What is a Garment Quality Control Checklist?
Textile manufacturers use a garment quality control checklist that establishes the quality requirements and product specifications for garments. Preparing the clothing quality control checklist happens before production begins.
The supplier must review the specification in the garment quality control checklist pdf. Then, they can decide whether they can meet the client's needs. This document will also serve as a reference guide throughout the production process.
The garment quality control list, also known as the inspection criteria sheet (ICS), helps prevent defects and mistakes during production. It is an indispensable tool in the garment manufacturing business considering the high costs of damage control.
This article covers the following topics:
1. Why garment quality control checklists are important
2. The Requirements of garment quality control
3. A digital tool for regularly garment quality controls
Why Are Garment Quality Control Checklists Important?
Garments, especially those for export, must meet the quality requirements set by the buyer. The garment quality control checklist defines the standards of the client.
Garment quality requirements vary between regions. Garments for export to Europe must follow the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations. Those sent to the US should adhere to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) guidelines.
A garment quality control checklist is essential because:
- Garment Quality Control Helps Prevent Defects
A detailed clothing quality control checklist makes it easy to spot defects in supply and production. It helps avoid mistakes in the production process. It avoids conflict and confusion between the manufacturer and the supplier because it serves as an agreement between the two parties. This valuable document also serves as a list of criteria for quality control inspectors to follow during the assessment.
- It Ensures Adherence to Regulations
Products meant for international markets will need to undergo customs inspections. These items must meet the safety and quality standards set by international regulatory bodies. Failing at this requirement will entail significant financial loss.
- It's Useful for Marketing
A clear garment quality control checklist helps the brand plan an accurate and powerful marketing message. The checklist makes it easy for their copywriters to describe the products truthfully, avoiding customer backlash.
What are the Garment Quality Control Requirements?
A garment quality control checklist clarifies product requirements. It indicates a product's color, appearance, packaging, and other features.
The key elements found in a garment quality control checklist include:
1. Product Requirements
The most vital part of garment quality control is, of course, the product quality itself. Quality control inspectors often spend most of the time checking the requirements for the product rather than the rest of the items in the checklist.
Some of the critical aspects of garment product quality inspections are:
- Material and Construction
An example would be the ratio of cotton to lycra or polyester to cotton. When you manufacture garments, the balance between the materials is crucial. It affects the product's weight, texture, and shrinkage limit. The garment quality control checklist must clearly state this specification.
- Weight and Dimensions
The clothing quality control checklist should also define the required dimensions. Brands need to stick to their fitting standards, or it will cause some problems with their buyers. For this reason, manufacturers are precise in their size requirements 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.
- Labels and Marks
Labels are a crucial part of garment quality regulatory compliance. Garment quality control inspectors check for marks and labels on a clothing item, such as the CE mark.
- Stitching Quality
Craftsmanship is essential in garment production. And a garment quality control checklist specifies the guidelines on stitching quality. The garment quality control inspector will check for open seams and puckering along seam lines.
- Zippers, Buttons, Patches, and Other Accessories
Some garments include functional parts and accessories like elastic bands, ribbons, patches, buttons, zippers, and closures. The inspector must check these items during garment quality control inspection. If they're not functioning well, they could render the product unwearable.
The most common tests performed on these parts and accessories include:
- The pull test is where a pull gauge pulls at the accessory for ten seconds to ensure that it can stay secure through minor pressure.
- The fatigue test makes sure the item can last up to fifty uses. For example, zip and unzip jeans in quick succession fifty times.
- The stretch test checks the straps and bands for elasticity. There shouldn't be any breakage in the fibers or the stitching.
2. Packaging Requirements
Besides quality specifications on the product itself, garment importers are also particular about packaging. Unsuitable packaging and inadequate storage can cause moisture, soiling, and other kinds of damage to the product.
Using a desiccant sachet can prevent moisture, but governments have strict regulations about this. Silica gels are safe, but some manufacturers use Dimethyl Fumarate (DMF). Testing for DMF might be necessary because it 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 requirements for garment packaging include:
- Weight and Dimensions
Packaging weight and dimensions affect product quality, safety, and appearance. These are elements that affect consumer perception. Besides, packaging weight and size can have a 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 get in trouble at customs if your packaging lacks or has incorrect labeling. It can lead to delays and fines.
- Materials and Sealing Method
Temperature and rough handling threaten the integrity of garment packaging during shipping. For this reason, the garment quality control checklist must specify the requirements for packaging materials.
A carton drop test is a test that quality control inspectors perform on product packaging. It mimics how the carton might be subjected to rough handling while in transit. Afterward, the inspector checks the product and the packaging for any damage.
A digital tool for regularly garment quality controls
Monitoring garment production should be a top priority for apparel suppliers and manufacturers. This approach saves costs and ensures that international standards are met. Lumiform's innovative tool enables quality controllers to create digital garment quality control checklists to meet production goals on time and ensure quality standards and regulations are followed. With the Lumiform app, quality control workers have the ability to:
- Enforce a paperless quality inspection process using digital checklists from the Lumiform template library.
- Take photos of abnormalities in production and attach supporting documents.
- Instantly identify malfunctions, create corrective actions and forward them to responsible employees.
- Easily track the status of instructed actions and trigger push messages about upcoming inspections.
- Allow quality inspections to be signed off with electronic signatures by appropriate inspectors.
- After each quality inspection, automatically generate a report and share with management - saving complete post-processing.