Hi, I’m Jessica Maudsley, one of the Garment Technologists for the brand Kaleidoscope. I’ve been working here since March 2016 and support the two buyers on the Formal, Evening and Occasion wear ranges.
Over the past 11 months since starting at FGH, I’ve learnt many new skills and gained so much experience as a Garment Technologist.
So, what is a Garment Technologist you may ask and what do they do? Over the next few weeks I will be posting brief pieces on the blog describing my role within buying at Kaleidoscope.
Firstly a glimpse at an opportunity to further my experiences and skills, when I visited two of our Ladieswear jersey knit manufacturers based in the Midlands.
Both operate on-site and off-shore manufacturing and have fabric printing manufacturers. Each supplier works in similar ways having pattern cutting, sample rooms, design and development, machine and pressing rooms and packing areas.
The first supplier I visited, I was looking at a size 12 and 18 counter samples for Spring/Summer 2017. This supplier has previously manufactured scuba dresses for us.
The supplier has manufactured many of our scuba fabric dresses and this season we have chosen to promote this fabric with a swing tag, which we hope will give a better understanding for customers.
Scuba is a modern, easy care fabric with a super smooth hand feel which needs minimum ironing. Perfect for easy-fitting styles thanks to the 2-way stretch and the ability to hold its shape all day long
The development starts when buyers have ideas and styles which they know specialise in certain types of product and fabrics.
The supplier will then develop and sample ideas. They will submit samples for fitting and selection, which I fit alongside the buyer and I pass on fitting comments, (too long, too tight, too short etc), we then request a photographic sample. The new range is then presented to the Brand Director, who will hopefully love the new ranges!
Orders are raised to each supplier and we then request size set samples to fit and approve for production. These are usually a size 12 and 18 .
The styles that I was reviewing on my day’s experience at the suppliers were size sets samples and on this occasion for the SS17 Formal range.
To give you an example of the alterations we might make, on one style we decided to reduce the body length and we felt the straps were too long, so whilst I was at the suppliers we adjusted the paper pattern accordingly and then new samples were made for refitting and checking measurements and the construction of the garment here at office, with the supplier and our fitting model.
Once we have refitted, I make further recommendations to improve the garment fit, confirm how the item should be washed and aftercare once purchased.
Hopefully, I will give the go ahead for production. If I have many comments I may request a pre-production sample to recheck any amendments before production commences.
A shipment sample is always requested for inspection, which will be in the correct packaging format, correct fabric quality colour and print and trims, and will be to the approved size specifications
I really enjoyed my visit, it was very informative which will help with my development as a Garment Technologist for Kaleidoscope. I’m learning so much about different fabrics, garment construction, pattern cutting and fit, product care, packaging and how goods are received to customers the list is endless!!
There really is so much to this job of a Garment Technologist, lots of variety and never a dull moment and I love it!
Written by Jess Maudsley .