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Top fashion design and manufacturing terms

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Do you know what MOQ, CMT or PCS stands for? If so, then this will just be a little refresher for you, but if not then get ready to learn some fashion design and manufacturing terminology. 

1. Bulk - the final production order, once samples are approved

2. CMT (Cut, Make, Trim) - curing fabric, sewing it together and adding any necessary trims, including zips, labels or buttons

3. Embellishments - all different styles of prints including embroideries, branding and logos

4. FOB (Free On Board) - cost of manufacturing and delivering the goods, excluding shipping fees, tax and insurance

5. Flat-lock Stitching – type of stitching that is flat on both sides of the seam. It doesn’t irritate the skin and is usually used in activewear and underwear

6. Grading – the difference in measurements between garment sizes. This involves increasing and decreasing different parts of the garment to create additional sizes based on the sample size

7. Lead Time - total amount of time required to manufacture, distribute and receive the final goods

8. MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) - minimum number of garments a factory is prepared to manufacture at one time, per design and per colour in various sizes

9. Pantone - colour matching system that uses codes to identify different colours. For example, PANTONE 14-3612 is called Orchid Bloom and is a shade of lilac

10. Pattern - template used to trace and cut out the specific parts of a garment

11. PCS– simply stands for pieces. For instance, 1000 pcs means 1000 pieces/items.

12. Pre -production sample – one piece/garment that represents the final product which is then sent to the client for feedback

13. Purchase Order - legal contract between the buyer and supplier, indicating the product types, quantities and price for design and manufacturing

14. Seam allowance – the space between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line which joins two or more pieces of fabric together

15. Sublimation - process of printing fabric by fusing the ink into the material itself, instead of being printed on top. The ink is printed within the fibres of a white polyester fabric in a custom-designed print

16. Swatches – small pieces of fabric that showcase the available materials with composition and weight descriptions. These are usually sent to the clients who then confirm which fabrics will be used for each design

17. Tech pack - document containing all the technical information about a product, including a spec sheet with all the garment details, artworks, visual design and colour options

18. Technical drawing – a flat lay of the design, showing a front and back view of the garment with embellishment details and the type of stitching to be used

19. Tolerance - determines whether a product meets the pre-established quality standards in terms of size and measurements

20. Trims – are anything extra that you add onto the garment, such as zips, drawstrings and cords

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