SAMPLE TYPES EXPLINED
FIT SAMPLE **Required
Purpose: This is a sample made from the first pattern and intended to test the designer’s idea. This sample is often made in substitute or cheaper fabrication, however, they may also be made in correct fabric in white or stock colour (without dye or print) to ensure the fit and drape will be more accurate from the beginning. Sampling in correct fabric at this stage will cost more, but shorten the sample process and save on revisions.
Generally 1 – 2 revisions are expected at fit sample stage.
Cost: Fit samples may be a small fixed or variable (pending fabric) cost including patterns and 1 to 2 x free labour alterations.
QTY requirement: Only one copy is made at FIT sample stage, any adjustments need to be returned to the factory pinned with fit notes and updated tech packs.
PROTO SAMPLE **Required
Purpose: This sample is the result of previous alterations from FIT samples. This sample should meet the designer’s test for fit and execution made in “correct” material, colours and trims. The prototype is used for costing. If the proto is approved, SMS samples may not be necessary. The fit and execution of this sample must be approved, and all treatment and trims confirmed by swatches strike off’s at this stage.
Upon approved Proto, we grade sizes based on approved sample size. A grading speck sheet will be provided by the designer and must be approved along with samples and final updated tech pack, this will be used as bulk production sew-by. Changes after grading will cause a domino effect of double handling and cause additional cost and extended time lines.
QTY requirement: If the prototype is approved and no SMS samples are required before bulk, then duplicates are recommended as the factory will need reference samples during production. Otherwise, the client must send back their only sample which may be needed for sales and marketing.
If adjustments need to be made, the samples must be returned to the factory pinned with fit notes and updated tech packs.
Cost: Generally, 2 - 3 x bulk price, including standard grading.
**Occasionally, for complex grading, this may be required to be done by one of our specialist designers at additional cost.
SALESMAN SAMPLE (SMS) ** Sometimes required
Purpose: This is the updated (if changes to Proto was required) or duplicated version of the Proto sample, which is also made with confirmed fits and in all correct material, colours, trims and qualities. SMS samples are for the purpose of duplicated samples required for sales and marketing, and will be used as bulk production sew-by.
QTY requirement: Duplicates of the approved pre-production sample must be made for each party.
Cost: Generally same as Proto samples.
PHOTO SAMPLE ** Not common
Purpose: These samples are made in various sizes for photo shoots. This may not be necessary if you can pin a garment strategically on the model or use a model that fits your sample size. Grading of sizes can only be made after confirmed Proto or SMS samples (above) are made.
QTY requirement: A copy for designer only.
Cost: Same as Proto and SMS
SIZING SAMPLE ** Not common
Purpose: Sample the grading of sizes if a graded speck sheet is not sufficient for confirmation prior to bulk. If silhouettes vary greatly between styles, test sizes of various styles my be needed. Graded sizes can also be required as PP samples (below) pending how early in the process/ purpose the designer need them for.
Cost: Same as Proto and SMS
PRE PRODUCTION SAMPLE (PP) ** required
Purpose: This is the final approved version made in bulk material after PO order is calculated, material is purchased and received, and size-set approved (via spec sheets or size samples), and before bulk cutting start.
PP samples are always part of the process with our factories in China, however, in Bali we recommend to avoid them wherever not necessary if Proto or SMS samples and strike off for bulk material swatches are approved. This is because: Lead times are longer in Bali and whilst waiting for approved PP samples, production is put on hold. PP samples have to be made in the sample room and therefore are higher cost for the factories, but are usually only charged at bulk prices.
Cost: Same as bulk prices
SHIPPING SAMPLE (Also called TOP/ Top Of Production)** Sometimes required
Purpose: A set of samples are pulled from production prior to shipping the entire bulk to double check all qualities are approved before shipping the reminder. This process is generally required in China but not in Bali.
Cost: Bulk prices / part of PO (bulk) order / invoice.