Starting a Clothing Line

The major benefit of clothing business lays in constant demand, which is almost unaffected by the niche oversaturation and is guaranteed in case you choose the correct direction in manufacturing. This can be explained by referring clothes to the essential commodities. Kids and women’s clothes are in greatest demand.

Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Clothing Line

  1. Do research on the rest of the clothing market. It will be a good idea to get a part-time job in a retail store and access to the situation on the ground. It will help you to learn more about your major competitors and evaluate truly your chances.
  2. Put top priority on your clothing company’s projected financials. First, you had better learn how much does it cost to start a clothing line. You must know for sure about all your anticipated costs and estimate whether you will be able to make a profit or not.
  3. Begin to build your clothing brand and logo. The special attention must be paid to creating your brand for it will be required during obtaining business registration certificate. The logo can be built later.
  4. Create a solid and clear clothing manufacturer business plan. You have to draw up a scheme of your executive summary and company description. Don’t overestimate your business abilities in order not to be disappointed in future.
  5. Straighten out your legal obligations. Choose a business structure that will suit you in the best way. Keep in mind that you will ought to obtain a tax ID number and fill in a DBA form after getting a business license.
  6. Produce the designs and creating a prototype. Find your seamstress first to consult on the design of your clothing line. Than make sure that seamstress, screen printer or manufacture will cope with the task and try to get everything agreed upon in written form.
  7. Find your clothing manufacturers. It is possible to do using Internet. Many entrepreneurs prefer abroad manufacturers because it is more costly. But you should take in attention that people refuse to buy clothes that was done by means of “sweat shop labor”. So, be cautious.
  8. Create a cloting line website. Online stores can become your first wholesale customers.
  9. Customers search. You can establish relationships with blogs and websites that can drive traffic to your website in order you could find your target audience, began selling at festivals, markets, in local stores and try to convince them to carry your clothing line. You can even print a catalog and file it to large clothing stores and potential customers.
  10. Promote your clothing line. There are many types of advertisement you may use: fashion trade shows, use yourself and your nearest and dearest as a walking billboards for your clothing lines, post reviews on websites and videos on Youtube. You may even present somebody clothes you have manufactured for the first time.

Business Rules and Tips for Starting a Clothing Line

However, you should think carefully over what and how you will produce before starting a business in this niche. The fact is, there are several basic rules that can keep the beginning entrepreneur from bankruptcy due to his or her inexpert and ill-conceived actions.

The first rule of this business: make clothing line as simple as possible. Sewing many-component garments is complicated process in the technological point of view. It requires expensive equipment and can be hard for the beginner seamstress’s understanding: you will need to buy many types of resources, purchase various equipment with specifications that can get a technician even frustrated, learn more about demanded product lines and research the market. All these can confuse every entrepreneur. So, go into more difficult projects as soon as you become more experienced only.

A plant or a factory is a different matter. It works with one type or resources and manufactures a narrow product line. It doesn’t require any deep knowledge and special training. All process is clear and understandable. The rest comes with experience.

The second rule of clothing business: try to seize the whole chain of the production process in order you wouldn’t depend on suppliers, but only customers. It is evident that you will fail to do this in many cases, including hosiery production, because it will require great one-time costs in the form of buying and maintaining agricultural complex, chemicals plant, etc. But this must be your final goal, anyway. All large clothing companies started in the same way, they entered primary production lines through acquisition and conquered marketplaces, e.g. retail chains, etc. In many cases, involving Asian factories in production clothing line turns to be more profitable than opening your own production line in the USA, for example.

The third business rule: you must start your hosiery manufacturing business with narrow product line. It must be garments that are in greatest demand and can be sold very quickly. This rule’s carrying out is the most difficult task because it requires careful market trends following and quick response to demand changing. At that, there is a nuance in starting a clothes and hosiery lines. Usually the style, texture, and fashion trends change once a year, the favourite color scheme also shifts once a half-year. You must be ready to readjust your equipment (or refit it) in order to produce other clothing lines and enlarge the required textile (fibers) dyes set.

Apparel Manufacturing Equipment

The basic equipment list:

  • Knitting machine — a textile machine that makes knitted fabrics.
  • Spinning machine — a textile machine for spinning yarn and fibers.
  • Textile knitting and weaving machine — a textile machine for weaving yarn into a textile.
  • Sewing machine — a textile machine used as a home appliance for sewing.

You had better buy either apparel manufacturing or textile production equipment for clothes manufacturing process optimization and maximum enlargement of production process chain. Most of all you will need spinning machine than will process (or spin) a workable thread from several ones. Threads spinning is processed on spinning machinery. Such China-made machine costs $35.000 approximately. The equipment can produce multilayered designed fiber, which is ultimate for hosiery production, blend fiber and manufacture three-layered fiber, what causes textile’s texture closeness. The machine can process either natural or synthetic fibers.

You have to think over the clothing line that you are going to produce. You have to find a variant that will let you to manufacture the most demanded products at little raw material consumption. T-shirts, socks, underwear can serve a sample of these products. Everyone’s wardrobe includes these garments.

Knitting machine, build in China, will cost about $12.000. Hosiery knitting machine with capacity of producing 350 pairs of socks per shift will cost about $4500.

The clothing factory with full set of equipment (in case you have a proper premises) will take you $50.000-60.000 in best case.


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Luke Smith
Luke Smith

I see a lot of good clothing lines that are more formal to clothes regular joes could wear. I didn’t know that so much went into a clothing line like knowing what type of clothes are popular, or how to make prototypes. It makes me think of all the hard work that went into making clothes now.