The Importance of Quality Control in the Garment Industry

The Importance of Quality Control in the Garment Industry

Posted on 02 Dec 2022

The Importance of Quality Control in the Garment Industry

The garment industry is a highly customer-oriented industry where the demand for high-quality products is ever-increasing. The global garment industry is expected to grow by two-thirds by 2030 and be responsible for one-quarter of the global carbon footprint by 2050, according to a report by the Textile Focus publication. As the second-most polluting sector in the world after oil, garment quality control can improve this to a good extent.

Garment manufacturers are always looking at ways to reduce production costs without overlooking the quality aspect. Having a good production process with fool-proof garment quality control procedures in place is the best method to control production costs. Quality issues in garments are not just detrimental financially or to the brand’s reputation; they can also be bad for the environment. 

 

What is quality control in the Garment Industry?

This is the age of fast fashion, so consumers are never going to settle for low-quality garments or those that are defective visually. Everyone in this space realizes the importance of quality control in the garment industry to stay relevant. Big clothing brands are also researching fabrics and materials that are sustainable to produce and of high quality along with following trends.

National regulatory quality certification programs, such as the ISO 9000 series help companies maintain garment quality control. There is a set of common industry standards that should be followed meticulously to assess the quality of garments. Some of the key considerations when it comes to checking garments are fiber or material quality, stitching, dyes and coloring techniques used, sizing, cutting and assembly, and accessories such as buckles, zippers, etc. Obvious fabric defects or other visual issues like exposed notches, loose threads, pulled yarn, holes, or stains are also checked in textile quality control.

 

Need for Quality Control in Garment Industry

Garment quality control procedures are crucial to maintaining a certain level of consistency, in ensuring that the products meet a predefined set of specifications and also to comply with industry regulations. Rejection of garments due to quality issues can lead to a lot of wastage and increased costs on the part of the manufacturer. 

Some other serious repercussions of delivering poor-quality garments are delays in production times, low employee morale, ill repute for the brand or company, fines, legal hassles, or operation bans. Especially for companies that export garments, there are many quality regulations to adhere to – from the use of chemicals and specifying the material content to special requirements for children’s wear and apparel labeling requirements. 

Depending on the country that you are exporting to, these garment quality control regulations can vary. Sometimes it can also be mandatory to conduct an inline inspection in the garment industry to ensure the merchandise doesn’t have prohibited materials and is in accordance with ASTM, AATCC, ISO, EN, JIS, GB, and other standards.

 

How to ensure apparel quality management?

The first step to ensuring apparel quality management would be to set your company’s quality standards. Implementing the right quality control for your clothing and garments is what can set it apart from the products of your competitors. The major consideration for this should be customer satisfaction, as garment quality control is what your consumers will base their buying decisions on.

Once quality control standards are set then all your associated clothing manufacturing companies, custom packaging companies and other third-party players should be required to abide by them. A small margin of error is acceptable in the case of hand-sewn products. But every other piece of clothing should pass the textile quality control parameters.

Another key step in apparel quality management would be to have onsite product testing implemented before the garments are shipped to the customers from the factory. The fit, comfort, functionality and durability, etc. should all be tested. Certain lab testing may also be required to check the actual viability of your product’s purpose and design. 

The awareness of your employees is an important aspect of successful quality management. When you consistently produce quality garments over a long period, there will be a sense of autonomous quality among your workers. They are the ones that will ultimately uphold your brand’s quality principles. 

 

3 Step Garment Quality Control Procedures

Quality control steps and standards could vary across the textile industry based on various operational or regional factors. But the basic garment quality control procedures will include 3 major steps:

    • Pre-production Quality Control: This is the garment check done before production begins. Garment samples and fabric are inspected before being cut or sewn together. The fabric is tested with respect to its color, texture, durability, visual defects, and other technical properties.
    • Production Quality Control: This step is especially necessary to ensure that the garments produced will meet customer expectations and specifications. This is done when around 15-20% of the merchandise has been completed. Production phase testing can include visual inspection, measurement, or even destructive testing.

 

  • Pre-shipment Inspection: This is the quality control of finished garments right before they are shipped to customers. Pre-shipment inspection is conducted when at least 80% of the merchandise is packed for shipping. This step can include a visual inspection for flaws, labeling and also to check the number of items in the production batch. 

 

 

Standard Tests for Textile Quality Control

Clothing manufacturing companies employ certain standard tests to ensure garment quality control. Testing the fabrics before they are used in the production process can help to identify potential problems and their safety and also to inspect the fabric’s suitability for specific uses. Some effective tests used to bring about quality control in the garment industry are:

 

  • Physical tests – Tests like a stretch test pull test or fatigue test that is performed on the fabric to test durability, strength and quality. 
  • Fabric tests – A series of tests done on fabric samples to compare the results with predetermined standard values like their composition and grams per square meter. 
  • Compliance tests - To comply with the evolving regulatory changes, especially for those involved in exporting garments. Chemical tests are done on the fabrics to test for harmful and banned substances.

Conclusion

Garment manufacturers are nowadays catering to woke consumers that are quite knowledgeable about what fast fashion is doing to the environment.  This is particularly the reason for people ensuring they purchase clothing only of the highest quality and those manufactured following ethical standards. This makes quality control in the garment industry all the more crucial for manufacturers.

 

Garment quality control calls for standardized processes to maintain consistency in meeting predefined specifications or industry regulations. Third-party inspection companies like Global Inspection Managing offer specially tailored quality control services for the apparel industry. This includes the provision of assurance services designed for every stage of your garment supply change. 


Any trusted producer in the textile and fabrics industry understands the importance of the thorough testing of materials before they enter the market. Our garment and apparel lab testing expertise and comprehensive inspection checklists help clients maintain their brand reputation by ensuring their products are safe and of a quality that surpasses those of close competitors. We understand that the identification of potential issues with the production line is important and time-sensitive for many  modern garment producers, so our inspection reports reach you incredibly fast.

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