CMT vs FPP: What Type of Factory Do You Need?

When looking for a factory for your next project, you will have to do a lot of research. But what TYPE of factory should you be looking for?

One of the first steps is to determine what you want the factory to do and how you want them to help with your production process. Do you want a factory to simply assemble materials you’ve bought to a pattern you’ve designed, or do you want it to source materials, create a pattern and assemble it all from your sketch? There are a few ways suppliers can be organized, but here are two main categories.

CMT (Cut, Make, Trim)


CMT tends to work best for designers who already have a line of products and have been hand-making them on a small scale. These entrepreneurs and designer already know the material, stitching and tools but are looking to now produce larger quantities.

These are factories will produce your product from start-to-finish. They cut the fabric, sew fabric, and attach the trimming such as hangtags, buttons, labels etc. Some CMT factories may subcontract some of the work, but typically they will manage the entire production process. However when it comes to product and business development, an FPP may be what you need.

FPP (Full Package Production)

nicole with client

FPP is inevitably more expensive, but can be the right choice for a designer with little or no garment-making or pattern-cutting skills. These manufacturers understand that clients may be undereducated in the manufacturing industry, and are willing to assist in every aspect of production. If you decided to go with a FPP manufacturer be prepared to have multiple consultations and iterations before your product can go into production.

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Production 101

If you are excited to start building your product but don’t how to begin, don’t be intimidated! Maker’s Row offers a suite of introductory courses for first-time designers. If you want detailed instructions through the pre-production and production processes, pre-register for our Prototyping 101, and register for ourProduction 101 and Sourcing 101 courses. Our Academy distributes these educational guides for free! Over the duration of each course, expect a new lesson in your inbox each day.

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