Savvy consumers now demand much more from brands. Why risk using substandard raw materials that will cause major quality issues during the final stages of production?

Quality is key when it comes to apparel, which is why it is essential to ensure the quality of raw materials at the start of the production line.

Your manufacturer may employ highly sophisticated methods and work with the latest cutting-edge equipment, but this won’t conceal the use of defective, non-performing or non-compliant raw materials.

Implementing an effective quality management system is not only central to ensuring quality and compliance of raw materials, it is key to mitigating potential quality risks later in the production process.

In turn, it improves operational performance and saves valuable time and money, increasing profitability and guaranteeing higher quality goods.

Getting it right in the development stage is crucial. Using materials with the correct level of quality could guarantee that your consumers will buy products that will be safe, durable, and that they will love to wear!

 Four Initial Controls that Ensure the Right Level of Quality for Raw Materials

1. Textile Mill Technical Audit

To ensure quality products, brands must work with the right suppliers. That’s where technical audits come in. They allow a brand to evaluate suppliers’ capabilities and capacities and identify any areas where improvements are needed around:

- quality management system (QMS)

- raw materials management (traceability, storage, safety, subcontractors…)

- manufacturing process (R&D approach, technical review of process)

- premises and equipment

- safety, hygiene, working conditions

- environment and sustainability, organic certificate

2. Yarn Inspection

Yarn inspections help ensure consistency and high-quality in sweater production, thereby guaranteeing increased durability for the end-consumer. It focuses on securing yarn quality before the yarn leaves the spinner/yarn dyeing facility. It also helps reduce wastage on sweater knitting production and secures color consistency across the different batches.


3. The 4-Point System Fabric Inspection

Fabric represents up to 75% of the total garment price, so it makes sense to ensure the quality of the material is rigorously judged at the seller’s factory before any purchase is made.

The most widely used grading method in the apparel industry, the 4-Point System is a visual defect assessment that determines fabric quality.

It’s conducted on between 10% and 50% of the produced goods and tests visible flaws such as stains, stitching, incorrect color variations, patterns, sizes, and poor alignment, etc.

One to four penalty points are assigned to each product’s length or width defect depending on its size and significance, not exceeding 4 points for a single error.

By testing no fewer than 10% of the total rolls in the shipping container, the system ensures at least one roll of each color scheme is examined.  

4. Metallic Trims Inspection

For example, if a zipper is faulty it can render a garment unwearable. Therefore, to avoid potential issues it’s advisable to verify the following at the earliest possible stage: dimension, stops, puckering, slider, lock, arrow mark, uniform color, etc.

Making use of textile quality management solution providers doesn’t need to be expensive and can ultimately save you time and money. 

The importance of raw material checks can’t be underestimated, and outsourcing your quality management to industry experts who can guide you through the entire process, guarantees quality at every step of the way.

About Qualspec

Part of Worms Safety, the first global alliance of quality specialists, Qualspec (a company part of SgT Group) has experienced teams of experts working in textile mills and factories in all major softline production areas with deep knowledge of:

  • Development and Production of Yarns, Fabrics & Garments
  • Value Added Processes (coatings, prints, embroideries…)
  • Chemical Applications
  • Fabric Construction

Start saving money by assessing your products’ raw materials quality.

Contact Qualspec today to book a consultation with our experts:

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