Sunday, 14 October 2007
Back ground to the clothing industry
Garment companies employ as large and as small number of people. This wide variation is due to two special features of the the fashion industry.
1. Fashion requires quick response
Clothing is of two types
- Fashion or couture garments- made in small quantities at high cost
- staples- underwear, shirts, schoolwear - influence of fashion is minimal and there is a constant demand for large quantities.
Remember that level of technology used in clothing manufacture are closly related to the quantity and length of the manufacturing run of a style of garment that is made
2. The fashion industry is labour intensive and does not require fixed capital
Entry into clothing industry is relatively easy. The reason for this relates to the simplicity of the central process in clothing manufacture whcih is sewing.
It is the process of sewing which dominates the output of a clothing factory, however large or small it is.
A sewing factory produces low added value, becasue it is generally limited to a one operator-one machine organisation
Remember that sewing technology occupies only about one-fifth of the time of the average sewing operation. The other four-fifth of the time are occupied in activities such as preparing the fabric to be sewn, trimming, folding, creasing, marking and disposal after sewing and bundling.
Why this industry is labour intensive
1. Fabrics are limp
They bend in all directions. It is therefore difficult to invent jigs and autometic equipments for performing sewing operations.
2. Fabrics vary in extensibility
A minimum extensibility of yarn is needed in order that the needle may penetrate the fabric satisfactorily. Extensibility which is less than minimum and very high extensibility both give trouble in making up of the garment
3. Fabrics vary in thickness
4. Joining must achieve compatibility with the flexibility, drape and handle of the fabric, no substitute of sewing has yet been generally applied. Mechanically, a stitch is the only type of joing whose properties approach those of the fabrics
Cutting room mechanisation can be done and it is being done
Difference between cutting and sewing activities
In cutting room: As half of the wholesale cost of a garment is in material, the cutting process consumes half of the companies turnover when it cuts cloth and therefore economy of material is a major area of concern there.