. Select Your Colour Palette

Step 5. Maintain & Focus Your Shopping

Screenshot 2017-04-25 23.12.26

as appeared on



The exact color that you’ve picked for your design that’s used as a benchmark (standard) for all production.

COLORWAY A product in a specific color. EXAMPLE: If you order the same jacket in Olive and Deep Sea, you have 2 colorways.

BLOCK A basic pattern that is used as a foundation to develop other styles. EXAMPLE: You would have different blocks for tops, dresses and bottoms, but there may be crossover for some measurements to ensure consistency across styles.

UOM (UNIT OF MEASURE) The type (ie unit) of measurement used for various items or parts of your product.

• Trim UOMs (ie buttons) is each or piece.
• Fabric UOM is yard or meter.
• Product UOMs (ie pocket height) is inches or centimeters.

BOM (Bill Of Materials)  The BOM is a master list of every physical item required to create the finished product. This will include

• Fabric (consumption, color, content, construction, weight, etc)
• Trims / Findings (quantity, color, etc)
• Hang tags / Labels (quantity, material, color, etc)

• Packaging (poly bags, hangers, tissue paper, etc)

POM (POINT OF MEASURE) Specific points on your product that are defined and used for measurement. Most often they’re measured on the product (not on the body). EXAMPLE: A POM code for half chest width may be “across chest at level of underarm”.

CF (CENTER FRONT) The center of your garment running vertically along the front.

CB (CENTER BACK) The center of your garment running vertically along the back.

A/H (ARMHOLE) The opening in a garment where the arm fits through.

HPS (HIGH POINT SHOULDER) The highest point of the shoulder on your garment, not including any part of the collar.

SS (SIDE SEAM) The seam that runs along the side of your garment. Some garments like leggings or circular knit sweaters may not have a SS.

CP (CROTCH POINT) Where the inseam and the front / back rise meet on a pair of pants.

TM (TOTAL MEASURE) The total measurement from one point to another.


SINGLE NEEDLE TOPSTITCH (SNTS) – The number of stitches per inch / centimeter.

SA (SEAM ALLOWANCE) – The area between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. The amount can vary from 1/4 inch to several inches.

SN (SINGLE NEEDLE) A stitch done with a single needle.

SNTS (SINGLE NEEDLE TOPSTITCH) A finishing stitch that is done on top of the product with a single needle.

DNTS (DOUBLE NEEDLE TOPSTITCH) A finishing stitch that is done on top of the product with a double needle to create two parallel stitches.

LS (LOCKSTITCH) The most common stitch done with a single needle on a machine using  a top thread and a bottom thread that are “locked” together.

CS (COVER STITCH) A double or triple needle stitch on one side and “zig zag” loops on the other. The loop side is often inside the garment and is used to “cover” raw edges, but in activewear it may be on the outside as a design detail.

TPST (TOPSTITCH) Stitching on the top side of a product as a decorative feature.

EGST (EDGESTITCH) Stitching parallel to a seam edge on the top side of a product. Often done to secure a serged seam at or a set on detail (ie pocket) and create a more nished look.

CNST (CHAINSTITCH) A series of stitches that loop together like a chain.

GG (GAUGE) The number of knit stitches per inch. EXAMPLE: A smaller gauge (1GG) will be a chunkier knit and a larger gauge (16GG) will be a finer knit.

CMT (CUT, MAKE, TRIM / CUT & SEW) A manufacturer who can cut your fabric, make your product and apply trims (buttons, labels, hang tags, etc). You provide all the raw materials, they do the physical assembly. You can save costs and gain control using a CMT vs a FPP (see below)…but it can also be a lot more work for you since you have to source and coordinate delivery of all physical materials to your CMT.

FPP (FULL PACKAGE PRODUCTION) A manufacturer who covers every service you may need from design to pattern drafting and sample making to production. The FPP is a one stop shop…but they may not require you do everything with them. If you have designs and tech packs, they can manage sourcing and production. You may be able to pick and choose just the services you need.

WIP (WORK IN PROGRESS / PROCESS) Goods that are in the process of being made at the factory but not finished. These goods are not counted as part of inventory yet.

COO (COUNTRY OF ORIGIN) The country that a product is produced in. EXAMPLE: If fabric is imported from Taiwan and trims come from China, but product is cut and sewn in the US, your COO is USA.

LAB DIP A small fabric swatch (~2×3 inches) that your factory dyes and submits for color approval to make sure it matches your color standard. Lab dips are typically sent with 2-4 options so you can choose the best match. Lab dips should be reviewed in a lightbox with controlled settings (D65 Daylight is most common) and it’s essential to compare them to other approved submits in addition to the original color standard. Subtle shade or hue variations can be compounded and this will ensure your fuchsia leggings match your fuchsia jacket even if they’re different fabric qualities.

HEAD END A larger swatch of fabric (~8×8 inches) that is cut from the bulk bolt for your approval. It should match the approved lab dip in color and be the correct quality, weight and construction.This is your bulk fabric approval and should be kept to compare to production or used as a reference for future orders.

HANDLOOM Woven fabric that the factory submits for construction, design and layout approval before bulk fabric is made. Handlooms are manually on a machine called a handloom (yes, both the fabric swatch and the machine are called handlooms…).

PRO TIP: Handlooms may be submitted in available color yarns so always ask what you’re approving – color, repeat, layout, construction, etc.

STRIKE OFF (S/O) Printed artwork that the factory submits for approval. It can be for any type of printing (screen, sublimation, etc) and any type of artwork (repeating pattern, placed/ engineered prints, etc). Strike offs may be submitted on available fabric and ink colors so always ask what you’re approving – color, repeat, layout, hand feel, etc.

KNIT DOWN (K/D) Knit fabric that the factory submits for knit structure, design and layout approval. Knit downs may be submitted in available yarn colors so always ask what you’re approving – color, repeat, layout, construction, etc.

GREIGE Fabric that has been knit or woven but not yet bleached, dyed or finished. You can keep greige for frequently used fabrics in stock at the factory. This can speed up production time by 30-60 days. But beware! Greige has a short shelf life (~3 months) before it starts to deteriorate, so you’ll need to make sure you can use it quickly.

 PROTO (PROTOTYPE) A sample to make sure various (or all parts) of the product are executed correctly. Protos are often made with closest available trims and fabrics and are used to check the construction and detailing. Depending on the complexity of your design, factory expertise, and how long you have (or haven’t) worked with them, you may need multiple protos to execute your vision. One or two is standard and three is acceptable. Any more and you may not have a good factory match.

PP (PRE PRODUCTION SAMPLE) The last sample sent for approval before production begins. It should be 100% correct for the design, color, trims, etc. It’s your last chance to make changes or catch mistakes…
If a hangtag or label is in the wrong place, this can be fixed for production. But some things like fabric color or quality can’t be fixed since it’s already developed.If you do notice something “un fixable” in the PP sample, compare it to approvals (ie the head end for fabric color or quality). If it matches the approval, there’s no recourse. If it doesn’t match the approval, let your factory know right away. Depending on how bad the mistake is, you can negotiate a discount or require it be redone (which can cause production delays).

TOP (TOP OF PRODUCTION SAMPLE) A sample pulled from the top of the production line. It’s used as a reference for what bulk production should look like.

If you notice a mistake in the TOP sample…it’s too late, production is done. But, you may have recourse. Compare it to the PP approval and if it doesn’t match, let your factory know right away.

SIZE RUN A set of samples in the full range of sizes ordered. Size runs should be measured and tried on the models to make sure they fit well in all sizes. Depending on design complexity, how many similar styles you have, and how long you’ve worked with the factory, a full size run (every size, ie XS, S, M, L, XL) may be required. Other times, a jump size run (every other size ie XS, M, XL) is enough.

FIT MODEL A person who maintains their physical size and tries on a product to make sure it fits well. They are typically not “standard” runway model size, but rather the size of your customer. Some fit models will not only try on the product, but will wear or use them in real life settings and provide feedback. This is common in activewear, performance products or other goods that must withstand certain uses.

FIT SIZE The middle size in your size range. It is the default size that will be used for protos and other samples. If your size range is 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, your fit size may be 6 or 8. Typically the fit model will be the same size as your fit size.

SAMPLE SIZE The size your SMS (salesman samples) come in. It may be the same as your fit size, but not always. Some designers choose a smaller size as it can look more appealing on a hanger, where as some designers choose an average size so buyers can try it on.

SMS (SALESMAN SAMPLE) A sample product in correct fabrics, trims, colors and fit used by a salesperson to sell and book orders or pre-orders (before production is made).
Occasionally there are mistakes or changes in SMS that will be made in bulk production. While not ideal, buyers know this happens and with a simple explanation can often overlook it.

DUTY A tax or tari on goods that are transported across international borders. Tax rates are determined by HTS Code and vary tremendously based on product content, performance features, etc. Duty on a cotton shirt cotton will be different from the same shirt made in polyester. Duty on a jacket made with waterproof fabric will be different than the same jacket made from non-waterproof fabric.

If you’re manufacturing overseas and don’t want to manage duty, request DDP / LDP pricing. You’ll still be paying it, but the cost will be bundled.

HTS CODE (HARMONIZED TARIFF SCHEDULE) Codes that are used to classify internationally traded goods. HTS codes determine the duty rate.There are 108 search results for jacket HTS codes depending on many variables (raincoats, suit coats, coats made of wool or animal furs, padded jackets with detachable sleeves, etc.)

Most of these terms are specific to overseas manufacturing. If you’re working domestically, they’re less relevant but still good to be familiar with.

It can be overwhelming to know what HTS code to use, and using an incorrect code (whether intentionally to get a lower duty rate or unintentionally out of ignorance) can cause delays or penalties in customs. Make sure you use the correct code by working with a freight forwarder or consulting with your factory.

FF (FREIGHT FORWARDER) A third party service that manages shipping and importing. This includes freight logistics, insurance and duty (with correct HTS categorization). Many businesses work with a FF to manage imports because it’s not as simple as shipping goods from point A to B. Here are just a few of the steps:

• Fit product onto pallets
• Fit pallets on a ship
• Clear product through customs
• Coordinate inland delivery (from entry port to your warehouse)

Pricing that includes material, labor and transportation to the COO exit port, but excludes shipping, duty, insurance or taxes. All costs and liabilities after exit port arrival are your responsibility. An FOB price will get you a finished product delivered to a port in China. From there, it is your responsibility to:

• Coordinate and pay boat freight from China to your country port • Make sure it clears customs
• Pay duty and insurance
• Coordinate and pay inland freight to your warehouse

The saying “a slow boat from China” originates from the fact that a product may spend between 30-45 days getting from China (or the COO) to you.

Boats are slow but inexpensive for transport. Air freight will get your product delivered faster but will cost substantially more.

LDP (LANDED DUTY PAID) / DDP (DELIVERED DUTY PAID) Pricing that includes all costs to produce and deliver the product to you. The factory (seller) is responsible for all costs and liabilities until the product is in your possession. Some factories don’t coveer LDP/DDP pricing as it’s more work (even though they usually add markup). For many buyers however, it’s a great option as you don’t need infrastructure to manage shipping and importing.

FGP (FACTORY GATE PRICING) Pricing of the product available for pick up by you (the buyer) at the factory. FGP excludes any transportation costs.

Tech Pack

A Tech Pack Cover consists of

• Tech sketches
• A graded spec
• Colourways
• Artwork specs (if relevant)
• A spot for proto / Fit / sales sample comments


Tech sketches

Screenshot 2017-03-10 11.15.08.pngA Tech sketch is a Flat sketch with text callouts to specify various design details.

A Tech sketch is not be an artistic representation of the design but a at 2D drawing to show accurate details.



A BOM (Bill Of Materials) 

The BOM is a master list of every physical item required to create the finished product. This will include

• Fabric (consumption, color, content, construction, weight, etc)
• Trims / Findings (quantity, color, etc)
• Hang tags / Labels (quantity, material, color, etc)

• Packaging (poly bags, hangers, tissue paper, etc)

A graded spec

The graded spec is a chart of all the points of measure POMs for the product in all sizes.

GRADING – This is the difference in measurements as sizes go up or down.If body length of a size M shirt is 27” and a size L is 28”, the body length grades 1” between these two sizes. The grading follows a grade rule for each point of measurement. This rule is based on a base size.

Grading is not a perfect science as certain measurements grade up or down, depending on the point of measurement. Just because a person gets a lot smaller (or bigger), doesn’t mean they become shorter (or taller) in the same proportion.



This is the specific colour of the product.

If the same product in ochre and black, then you have 2 colour ways. Ochre is the 1st colour way and Black is the 2nd colour way. A lot of people use a piece of material (fabric, yarn, or even paint chips) as a color standard match or reference a pantone colour to maintain standard.


Artwork specs

This specifies all details of any artwork  (if relevant) that is applicable to the product. This will include a drawing or a photo or a print set up as applicable to the product.

It also specifies the size dimensions and the position  of the art work on the product and specifies the colour ways required.

A spot for proto / Fit / sales sample comments

The tech pack is also used to track approvals, comments and all changes made to the product throughout the development cycle. It acts as a master document that both the factory and the design / development team will reference.