What is a garment quality control checklist?
Textile manufacturers use a garment quality control checklist to establish the quality standards and product specifications for their garments. Garment quality control checklists are prepared before inspections begin.
Suppliers must review the specifications outlined in these checklists in order to decide whether they can meet client needs. This document is a reference to use throughout the production process.
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Why are garment inspection checklists important?
A garment inspection checklist, also known as an inspection criteria sheet (ICS), helps prevent defects and mistakes during production. It is an indispensable tool in the clothing manufacturing business considering the high costs of damage control.
Garment quality requirements vary between regions. Garments exported to Europe must follow the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations. Those sent to the US should adhere to Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) guidelines.
A garment quality control checklist is essential because:
- Garment inspections help prevent defects
A detailed clothing quality control checklist makes it easy to spot defects in supply and production. It avoids confusion between the manufacturer and supplier because it serves as an agreement between the two parties. It also serves as a list of criteria for quality control inspectors to follow during assessments.
- It ensures adherence to regulations
Products meant for international markets need to undergo customs inspections, which means meeting international quality and safety standards. Failing to do so entails significant financial loss.
- It’s useful for marketing
A standardized garment inspection checklist helps you establish a consistent brand. The checklist makes it easy for you to emphasize product selling points in a meaningful way.
What does a garment inspection checklist include?
A garment inspection checklist clarifies product requirements. It indicates a product’s color, appearance, packaging, and other features. In order to maintain effective quality control, your checklist should inspect:
- Materials and construction
Your garment quality checklist needs to specify acceptable materials and material quantities; for example, the ratio of cotton to lycra or polyester to cotton. Material balance affects product weight, texture, and shrinkage limit.
- Weight and dimensions
Your clothing inspection checklist should also define required dimensions. Brands need to stick to their fitting standards, or it will create customer confusion. That’s why manufacturers measure sizes down to the last millimeter.
Garments have specific color requirements. Before production, a sample of the product has to pass approval against a gold seal sample. This seal means the sample is approved for bulk production. Manufacturers often use the Pantone Color Matching System in garment production.
- Marks and labels
Labels are a crucial part of regulatory compliance. Garment quality control inspectors check clothing items for marks and labels that indicate certification.
- Stitching quality
Proper stitching is essential in garment production. Clothing inspectors should always check for open seams and puckering along seam lines.
- Zippers, buttons, patches, and other accessories
If garments include functional parts and accessories like elastic bands, ribbons, patches, buttons, zippers, and closures, inspectors must check these items during a garment quality control inspection. If they’re not functioning well, they could render the product unwearable.
You can test these accessories using:
- The pull test, where a pull gauge tugs on the accessory for ten seconds to ensure that it can withstand minor pressure.
- The fatigue test, which makes sure the item can last up to fifty uses
- The stretch test, which checks straps and bands for elasticity. There shouldn’t be any breakage in the fibers or the stitching.
Garment packaging requirements
Besides product quality specifications, garment importers are also particular about packaging. The wrong packaging and storage can cause moisture, soiling, and other kinds of damage to your products.
Using a desiccant sachet can prevent moisture, but governments have strict regulations about this. Silica gels are safe, but Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF), which some manufacturers use, is banned in some regions.
Adhering to consumer protection laws is critical when you’re exporting goods to different countries. It’s a significant part of garment quality control that no manufacturer can afford to overlook.
The most common garment packaging requirements include:
- Weight and dimensions Packaging must adhere to dimensions necessary to transport products safely and preserve the product’s appearance. Packaging weight and size also have considerable impact on shipping costs.
- Graphics and labeling
Incorrect barcodes and shipping labels are the most common defects found during garment quality control inspections. You can have issues with customs if your packaging lacks or has incorrect labeling, including delays and fines.
- Materials and sealing method Packaging materials are regulated because temperature and rough handling threatencan easily damage the wrong kind of packaging
If you want to test your packaging, you can use a carton drop test. These tests are included on garment quality control inspections to mimic transit conditions. Afterward, the inspector checks the product and the packaging for any damage.
Digital garment inspection checklist software
Monitoring garment production is a top priority for suppliers and manufacturers. Maintaining quality standards is easier with software like Lumiform, an innovative tool that lets you create digital garment quality control checklists for easier production regulation. With the Lumiform app, quality control workers can:
- Introduce paperless inspections using digital checklists from the Lumiform template library.
- Take photos of errors in production and attach supporting documents
- Instantly identify malfunctions, create corrective actions and inform responsible employees
- Easily track inspection status and send reminders about upcoming inspections
- Sign off on quality inspections with an electronic signature
- Automatically generate a analytics report after each inspection and share the results
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