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Hello everybody,
Well my artist/art director has the first designs of the company finally underway, and they seem promising. It caused me to naturally get ahead of myself and start thinking about expansion.

I began wondering what the process is of obtaining and maintaining a business connection straight with the textile manufacturers. How small/large can the minimum order be from a fabric supplier? Are there companies out there that will cut a blank t-shirt to specific measurements and then send in bulk?

What are the technical/practical methods that these big companies use to produce their clothes? I mean, in order to produce hundreds or thousands of BLANK clothes, what kind of machinery and workforce is called for? If I wanted to start from scratch(fabric), and produce hundreds of shirts of specific measurements, what would I need? Interested in producing the blanks rather than buying them.

I realize this is kind of a lot. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance guys. - NS
 

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To get a custom garment made, you need a design for the garment, a pattern, fabric, and someone to cut the pattern and sew the fabric.

You can hire a fashion designer to design for you, a pattern maker to create a pattern, buy your fabric, and hire another contractor to cut and sew the fabric according to the pattern to make your garment.

Minimums depend on the contractor .. domestic contractors will have higher prices and smaller minimums. Overseas contractors will have higher minimums (in the thousands) and lower prices, but you also have to deal with customs, shipping, etc.

That's a very, very basic overview of the process. It can be an extremely complex process, and if you don't know what you're doing you will end up wasting thousands of dollars.

If you are seriously considering having your own garments made, you have a LOT more research to do. Simply put, there is no way that we could tell you every single thing you would need to know here in this thread. :) I would recommend you pick up a copy of The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing (you can get direct from the author, at fashion-incubator.com)

Personally, I don't think it is worth the trouble to have custom t-shirts made. It's a very simple garment, and there are already such a huge variety of styles, cuts and fabric options available from the various manufacturers, that you are bound to find something that will fit your needs if you keep looking.
 
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