5 Reasons to Make Multiple Samples

There has been a lot of talk this week on the Maker’s Row blog about samples and prototypes.  If you haven’t read the articles, be sure to check them out!  We have one more piece of advice to add to the conversation: Make more than one sample!

Every so often, we get a call from a client that already has a sample of their garment in hand.  When they ask about our process we inevitably start with, “send us the sample.”  Which gets a response, “but it’s my only one.“

We understand that those first samples feel like your babies and it’s hard to part with them.  Plus, making multiple samples adds additional cost.  Here are 5 reasons why you need more than one sample on hand.

1) Tech Packs:

Tech packs can certainly be made from a picture, and at JLD-Studios we develop many collections and tech packs from scratch.  In this case, we are talking to those of you that did some of the hard work yourself.  Think about all the time you spent sorting out the construction and honing the details of your garment.  Do you really want to pay for us to start over? With the sample, we can translate your garment more quickly and even spot issues that could make production more difficult.

2) Patternmaking:

Again, a pattern can be made from a picture.  The biggest problem here is guessing at the measurements.  They are educated guesses, but at the end of the day we’re making assumptions.  You know what comes out of those! If you’ve already taken the time to get the perfect fit, why would you want to start that process over?
We’d still recommend having another proto made after the pattern is drafted, but having the initial sample should limit the amount of adjustments.

Related Reading:  What Goes Into Product Development? Here's A Crash Course

3) Production:

See point 3 in Why You Need a Sample,  a picture is not going to cut it for production and they’ll most likely want to hold onto that sample until production is complete.   Are you willing to give up your only sample for 12 weeks?

4) Press:

This one shouldn’t need an explanation.  If a major publication wants to feature your item, I can’t imagine you saying, “but it’s my only one.”  Better to have an extra one and send it off with a fond farewell, because you probably aren’t going to get it back.

5) Buyers:

Here it is again, you’re probably getting the picture by now.  If Nordstrom is interested in picking up your line, but they need to move it up the chain for approval- what do you do?  (Let’s limit the comments on them stealing your design idea)  End of the day, you don’t want to lose an opportunity because you’re holding onto that one sample too tightly.

The last piece of the puzzle is deciding when to make that extra piece.  You don’t need to cut two samples at every stage.  Once you have something approved, ask your sample room to make a copy of it.  Whether it’s an initial proto or the finalized sample, at both stages of the game you’ll need more than one.

Need a Sample-Maker? Find Apparel Manufacturers here: makersrow.com/apparel

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