For every industry or business, to get increased sales and better name amongst consumers and fellow companies it is important to maintain a level of quality. Especially for the businesses engaged in export business has to sustain a high level of quality to ensure better business globally. Generally quality control standards for export are set strictly, as this business is also holds the prestige of the country, whose company is doing the export. Export houses earn foreign exchange for the country, so it becomes mandatory to have good quality control of their products. In the garment industry quality control is practiced right from the initial stage of sourcing raw materials to the stage of final finished garment. For textile and apparel industry product quality is calculated in terms of quality and standard of fibres, yarns, fabric construction, colour fastness, surface designs and the final finished garment products. However quality expectations for export are related to the type of customer segments and the retail outlets. There are a number of factors on which quality fitness of garment industry is based such as – performance, reliability, durability, visual and perceived quality of the garment. Quality needs to be defined in terms of a particular framework of cost. The national regulatory quality certification and international quality programmes like ISO 9000 series lay down the broad quality parameters based on which companies maintain the export quality in the garment and apparel industry. Here some of main fabric properties that are taken into consideration for garment manufacturing for export basis:
• Overall look of the garment.
• Right formation of the garment.
• Feel and fall of the garment.
• Physical properties.
• Colour fastness of the garment.
• Finishing properties
• Presentation of the final produced garment.
Sourcing of Fabrics
There are certain problems that could be faced by garment manufacturers when sourcing for certain fabrics, so precautions should be taken for it beforehand to minimize the problems. The garment exporters source cotton fabrics mainly from handloom sectors, powerlooms and mills. Each of these sectors presents their own unique set of problems to the garment exporters. Sourcing cotton from handloom sectors might present some set of problems like colour variation, missing ends and picks, irregular weaves and unreliable supplies. However, the handloom sector is significant source of heavier cotton. Common problems faced in powerloom cotton sourcing are broken ends and reed marks, thick and thin places, difference in width and massive variation in costing. The major problem in mill-made fabric sourcing is to meet huge demands from the mills. Fabrics have to be ordered well in advance in mills and the long time taken for producing the fabric is a matter of concern for garment exporters. Mills generally hesitate to take small orders which pose a problem for small scale exporters.
It is not that sourcing problems which only confined to cotton fabrics, but also to other fabrics as well. In silk garment industry there are some sorts of problems faced by silk garment exporters. Some of the problems that could be faced by silk garment exporters are as follows:
• Shortage of imported silk yarns in the quantities required, as a result delivery is delayed.
• Silk material is very vulnerable to stains during manufacturing process as well as stocking, staining results in rejection so a lot of care has to taken during these procedures.
• Roll length of the silk yarn is often insufficient.
• Colour fastness of dyed silk material is sometimes not satisfactory.
• There are also chances of warp breakage.
Basic Thumb Rules for Garment Exporters
For a garment exporter there are many strategies and rules that are required to be followed to achieve good business. The fabric quality, product quality, delivery, price, packaging and presentation are some of the many aspects that need to be taken care of in garment export business. Some rules that are advisable for garment exporters are listed below:
• Quality has to be taken care by the exporter, excuses are not entertained in international market for negligence for low quality garments, new or existing exporters for both it is mandatory to use design, technology and quality as major upgradation tools.
• Apart from superior quality of the garment, its pricing, packaging, delivery, etc has to be also taken care of.
• The garment shown in the catalogue should match with the final garment delivered.
• It is important to perform according to the promises given to the buyer, or else it creates very bad impression and results in loss of business and reputation.
• In international market, quality reassurance is required at every point.
• Proper documentation and high standard labels on the garment are also important aspects as these things also create good impression.
• Timely delivery of garments is as important as its quality.
• If your competitor has the better quality of garment in same pricing, it is better to also enhance your garment quality.
• Before entering into international market, garment exporters have to carefully frame out the quality standards, or else if anything goes wrong it could harm the organization. And after that strictly follow it.
• The garment quality should match the samples shown during taking the orders.
• The garment exporters should know to negotiate a premium price after quality assurance is done.
Quality is a multi-dimensional aspect. There are many aspects of quality based on which the garment exporters are supposed to work.
• Quality of the production.
• Quality of the design of the garment.
• Purchasing functions’ quality should also be maintained.
• Quality of final inspection should be superior.
• Quality of the sales has to be also maintained.
• Quality of marketing of the final product is also important as the quality of the garment itself.
See to it that………..
There are certain quality related problems in garment manufacturing that should not be overlooked: Sewing defects – Like open seams, wrong stitching techniques used, same colour garment, but usage of different colour threads on the garment, miss out of stitches in between, creasing of the garment, erroneous thread tension and raw edges are some sewing defects that could occur so should be taken care of. Colour effects – Colour defects that could occur are – difference of the colour of final produced garment to the sample shown, accessories used are of wrong colour combination and mismatching of dye amongst the pieces.
Sizing defects – Wrong gradation of sizes, difference in measurement of a garment part from other, for example- sleeves of ‘XL’ size but body of ‘L’ size. Such defects do not occur has to be seen too. Garment defects – During manufacturing process defects could occur like – faulty zippers, irregular hemming, loose buttons, raw edges, improper button holes, uneven parts, inappropriate trimming, and difference in fabric colours.
Quality is ultimately a question of customer satisfaction. Good Quality increases the value of a product or service, establishes brand name, and builds up good reputation for the garment exporter, which in turn results into consumer satisfaction, high sales and foreign exchange for the country. The perceived quality of a garment is the result of a number of aspects, which together help achieve the desired level of satisfaction for the customer. Therefore quality control in terms of garme