In the dynamic world of fashion, where trends come and go, one element always remains a constant – quality. This is where the meticulous process of quality control in garment industry comes into play. Ensuring the durability, fit, and finish of clothing items, quality control is the silent hero that upholds the integrity of the fashion world.
I read so many blogs on quality control in garment industry. Most of the writings are very complex and hard to understand. Therefore, I have decided to break down this topic into simpler terms for better comprehension.
Whether you’re a newbie in the industry or an established brand seeking to upgrade your quality control measures, this post will guide you through the key requirements of a robust garment quality control report. So, let’s cut to the chase and dive right into the world of garment quality control.
What Is Quality Control in the Garment Industry?
Quality control in garment industry refers to the systematic process of inspecting and testing the quality of clothing items to ensure that they meet the predetermined standards. This includes checking the raw materials, the stitching, the finish, and the final product’s overall look and feel.
For example, if you are a denim manufacturer, you would need to check the quality of the denim fabric, the buttons and zippers used, and the stitching techniques employed in making a pair of jeans before they hit the market. This comprehensive approach to quality control ensures customer satisfaction and helps maintain brand reputation and increase profitability.
The primary aim of quality control in this industry is to prevent defects in the finished product — anything that could result in a garment being considered substandard or not fit for sale. This is crucial to maintain the brand’s reputation and to ensure customer satisfaction.
Quality control involves several stages. It begins with inspecting raw materials: fabric and threads are checked for color correctness and texture quality. Next comes process control, where the production processes are monitored to ensure consistency and efficiency. The stitching, the seams, the alignments – every tiny detail is observed under a stringent lens.
Post-production, the finished garments undergo a final round of quality checks, where they are examined for any faults or defects. This could include misalignment, faulty zippers or buttons, mismatched colors, or any other anomalies that could detract from the final product’s quality.
All of these steps are meticulously documented, forming a robust garment quality control report. This report serves as a record that the necessary quality control processes have been followed, providing reassurance of the product’s quality to both the manufacturer and the end consumer.
Later, I will discuss the steps of inspection and making an effective garment quality control report in more detail. So, keep learning.
Steps of Garments Quality Control?
Here are details of 7 steps of garment quality control. These steps are implemented in almost every garment manufacturing company to ensure the highest quality standards are met.
#1. In-Process Inspection:
As the name suggests, in-process inspection involves checking garments’ quality at different production stages. This allows for early detection and rectification of faults or defects, thus preventing wasting resources and time.
In this inspection process, a random sample of garments is taken from the production line and checked for quality. This method also helps maintain consistency throughout the production process by identifying potential issues early on.
#2. Pre-Production Inspection:
Pre-production inspection is conducted before production begins and involves checking the quality of raw materials production processes and identifying any potential issues that may affect product quality.
In case any defects are found, necessary actions can be taken to resolve them before production starts. Also, this inspection helps to set a benchmark for the expected quality standards, ensuring that production follows the predetermined criteria.
#3. Initial Production Check (IPC):
An initial production check is carried out when 10-15% of production has been completed to identify any potential issues early on in the manufacturing process. In this stage, the garment samples are checked for quality against a set of predetermined standards.
Moreover, an initial production check ensures that the production process is as per the buyer’s requirements, thus minimizing risks of rejections or delays in delivery.
#4. During Production Inspection (DUPRO):
During production inspection is conducted during the middle of the production process and involves checking for any defects or issues that may arise during production. This method helps identify and resolve any problems affecting the final product’s quality before production is completed.
Further, DUPRO inspection allows for timely adjustments to be made, thus reducing the chances of delays or rejections.
#5. Final Random Inspection (FRI):
Final random inspection is a comprehensive inspection of finished products, where random samples are selected for evaluation to ensure that they meet all quality standards. In addition, this inspection also checks for packaging and labeling requirements, thus ensuring that the garments are ready for shipping.
Final random inspection is crucial as it gives a final assurance of the product’s quality before it leaves the factory and reaches the end consumer.
#6. Container Loading Check (CLC):
Container loading check involves checking the loading process of garments into shipping containers to ensure that they are not damaged or contaminated during transit. This includes checking the packaging, labeling, and proper placement of garments in the container to prevent any potential damages during transportation.
Further, a container loading check ensures that the correct quantity and assortment of garments are loaded, preventing any discrepancies between the actual shipment and the buyer’s order.
#7. Quality Assurance (QA) Inspection:
Quality assurance inspection involves conducting random checks during the production process to ensure that all quality standards are being met consistently. This helps to identify and rectify any issues that may affect the overall quality of the product before it is shipped.
Moreover, quality assurance inspection also involves regular audits to monitor production processes and identify areas for improvement, thus ensuring continuous production of high-quality garments.
Types of Quality Control in Garment Industry
In garment quality control, different types of inspection are involved. This inspection is not only about checking the size or fabrics. It actually consists of different techniques to maintain consistency in the production of high-quality garments. Here are some common types of quality control methods used in the garment industry.
#1. Visual Inspection
Visual inspection is one of the most common methods used for quality control in the garment industry. This involves a thorough inspection of the garment by trained inspectors who look for any visible defects or inconsistencies in the fabric, the stitching, or the overall garment construction.
#2. Dimensional Inspection
Dimensional inspection involves measuring the garment’s dimensions to ensure they align with the specified dimensions. This is especially relevant in the case of sized garments where even slight deviations can result in an ill-fitting product.
#3. Fabric Testing
Fabric Testing is crucial to the quality control process in the garment industry. This involves testing the fabric for various attributes such as colorfastness, shrinkage, and pilling. These tests help ensure the fabric used in the garment is of high quality and will withstand normal usage.
#4. Garment Fitting Test
The Garment Fitting Test involves trying on the garment on a fit model to ensure it fits properly. This ensures the garment is comfortable to wear and moves well with the body.
#5. Seam Strength Test
The Seam Strength Test is conducted to ensure the durability of the seams in a garment. This involves applying force to the seams and seeing how much they can withstand before breaking.
#6. Wash Test
The Wash Test involves washing the garment to ensure it retains its shape, color, and size. This helps ensure the garment will maintain its quality even after multiple washes.
#7. Ironing Test
The Ironing Test involves ironing the garment to check its heat resistance and ensure it doesn’t shrink or get damaged when ironed.
These are just some of the common inspection methods for quality control in the garment industry. Each of these methods has its own unique value and contributes to maintaining and enhancing the quality of the products.
How to Make a Garment Quality Control Report?
Creating a garment quality control report involves systematically recording the findings from various quality inspections. The report should be comprehensible, systematic, and detailed. Here’s a practical way to create one:
#1. Record Basic Information
Start the report by recording the basic information: inspection date, factory name, product name, and the name of the inspector. This gives context to the report. Also, mention the steps of inspection conducted, such as pre-production inspection, during-production inspection, or final random inspection.
#2: Detail the Inspection Process
Next, describe the inspection process, including the types of inspections carried out, such as visual inspection, dimensional inspection, fabric testing, etc. State clearly the standards or requirements that the garments should meet for each type of inspection. Support the report with relevant pictures of the inspected garments.
#3: Record Inspection Findings
The main body of the report should contain the findings from each inspection. Record the number and type of defects or inconsistencies found, if any. Use charts or tables to present this data systematically. Include specific details like the nature of the defect, the percentage of products affected, and the location of the defect on the garment.
#4: Include Photos
Providing photos can be very helpful. Include photos of the overall product and close-ups of any defects or issues identified during the inspection. In addition, take pictures of the labels, packaging, and other details that may be relevant to the inspection. All these will help the reader better understand the findings and make informed decisions.
#5: Suggest Corrective Measures
If defects are found, suggest corrective measures. This could include reworking the defective pieces, adjusting the production process, retraining workers, etc. Provide recommendations for improvement to prevent these issues in future production runs.
#6: Summarize and Give an Overall Assessment
End the report with a summary of the findings and an overall assessment. This should include whether the batch has passed the inspection, the defects’ severity, and any recommendations for improvement. Also, mention whether the garments meet the required quality standards and whether they are suitable for shipment.
#7: Signature and Date
Last of all, sign and date the report to authenticate it. This verifies that the inspection has been carried out as per the stated procedures.
Remember, clarity and detail are key to a good quality control report. The report should give a clear picture of the quality of the garments, any problems encountered, and how these problems can be rectified.
Why Is Quality Control Important in Apparel Industry?
The importance of quality control in garment industry can be summarized under the following headings:
#1. Compliance with Standards and Regulations:
Quality control helps ensure compliance with the various national and international standards and regulations governing the apparel industry. This includes meeting the quality standards for raw materials, fibers & fabrics, trims, and accessories and ensuring the finished garment’s safety and labeling requirements.
#2. Reducing Cost and Time:
Effective quality control helps in reducing the cost and time involved in the production process. Identifying and correcting defects and flaws early on in the production process reduces the risk of errors and rejects, lowering production costs and saving time.
#3. Maintaining Reputation:
The reputation of a brand is built on the quality of its products. Quality control helps maintain a brand’s reputation by ensuring consistent quality throughout all product lines. This builds trust and brand loyalty among customers, which is essential for the long-term success of any business.
#4. Increasing Customer Satisfaction:
Quality control ensures that the finished product meets customers’ expectations in terms of design, fit, comfort, and durability. This leads to increased customer satisfaction, which is vital for retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.
#5. Enhancing Competitiveness:
Quality control helps enhance a business’s competitiveness by delivering high-quality products that meet customers’ expectations. This leads to increased sales, market share, and profitability while also positioning the brand as a leader in the industry.
#6. Continuous Improvement:
Finally, quality control is an ongoing process that encourages continuous improvement in the production process. By monitoring and analyzing the results of inspections, manufacturers can identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance overall product quality.
Here is a detailed video for you on quality control in apparel industry.
Quality control in garment industry is a critical aspect that should not be overlooked. It ensures that all products meet the required standards, reduces costs and time, maintains brand reputation, increases customer satisfaction, enhances competitiveness, and encourages continuous improvement.
By following a systematic approach to creating a garment quality control report as outlined above, manufacturers can ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality products to their customers.