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What is the process like for having apparel manufactured overseas (specifically regarding designs/pattern making)?

If you have a good pattern makers and grader round you domestically with the cost allowed by your budget, then you can easily work with them to develop graded paper pattern and spec sheet. Then, when you are ready move to production stage, you can simply send a package with patterns and spec sheet(Both physical way or just by email will be ok). In this way, the factory should have enough knowledge by your package re your design and after some clarification between you and the factory, they will be ready move into the production.


The upside of this is:
The requirement for the factory will be comparatively lower which mean more factories can be your potential targets.
The downside of this is:
1. According my colleague in UK, he told me this will be much more expensive rather than let the factory handle this. And usually, as a factory with the skills you required, if you the size of your order is big to them, then they will do the pattern making and grading work for you for free.(They may charge you a certain amount of money in the beginning, but will refund you at the production stage).
2. If the factory doesn't have a clear communication, you probably will spend extra time at this stage(Since they need to let you confirm their work and you feedback accordingly. Back and forth for several rounds is normal).
I hope you now have some basic understanding about what you should do with Pattern Making and Grading by my above comment.
Here I'm going to give you some introduction about the production processes after the Pattern Making/Grading stage.
There are two major options you can choose at this moment.
1. Find yourself a good trading company, either domestically or oversea. In this way, they will handle all the thing for you from quality checking to logistics. The only thing is to make sure is the trading company itself is reliable. Usually, you can find the right trading company by Google their background and company information. (PS: Usually, the bigger the company is, the higher their requirement or the cost is. Since we can't imagine a trading company or a factory supply Walmart at the order size about 100pcs at the Walmart price)
2. Find the factory directly. For finding the right factory, it's always difficult and that's why there is so many trading companies flourished in the past(Now most of them are dying. I won't be extensive about this in this answer).
As specifically to the processes:
1. After the Pattern Making/Grading stage, the factory will work out an production schedule for you to let you know when the production will be ready and when you can receive your clothing.
2. The factory will begin purchasing all the materials and accessories they need to produce your clothing.
3. They will cut the fabric according to the pattern pattern you confirmed.
4. They will do the printing or embroidery according to your design on cutted fabric.
5. They will start making the clothing in production plant.
6. They will do the quality checking and filter the inferior ones.
7. They will wash your clothing to make sure when you receive your clothing, they are new and clean(PS: Only some clothing need to go through this stage.)
8. They will pack the clothing under your requirement.
9. They will contact the shipping company of their own or the one you contracted with to ship the products to you. (The shipping company will sort out all the paper work for you)
Basically, these are the processes will happen during the production stage.

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