Equipment Needed To Start A Clothing Line: A Detailed Explanation Regarding 8 Types of Clothing Business

If you’re considering launching your own clothing line from scratch, essential equipment pieces are required for the production process. Depending on the nature of your business, investing in machinery and tools is crucial to achieving the desired quality for your clothing line. So, what is the equipment needed to start a clothing line?

For instance, a tailoring business typically requires a sewing machine, scissors, measuring tape, fabric, and thread. In this blog, I will delve into the specific equipment needed for different types of clothing lines. Stay tuned!

equipment needed to start a clothing line

Equipment Needed to Start a Clothing Line

You know that the clothing business is so broad. Each sector requires different types of equipment, from manufacturing to delivering the final product to the customer. Here, I will try to make it easy to understand which clothing lines require which equipment. But first have a look on the table for the idea of the required equipment for different clothing businesses.

Garment ManufacturingEmbroidery BusinessApparel PrintingFashion Design Tailoring BusinessWholesale ClothingRetail Clothing StoreOnline Clothing Store
Industrial sewing machineEmbroidery machineScreen printing pressDomestic Sewing machineSewing machineCutting table and cutting toolsPOS systemComputer and internet connection
ComputerEmbroidery softwareScreen exposure unitsFabric scissorsScissorsIrons and ironing boardsClothing racks and hangersDigital camera
Weaving machineHoops and frames holdDryersMeasuring toolsMeasuring tapesHangers and tagging gunsFitting room and mirrorsWeb host and site builder
Cutting equipmentThreadHeat pressesDressmaker dummyIron and ironing boardRacks and shelvingMannequins and formsInventory management software
Ironing and pressing toolsScissorsSublimation printerComputerThread, needle, and pinsComputer and inventory management softwareSecurity systemPayment processor
Embroidery machineStabilizersComputer and design softwareDesign SoftwareCutting tablePOS PrinterShipping supplies
Digital printing toolDigitizing padsOthersMannequinsMarketing and sales software
Fabric testing equipmentDecorative tools

Let’s learn in detail about each ventures requirements-

Equipment Needed to Start Garment Manufacturing Business

Starting a garment manufacturing business involves several key pieces of equipment that are essential for creating textiles, fabrics, and finished clothing products. Here is a detailed breakdown of the equipment needed to start a clothing manufacturing business.

Industrial Sewing Machines:

Sewing machines are the backbone of any clothing manufacturing business. They are used to stitch fabrics and are available in different models and sizes. Industrial sewing machines are the most commonly used in garment manufacturing as they can handle heavy-duty fabrics. Examples of industrial sewing machines include lockstitch, overlock, and coverstitch machines.


Computers play a crucial role in garment manufacturing, serving as indispensable tools. They assist in designing and developing patterns and aid manufacturers in inventory management and order tracking. Moreover, computers provide valuable insights into production timelines and efficiency, offering detailed information on product creation times.

Weaving Machine:

Weaving machines are also an essential piece of equipment needed for garment manufacturing. Weaving machines are used to weave fabrics from yarn or thread, and they come in various sizes. The most common type of weaving machine used in clothing production is the shuttle loom, which is a machine that can produce a wide variety of fabrics with multiple colors.

Cutting Equipment:

Cutting equipment is essential as it allows the manufacturer to cut fabrics and materials to the appropriate size and shape for sewing. The main tools in this category are fabric cutters, rotary cutters, scissors, and blades that come in various sizes and types to suit different fabrics and tasks.

Irons and Pressing Equipment

Ironing and pressing equipment help garments to look their best. They are used to press wrinkles out of fabrics and give the finished products a polished look. Irons and pressing equipment come in different shapes, forms, and sizes and include steam irons, pressing tables, and steam press machines.

Embroidery Machines

Embroidery is an essential part of garment manufacturing and can be done by hand or using embroidery machines. Modern embroidery machines use a computerized system to create designs on fabrics quickly and accurately. These machines come in various sizes and with different features such as multiple needles, automatic thread trimming, and pre-programmed designs.

Digital Printing Equipment:

Digital printing is a growing trend in textile manufacturing as it allows for more customization of designs and patterns. Digital printing equipment includes printers, heat presses, and specialized software that can print designs directly onto fabric.

Knitting and Weaving Machines:

Knitting and weaving machines are used to create fabrics from various materials such as wool, cotton, silk, or synthetic fibers. Knitting machines produce knit fabrics while weaving machines produce woven fabrics. These machines are available in a range of sizes and types to suit different materials and fabric types.

Fabric Testing Equipment:

Fabric testing equipment is essential in ensuring that the finished products meet the required quality and performance standards. These types of equipment include colorimeters, spectrophotometers, tensile testing machines, and pilling testers to check fabric strength, colorfastness, and durability.

Equipment Needed to Start Embroidery Business

Starting an embroidery business requires a number of equipment and tools beyond just a reliable sewing machine. Here are the details of all the equipment that is needed to start an embroidery business.

Embroidery Machines:

The embroidery machine is one of the most crucial tools a new embroidery business needs to start. Select an embroidery machine that is designed specifically for commercial purposes. There are various types of embroidery machines, from single-head to multi-head machines, all offering different features and functions. Some machines come with pre-programmed designs, while others are more programmable and sophisticated. Popular brands include Tajima, Barudan, Brother, and Melco.

Embroidery Software:

In order to create unique, custom designs, the embroidery software is necessary. The software helps to create, edit, and transfer designs from the computer to the embroidery machine. A variety of embroidery software is available on the market, including Wilcom, Pulse, and Floriani. The software has a learning curve, but once mastered, it allows for intricate designs and patterns that set a business apart from the competition.

Hoops and Frames:

The hoops and frames hold the embroidery fabric in place and keep it taut while stitching the designs. A range of sizes are available, and professional embroidery businesses are equipped with a wide range of sizes of hoops and frames. Most embroidery experts suggest getting a variety of hoops and frames, as this will maximize the range of items you can embroider. 


High-quality thread is a must-have for any embroidery business. The thread could either be polyester or rayon and should be selected according to the needs of the fabric. Thread comes in a rainbow of colors that creates endless possibilities for designs. Some popular thread manufacturers and suppliers include Madeira, Robison-Anton, and Isacord.


A good pair of embroidery scissors is pivotal for precise, fine work. With embroidery, the final product’s appearance relies heavily on the detailed craftsmanship involved. The most desired kind of embroidery scissors are sharp and pointy. This ensures that the thread is cut accurately and doesn’t fray. Many different scissors varieties are available for embroidery, and brands like Gingher and Dovo produce great quality scissors.


Stabilizers are an additional layer of fabric or paper that ensures the machine embroidery remains stable and doesn’t shift or distort during stitching. This helps minimize the fabric warping during the embroidery process and leads to a clean end result. Different types of stabilizers are available – cut away, tear away, and wash away are the most common types of stabilizers.

Digitizing Pads:

Digitizing pads are primarily used to transfer sketches or drawings onto a computer program, where they can be digitized and edited into a stitch pattern. It’s essential for the creation of intricate designs. The pad works by using pressure sensitivity, aiding in capturing the design, drawing, or handwriting onto the computer software. Brands like Wacom and Huion produce digitizing pads for all kinds of industries, including embroidery. 

Equipment to Start an Apparel Printing Business

Starting an apparel printing business can be an exciting and profitable venture, but it requires a significant investment in equipment and supplies. The key to success is investing in the right equipment to meet the demands of your clients and create high-quality designs. Here are the details-

Screen Printing Presses: 

A screen printing press is one of the most critical pieces of equipment for any apparel printing business. This machine is used to print designs on t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and other garments. It is designed to apply ink to the fabric in layers, creating a vivid and vibrant image.

Various types of screen printing presses are available in the market, ranging from manual to automatic. A manual press is typically less expensive but requires more effort and time, while an automatic press is faster but it is more expensive.

Screen Exposure Units:

Screen exposure units are used to transfer the design onto the screen for printing. They come in different sizes and shapes, and your choice will ultimately depend on the type and size of the designs you will be printing.

There are two primary types of screen exposure units – UV and Metal Halide. UV units use ultraviolet light to expose the screen, while Metal Halide units use a powerful bulb to expose the screen. Metal halide units are typically more versatile than UV units, allowing you to create designs in different sizes and shapes.


After you have printed the design on the garment, use a dryer to cure the ink and make it permanent on the fabric. A dryer helps to dry the ink, giving you a durable and vibrant design.

Various types of dryers are available, including a belt dryer, flash dryer, and tunnel dryer. A belt dryer is ideal for high-volume production, while a flash dryer is suitable for small jobs. A tunnel dryer, on the other hand, is a more advanced drying system that can dry ink quickly and evenly.

Heat Presses:

In the realm of apparel printing businesses, heat presses hold a vital role as essential equipment. They aim to seamlessly transfer designs onto fabrics incompatible with conventional screen printing methods, such as polyester, nylon, and spandex.

Various types of heat presses are available, including clamshell, swing-away, and automatic heat presses. Each type has advantages and disadvantages, and your choice will depend on the type and size of the designs you will print.

Sublimation Printer:

A sublimation printer is also essential for transferring designs onto garments made of polyester or other synthetic materials. Sublimation printing is a digital process that uses heat and pressure to transfer the design directly into the fabric without leaving any residue. It produces vibrant colors and detailed prints on polyester, nylon, and spandex fabrics.

Sublimation printers are available in inkjet and laser varieties, each with advantages and disadvantages. While an inkjet printer is cost-effective, it produces less detailed designs compared to a laser printer. A laser printer, on the other hand, is more expensive but produces better-quality prints.

Computer and Design Software:

Lastly, you will need a computer and design software to create and edit designs for printing. Different design software are available in the market, ranging from Adobe Photoshop to CorelDraw.

The software you choose will depend on the complexity of the designs you will be printing, your budget, and your familiarity with the software. Investing in high-quality computer and design software is essential to create stunning and creative designs that will attract clients.

Equipment Needed to Start a Fashion Design Business

Starting a fashion design business can be an exciting endeavor for any budding entrepreneur who is passionate about fashion. However, before diving into the fashion world, having the proper equipment to help you create your designs and bring your vision to life is essential. So which equipment is required? Here they are-

Sewing Machines:

A sewing machine is one of the most important pieces of equipment a fashion designer needs. It is necessary to stitch different fabrics while creating unique designs. Choosing the right sewing machine requires careful consideration of your requirements, the fabrics you want to work with, and the complexity of your designs. 

There are two types of sewing machines: domestic and industrial. A domestic sewing machine is perfect for beginners who work on small projects. However, industrial sewing machines are used by professionals in the fashion industry to create high-quality designs.

Fabric Scissors:

Fabric scissors are also an essential tool for a fashion designer. The right fabric scissors can make a significant difference in the quality of the finished product. Fabric scissors are designed to cut through different types of fabrics with ease. 

There are numerous types of fabric scissors, including straight, thinning, and serrated. Straight scissors are great for cutting straight lines across large sections of fabric. Thinning scissors are good for removing bulk from a garment, while serrated fabric scissors are ideal for cutting rough, frayed edges of a fabric.

Measuring Tools:

A good set of measuring tools is essential for any fashion designer. At a minimum, you need a tape measure, a ruler, and a set square. Measuring is crucially important to make precise cuts and create well-proportioned designs. Armed with measuring tools, designers are better equipped to take accurate measurements of the body, pattern-making, and crafting garments to fit accurately.

Dressmakers’ Dummies:

A dressmaker dummy, also called a mannequin or dress form, is a must-have item for any fashion designer creating bespoke clothing. The dummy enables designers to fit their garments as accurately as possible before presenting them to clients. 

A dressmaker’s dummy ensures that garments are fitted in the right areas, such as the chest, waist, and hips. Different dressmaker dummies are on the market, ranging in size and adjustability.


Finally, a computer is essential for any fashion designer looking to create digital designs. With the right software, you can easily draw and color your designs, bring them to life in 3D, and add text or other elements to your work. 

Professionals in the fashion industry widely use computer-aided design (CAD) systems due to their ease of use and advanced features. Investing in a powerful computer and the right design software can take your designs to the next level and help you create stunning fashion pieces.

Design Software:

In today’s world, the use of design software is vital to creating cohesive, well-thought-out designs. Applications such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop can facilitate the creation of fashion design sketches and technological illustrations. A digital platform to represent your work before production and showcase your designs to your target audiences.

Other Essential Tools: 

Apart from the items listed above, there are other tools that fashion designers need to succeed in their endeavors. These include a cutting board, patternmaking tools, an iron and ironing board, and a steamer. With the right equipment, you can easily create unique fashion pieces and start your own fashion empire.

Equipment Needed to Start Tailoring Business

Starting a tailoring business requires a lot of planning and preparation. With the right set of tools, a tailoring business can produce quality craftsmanship that meets the expectations of its customers. Here are some of the equipment and tools that are essential for starting a clothing sewing or tailoring business:

Sewing Machines: 

Like the manufacturing business, sewing machines are also the cornerstone of the tailoring business. They help in stitching different types of clothes efficiently and effectively. Different types of sewing machines are available in the market, ranging from basic manual machines to advanced computerized machines. While selecting a sewing machine for your business, you should consider factors such as durability, speed, stitching precision, and cost-effectiveness.


Scissors are the most fundamental tool for any tailor. They are used to cut and shape clothes according to customer’s requirements. While selecting the scissors, ensure that they are sharp, easy to handle, and comfortable to hold. A mismatched or dull pair of scissors could lead to jagged or uneven cuts, which can significantly impact the quality of the final product.

Measuring Tapes: 

Accurate measurements are crucial in tailoring. Measuring tapes are used to precisely measure a customer’s body, which helps create custom-fit garments. They come in different sizes and shapes, but it is advisable to have both flexible tapes and rigid curved rulers to ensure accurate measuring.

Iron and Ironing Board: 

A well-pressed garment can make all the difference in the appearance and longevity of clothing. An iron and ironing board are required to press the clothes before and after sewing. Use a steam iron that can handle different types of fabrics and keep the ironing board sturdy and stable.

Thread, Needles, and Pins: 

The fabric is held together by thread, needle, and pins. They help in connecting pieces of fabric during the sewing process. Ensure that you have a good collection of different colors, thicknesses, and types of threads, as well as needles and pins of various sizes and shapes. 

Fabric Cutting Table: 

A large, stable cutting table is an essential piece of equipment in tailoring. The table provides a level surface to easily spread fabric, measure, and cut the fabric.


Mannequins or dress forms are used to create garments with a specific shape and size. A lack of Apparel mannequins can make the fitting process hard and slower. Invest in multiple mannequins, customizing them to a range of sizes from small, medium, large, etc. 

Decorative tools:

If you are going to start a tailoring business from a store, you will need some decorative tools, such as thread stands and fabric racks, to create an attractive display. Also, for proper lighting, you need to invest in a good lighting source, like LED strip lights and lamps. This will help you to attract more customers. Here is the detail of some small tailoring shop design ideas.

Equipment Needed to Start a Wholesale Clothing Line

A wholesale clothing business is an excellent way to enter the fashion industry and make a profit. However, to initiate a wholesale clothing line, it’s fundamental to have proper equipment and tools in place to manage the daily operations and ensure the quality of the clothing.

Cutting Tables and Tools: 

You will require a large cutting table and tools such as rotary cutters, scissors, and rulers to cut the fabric in bulk. A cutting table should be sturdy and large enough to hold several yards of fabric. You can also purchase a cutting system, which includes a cutting table with a built-in measuring system and automated fabric-cutting tools.

Irons and Ironing Boards: 

The clothing must be wrinkle-free and neatly pressed before shipping or displaying. You will require multiple irons and ironing boards to iron the clothing in bulk. You can buy industrial irons equipped with steam technology to speed up the ironing process.

Hangers and Tagging Guns: 

Hangers are essential to display clothing in shows or showrooms. You should consider purchasing different types of hangers, such as wood, plastic, and metal, depending on the style and fabric of the clothing. Tagging guns are used to label the clothing with price and brand tags. This step is necessary before shipping the clothing.

Racks and Shelving: 

Racks and shelving are useful to store and organize clothing in the warehouse. You can choose free-standing or wall-mounted shelves based on the available space. It’s essential to keep the clothing organized for easier inventory management.

Computer and Inventory Software: 

A computer with inventory management software is essential to manage the wholesale clothing business. The software would help keep track of inventory, orders, and shipments. You can explore popular inventory software options such as QuickBooks, Stitch Labs, and Zoho Inventory.

Equipment Needed to Start Retail Clothing Line

Launching a successful retail clothing store demands thoughtful deliberation on the essential equipment. Aspiring entrepreneurs in this industry must ensure they have the right inventory to facilitate seamless operations. The following equipment is indispensable for commencing a retail clothing store.

Point of Sale (POS) System:

A point-of-sale system is a software solution that enables retailers to manage sales and inventory efficiently. This equipment tracks inventory levels, sales data, purchase history, and pricing details. Moreover, it helps store owners create reports on sales and profit margins to allow them to make informed business decisions. POS systems also provide an easy-to-use interface for staff and customers, making transactions seamless and quick.

Display Racks and Hangers:

Clothing racks and hangers display the garments attractively to entice customers to browse the store. There are different types of racks to choose from, including wall-mounted, free-standing, or rolling racks. 

In addition, hangers come in various materials like wood, plastic, or metal, with different styles such as clip-on, dress hangers, or trouser hangers. Good quality display racks and hangers keep clothes organized and in good condition, encouraging customers to buy and revisit the store.

Fitting Room and Mirrors:

Privacy is essential for customers when trying on clothes. Hence, a fitting room with mirrors is necessary for any clothing store. The fitting rooms should be equipped with seating, proper lighting, and mirrors to give customers a comfortable experience. Adequate mirrors at strategic locations in the store also encourage customers to try on clothes, which may lead to more sales.

Mannequins and Forms:

Mannequins and forms help retailers to showcase their clothing styles and combinations creatively. They allow customers to visualize how the pieces will look when worn and provide inspiration for any outfits. The type of mannequins used depends on the target market and the type of clothing style the store offers.

Security System:

Retail clothing stores are prone to theft, so a security system is essential. This equipment provides customers with a safe and secure shopping experience and protects against inventory loss. A reliable security system includes CCTV cameras, alarms, and sensors to deter shoplifters.

Point-of-Sale Printer:

A point-of-sale printer produces receipts and invoices to customers. It is an indispensable piece of equipment that completes each transaction and helps to avoid discrepancies. The printer needs to be reliable, easy to use, and produce high-quality printouts.

Equipment Needed for Online Clothing Store

Embarking on an online clothing store is a remarkable entrepreneurial endeavor. This avenue allows fashion enthusiasts to flaunt their skills and creativity in a fiercely competitive market. However, prior to launching such a venture, it is crucial to possess the proper equipment. The following list comprises the essential equipment needed to kickstart an online clothing store.

Computer and Internet Connection: 

One of the essential tools needed to start an online clothing store is a computer and reliable internet connection. The computer will serve as the hub for managing orders, updating inventory, and responding to customer inquiries. A fast and reliable internet is also crucial in providing a seamless shopping experience for customers.

Digital Camera:

A digital camera is a valuable tool for an online clothing business. It will be used to take high-quality product photos that can attract potential customers. The camera can also be used to capture videos and create visual content for social media platforms.

Web Host and Site Builder:

To launch an online clothing business, you need a website. A web host provides the servers and storage space needed to keep the website accessible online 24/7. A site builder, on the other hand, helps create the website’s layout, design, and functionality.

Inventory Management Software:

An online clothing business requires an inventory management system to keep track of the products in stock. Inventory management software can automate and simplify the inventory tracking process, ensure that the right products are available in the store, and prevent overselling.

Payment Processor:

The payment processor is a vital tool in an online clothing store. It enables online transactions, collects customer payments, and deposits the funds into your business account. Popular payment processors include PayPal, Stripe, and Square.

Shipping Supplies:

Shipping products is a crucial part of any online clothing business. Therefore, you will need a reliable supply of shipping materials like bubble wrap, shipping labels, and packing tape.

Marketing and Sales Software:

Marketing and sales software are critical for promoting the online clothing store and growing its customer base. Software like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, and Mailchimp help track website traffic, manage social media accounts, and create marketing campaigns.


So, what is your dream clothing line business? Here, I have provided all the necessary information regarding the required equipment needed to start a clothing line. If you want more details or need help sourcing clothing in an affordable price range, we are here to help. Contact us for any queries; we will gladly assist you in your business venture.

Tamim Shikder
Tamim Shikder

Head of the editorial team of I have been working as a merchandiser in the apparel-sourcing industry for the last seven years. Over the years, I have gained a strong understanding of the clothing business and have developed skills in product development, quality control, pricing negotiation and customer service. I am also well versed in the latest trends of fashion and retail industry. For any clothing manufacturing needs, please email me at

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