<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=912742028805538&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
Surefront Blog

The Ultimate Guide to Fashion Tech Packs

Tech packs help bridge the gap between design concepts and final production. 

Table of contents

Home > Blog > The Ultimate Guide to Fashion Tech Packs

  1. What is a tech pack?
  2. Key elements of a tech pack
  3. Who creates tech packs?
  4. How tech packs are used
  5. How to create a tech pack
  6. Tech pack examples
  7. Tech pack templates
  8. Key takeaways

What is a tech pack?

A tech pack is a comprehensive document containing all technical design specifications of a product. It includes:

  • Detailed drawings
  • Measurements
  • Materials
  • Images with markups
  • Comments

Tech packs serve as a collaborative document. They are initially created by designers and sent to manufacturers. Manufacturers then use the tech pack to create product samples or to put a finished design into production (depending on the stage of the product lifecycle). 

Tech packs are primarily used in the fashion and clothing industry (softline) rather than hardline industries like furniture. Tech packs help to create diverse fashion designs and clothing types, so they must be customizable.

Key elements of a tech pack

Comprehensive Tech Packs usually include several key elements:

  • Fashion Flat Sketches: Detailed illustrations of the garment from multiple angles.
  • Bill of Materials (BOM): List of all materials required, including fabrics, trims, and labels.
  • Garment Measurement Specs: Precise measurements for each size and component.
  • Garment Cost Sheet: Breakdown of all costs involved in producing the garment.
  • Images with Markups and Comments: Visuals annotated with specific instructions and comments.
  • Product Attributes: Detailed garment attributes, including colorways, sizes, and fit details.
  • Description, Comments, and Background Info: Contextual information about the design, including inspiration and intended use.
  • Design Notes: Detailed notes on design elements.

These elements ensure clarity and precision in communication between designers and manufacturers.

Fashion flat sketches

Fashion flat sketches are detailed, black-and-white illustrations of the garment from multiple angles, including front, back, and side views. These sketches help manufacturers visualize the final product accurately. They should be as detailed as possible, including all seams, darts, stitches, and other design elements.

Bill of materials (BOM)

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is a detailed list of all materials needed to produce the garment. This includes the main fabric, lining, trims, labels, and any other components. A well-defined BOM ensures that nothing is overlooked and helps determine the cost and sourcing of materials.

Displaying image.png

Garment measurement specs

Garment measurement specs are precise measurements for each garment component (for accurate sizing and fit). This includes general measurements like body length, chest, waist, hips, armhole, shoulder drop, and neck opening, as well as specific measurements for details like collar length/width, cuff length/width, and pocket dimensions.

Garment cost sheet

A garment cost sheet provides a detailed breakdown of all costs involved in producing the garment, including materials, labor, and processing. Each component's cost should be specified to ensure accurate pricing and budgeting.

Images with markups and comments

Including images with markups and comments is essential for highlighting critical details and specific instructions. Annotated visuals help manufacturers understand exactly how each part of the garment should be constructed.

Surefront’s Tech Pack builder allows for image markups and annotations right in the app. 

Displaying image.png

Product attributes

Product attributes include detailed information about the garment's characteristics, such as colorways, sizes, and fit details. This section ensures that all variations of the garment are clearly defined.

Description, comments, and background info

This section provides contextual information about the design, including inspiration, intended use, and any special considerations. Background information helps manufacturers understand the designer's vision and the garment's purpose.

Design notes

Design notes offer detailed explanations of specific design elements, helping manufacturers understand intricate details. These notes provide a clear record of design decisions.

Who creates tech packs?

Tech pack creation is largely a buy-side process. Retailers and brands refine and improve design concepts until those designs are ready to be captured in a tech pack. 

Creating the tech pack involves combining all the key elements discussed above into a multi-page document. Tech packs contain exhaustive specifications so suppliers can accurately manufacture the intended product.

Tech packs are sent to suppliers after being finalized by the brand team. Suppliers may have notes on the design. They may think a certain material or design element needs to be more practical or feasible. This is where things can get complicated.

Automating tech pack collaboration

Tech packs sometimes need a little refining after they are sent to suppliers. This can slow product development because tech packs are sent back and forth using inefficient tools like email. 

Surefront has a solution to this collaborative bottleneck. Our tech pack generator lives on a shared collaboration hub between retailers and suppliers. This platform allows both parties to add comments to specific product fields. 

Surefront’s tech pack builder saves time in the collaboration process and keeps everything on a single source of truth—reducing errors.

How tech packs are used

Once a supplier has a finalized tech pack, they can use it to build sample items. Or, if they’re further along in the process, the tech pack will be used as a source of truth for mass production. The tech pack is usually printed and used by various workers on the production floor.

Tech Packs serve as a reference point for checking the quality of production. They provide a standard against which each piece can be measured, ensuring that all garments meet the required standards and specifications.

How to create a tech pack

Creating a tech pack can be simple or complicated depending on the product and the tools used to generate the tech pack.

Generating a tech pack with Surefront

Tech pack generation on Surefront takes a couple of clicks. This is because teams using Surefront iterate and design product specs within the platform. So, when you need to generate a tech pack, you have all the data you need readily available. 

What you do next is incredibly simple.

  1. Choose a product:

  1. Click download:

  1. Customize your layout:

  1. Click download:

You can save certain layouts as tech pack templates using Surefront. These templates can automatically populate future tech packs with correct details and specifications.

Generating a tech pack without Surefront

Generating a tech pack without Surefront is more labor-intensive. Your product data, images, and specs may be stored in various spreadsheets and documents. You’ll have to manually find this information and start building it into a tech pack format.

  1. Gather all design data: Start by creating detailed sketches and listing all materials required for the garment.
  2. Compile measurement specs: Include all necessary measurements and sizing details to ensure accurate fit.
  3. Prepare BOM and Cost Sheet: List all materials and calculate the costs involved in production.
  4. Annotate Images: Add comments and markups to sketches to highlight critical details and instructions.
  5. Compile the document:  Use software like Adobe Illustrator to create a professional and organized layout.

This process can take hours to complete and involves a lot of manual data entry. If a supplier has notes for the tech pack, you may pass the tech pack back and forth trying to iterate until a sample is ready for production. 

On Surefront, product iteration happens in real time on a shared platform.

A few best Practices

  • Be thorough and detailed: Ensure that all information is included and clearly detailed.
  • Use clear and precise language: Avoid ambiguity and ensure that instructions are easy to understand.
  • Include multiple views and annotations: Provide comprehensive visuals to aid in understanding the design.

Tech pack examples

Browse our showcase of Tech Packs for different types of garments.

Garment Examples

  • Wallet:

  • Jeans:

  • Shoes:

These examples should give you some ideas for how to generate high-quality tech packs in Surefront.

Tech pack templates

Creating a tech pack template on Surefront is incredibly easy. 

Simply select the specs you want for the document:

And then hit save:

There’s no one-size-fits-all tech pack template, so quickly generating custom templates is essential. 

You can generate tech packs for free by signing up for a free trial

Key takeaways

Tech Packs are an essential tool in the fashion industry, ensuring accurate communication and production of designs. By following this guide, you can create detailed and effective Tech Packs, streamlining your production process and improving the quality of your garments. 

A well-crafted Tech Pack minimizes errors, reduces production time, and ensures that your designs are brought to life exactly as envisioned.

The easiest way to start generating tech packs is to sign up for a free trial of Surefront. You can build a product catalog and easily export any product into a detailed tech pack.