(This is the quick version)
Remember “the blink of an eye” blog post which covered the many ways a design is conceived?
What happens next? The technical department perform a forensic review of the spec. sheet to determine any specific details and established capability. ”The file self-destructs after 10 seconds”!
From there, the specification goes to the Pattern department who have two main responsibilities which are:-
i) Produce the pattern for the production line
ii) Minimise the amount of fabric to be used to produce the shirt.
I liken this to a jigsaw puzzle when you see all of the parts and where they map onto the fabric.
Usually computerised, the cutting machine then cuts the shirt parts out of the fabric to leave as little waste as possible. The machine has replaced the humble pair of scissors but they are still used even today. Then they construct the different constituent parts using the examples given
Covered in the last Blog but what type, colour, where and how much? These are all detailed considerations but you can tell from this a real quality shirt.
Apart from the fabric that is chosen probably the most important consideration is the shape size and construction of the collar. There is a whole science behind just the collar but that’s perhaps for another time.
There are many different cuffs styles and sizes based on the look and design. Then it’s a question of what sort of fusing to use. The fusing is the thing that gives both the collar and cuffs the substance on formal shirts. In real layman terms - the stiffness.
Generally the back of the shirt and may, or may not, include the yoke that spans the shoulders. The yoke is an area that can fundamentally change the look; the size and shape, and whether it is whole or split in the middle.
Front Right and Front Left
Main body of the shirt at the front, with different styles of placket for the buttons, again this offers many design features. Because you are generally looking at someone from a frontal angle we spend a lot of time deciding what image the shirt should project.
Not just any old thing shoved on, and often a detail that gets missed or perhaps just taken for granted. I wonder if you can remember what colour and if there is any detail of any shirts you have at home.
- Are they white or do they have a pearlescent appearance?
- What material are they made of - are they plastic or made from Mother of Pearl? Just for Mother of Pearl there are so many differences such as cultured, or natural or colours.
- Are the buttons coloured, and if so why that colour for this design?
- Are they engraved or just plain?
- Are they different sizes on the cuffs or button down collar?
Logos, positioning, feel and care labelling all details that have to be considered and applied in the right way for any shirt.
Then sew all these bits together using precision and the skill of the machinist. We aren’t finished yet.
Performed for us even before all this has started, and throughout, to ensure what is produced is the best. This includes accounting for needles which can, and often do, break. We don’t want to injure anyone do we!
Folding and Packaging
A few ways to fold and pack shirts! Do you want to show the cuff at the front, or not, for instance? As throughout, even at this stage, much thought and consideration goes into how to present the product to the customer.
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I hope this has been a helpful insight into just a snapshot of the thought and, more importantly, the detail that goes into producing a shirt. I’ve identified 14… actually there are more! Amazing eh??
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