Tech Packs: Organization via the Bill of Materials

If you read our blog or follow us on social media, you know that we love Tech Packs at Stitch Method. Not only is the Tech Pack a blueprint for how your garment is made, but it also acts as an ingredient list. The Bill of Materials (BOM) included in the Tech Pack outlines every raw material that goes into your garment, how much is needed and where to get it. Creating your BOM not only helps you as the designer to organize everything you need for production, but it also helps to keep your factory organized. Keep in mind that factories work with a lot of different brands so they have tons of fabrics and trims to keep track of. Having an easy to read BOM also helps the factory track down all of the material in their space prior to cutting and sewing. Here is a list of details to include in your BOM using a men’s button down shirt as an example:

  1. Description : This is where you would describe the raw material. For instance, if you are using 100% polyester shirting for your fabric you would list out 100% polyester shirting. Or, if you are indicating a button trim, you might list out Wood Button.

  2. Allocation on the garment: This is where you describe where the material is used in the garment. For the button you might say, front placket and cuff.

  3. Yield (per piece consumption): This is where you would indicate how much of each material is included in your garment. If you are speaking about fabrics, that would probably be by yard. If you are using trims, it might be per piece. For our buttons, the yield might be 15 pieces.

  4. Vendor: This is where you purchased the material from.

  5. Swatch: Here you would take a piece of the fabric, or one of the trims and staple or tape a swatch to the paper. If you cannot get a physical swatch of the item, a photo works as well.  We usually build our BOMs in Excel or Numbers so that they are easy to read and print.

When you are building your list of materials, don’t forget about any items that the factory might be supplying. For example, a lot of the factories in the United States supply the thread. However, you want to be clear about what color thread is used so you would want to include it. Under Vendor you might simply write “supplied by (name of factory)” and then ask the factory for a few inches of thread to attach to your Bill of Materials.

There is no one right way or wrong way to design your BOM, but you do need to include every raw material in your product. This is a nice place to start, but your factory might ask for other or different details. We want to hear from you! What other details do you include?