Nine Essential Questions To Ask A Contract Sewing Manufacturer

Nine Essential Questions To Ask A Contract Sewing Manufacturer 

Please Note: Some links in this post may include Amazon and other affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. Thank you!

With over 15 years of contract sewing experience, I've been on both sides of the designer and manufacturer relationship.

Believe me that I have made many mistakes that could have been avoided with a little coaching at the outset.

I'm sharing nine essential questions to ask a contract sewing manufacturer in order to launch your apparel or accessories collection.

I hope you'll reach out with any addition questions or clarification that might help you in your journey to launch your dream!

Best Questions To Ask A Cut And Sew Factory When Launching An Apparel Line 

Start with these questions below to get a good understanding of how to best work with your chosen contract manufacturer.

May I tour your production facility?

Remove uncertainties by taking a tour of the cut and sew production facility you're considering for your project.

Take time to meet your potential partner face to face. These efforts will help with communication and decrease potential for miscommunication.

What is your MOQ (minimum order quantity)?

Having a realistic sense of how many products you can sell for launch or re-order is a very important aspect of your budgeting.

Starting with a factory's minimum order quantity helps determine how much you'll need to invest for an opening order.

What is your product sampling process?

Many contractors will create sample versions of your product based on an hourly rate.

Depending upon the complexity of your product, you may negotiate with your contractor to roll the sampling costs into the production purchase order.

If for whatever reason you opt not to work with the factory that creates your samples, you'll need to pay that invoice and move on to other production solutions. 

Based on your MOQ, what is a standard turn-around time?

Depending upon a sewing contractor's current client load, there may be seasonal pressures on timing.

Take these into account and plan well ahead of your timeline. 

How do I get on your production schedule?

Typically, a sewn goods factory will require a purchase order to be added to their production schedule.

Ask your factory for a purchase order template, of search for a template online.

Do you require a deposit?

Many cut and sew contractors will ask for a deposit of some type after sampling and before production begins.

Plan your budget around these costs for the best results. You should project cash flow for the entire product, recognizing that pre-orders are a good tool for offsetting some of these up-front costs.

Photo of woman standing listening 

What production specifications and documents do you need?

Tech packs that include bill of materials, patterns, graded patterns, production markers, cutting sheetings

What is your quality assurance process? 

Every contract sewing operation worth working with will have a solid quality control program.

Quality assurance is only as good as the specifications provided by the designer.

With that, detailed product specs through a tech pack are an essential part of ensuring a product is cut and sewn as expected.

Do you have the proper equipment to make my product? 

If you don't know what machines are needed to make your product, don't stress.

A review of your product sample or a tech pack will be enough information to determine equipment needs.

Let’s Be Social!

Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram for lots more easy how-to and Inspiration! 

Share a philosophy of abundance like me? Let’s collaborate as I love to share the wealth! Tag #satsumasmiles to share your creativity and I'll share back. 

Photo of hand sewing yellow fabric

Sewing Tutorials to Try

7 Pages of Sewing Exercises for Beginning Sewers

Sew Easy Scrunchies Tutorial

How to Easily Make Reusable Tea Bags

Photo of a computer and overlay title of blog - what to ask a sewing contractor


Today is a gift. Let's put a bow on it!
Find creative and sustainable ways to make family life a delight! Sharing modern etiquette that kids will enjoy.
💕 jennifer

sign up for Satsuma's email newsletter