Clear communication is crucial within the fashion supply chain to ensure smooth product launches. Our glossary is organized into categories like fashion and technical design, product development, and manufacturing terms.

Whether you're a technical designer or involved in manufacturing, understanding these terms is essential for effective communication across the fashion supply chain.

Let's dive in!

Costing & pricing terms

In the world of fashion production, understanding costing and pricing terms is essential for success. Whether you're a designer, manufacturer, or retailer, knowing these terms can help you navigate the complexities of the industry and make informed decisions.

Cost of a garment

In a business, cost is the amount of money that is spent on the production or creation of a garment. From a seller’s point of view, cost is the amount of money spent to produce a product. If sellers sold their goods at the same price as they cost to produce, then they would break even. This means that they would not lose money on their sales, but their company would not make a profit either. Cost does not include a mark-up for profit.

Price of a garment

Pricing is the process whereby a business sets the price at which it will sell its products. In setting prices, the business will take into account the price at which it could acquire the goods, the manufacturing cost, the marketplace, competition, market condition, brand, and quality of a product. Price and cost are different things. Price is what the buyer pays for the product or service. Cost is the seller's investment in the product subsequently sold.

Retail price

Retail price is the price that consumers pay to retailers. It is the final price that a good is sold to customers for, those being the end users or consumers. When setting the price, the retailer will add a profit margin but at the same consider showing an attractive price to compete with other retailers.

Wholesale price

The wholesale price is a rate charged by the producer or distributor to the retailer. Wholesale Price includes the materials costs, manufacturing and labor invested, other overheads like rent, electricity, etc., and a minimal profit margin.

Fashion design terms

Fashion design is a creative and dynamic field that encompasses a wide range of concepts and terminology. Understanding key fashion design terms is essential for effective communication and execution of your vision.

3D fashion design

3D in fashion design is the process of developing a 3D prototype out of a 2D digital pattern. With the help of 3D technology, designers can now build a 3D garment directly on a digital avatar (model) of their size.

Fashion NFT

NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital tokens that prove an asset's ownership. To provide transparency around authenticity and ownership, these tokens can be traded safely, with transaction history recorded on a Blockchain - a decentralized, digital public ledger. Fashion NFTs can take many forms, including virtual garments that customers can wear within virtual environments, digital content with which owners can interact, and even digital twins of physical creations.

Fashion illustration

fashion illustration is an interpretation of your idea that captures the mood, proportion, and color of your design. The technical sketch, on the other hand, aids in translating the garment into something "universal" that a whole team of people can understand and work on.

Line sheet

A line sheet, is a sales tool used to help retail buyers place orders for your products. It includes product shots against a white background or fashion flat sketches. Line sheets must include all relevant information about each garment in your collection like product names, descriptions, materials, sizes, colors, and other attributes that provide additional information about the product.

Mood board

A fashion mood board is a visual tool used in various creative fields, including fashion, interior design, graphic design, and advertising, to convey a particular aesthetic, concept, or mood. It typically consists of a collage of images, text, textures, colors, and other visual elements that collectively evoke a desired atmosphere or theme.

Garment sample terms

Garment sampling is a critical stage in the fashion production process, allowing designers and manufacturers to assess the fit, construction, and overall quality of a design before mass production. Familiarizing yourself with key garment sample terms is essential for effective communication and collaboration throughout this stage.

Digital garment sample

A digital sample is a software rendering of the garment in a 3D form which allows the visualization of fit and fall of the garment in both stillness and movement.

Fit sample

As the name suggests, fit samples are to ensure the adequate fit and fall of the garments and they’re made in accordance with the sizing requested by the brand. Measurements and construction need to be accurate and correct in order to pass the fit evaluation. The fit sample can be made of a similar fabric as the one intended for the final design, and many adjustments could be necessary before the desired fit is achieved.

GPT sample

GPT sample refers to the production sample that is given for the "Garment Performance Test". These samples are used for a series of tests that a brand would like to evaluate before running the styles for production. The tests can include seam strength, seam slippage, colorfastness, and wash fastness, among others.


A mock-up is the first sample that is traditionally made with muslin fabric.

Proto sample

The proto sample kickstarts the whole production cycle. Factories follow either the original sketch or a tech pack provided by the designer. The idea is to solely review the style and design aesthetics, so it doesn’t need to be constructed adhering to the full specifications.

Salesman sample

The salesman samples or SMS are the samples that are used for marketing and promotions of the product range. They are made with the final fabrics and final touches in the approved basic sizes. These are generally put on display in retail stores or exhibited at trade shows to get orders from respective retail channels.

Sealed sample

Once the PP sample is approved by the brand, they are sealed to prevent tampering from the factory and now become the standard for bulk production. They are also known as gold-seal samples or red-seal samples, depending on the approval, or disapproval of the brand.

Size set sample

Size set sampling includes three samples of each size which are made with the fabric and finishings intended for the final product. After this is complete, mass production can start once the brand gives its approval to the factories.

Pre-production sample

pre-production sample is the first sample made in the actual production line of the factory. It’s constructed with the actual fabrics intended for the design and trims with all the order specifications regarding measurements, embroidery, and washes. It’s a test run by the factory and they can proceed with the bulk production only when the PP sample is approved by the brand.

Press sample

Press samples are exact replicas of the final sellable product, usually in a model's sample size. They’re used for photographing promotional material like collection campaigns for advertising, lookbooks, and e-commerce and can be loaned to magazines for editorial photo shoots.

Shipment sample

Once the bulk production is done and the shipment is finished, packed, and ready to go, a few samples are kept aside by the factory as shipment samples. These serve as to test the final product that will reach the brand; right from the folding to the packaging. Many brands will only approve shipping if the samples pass this test.

Top of production sample

After the approval of the PP sample, which signals the start of production, the Quality Control inspector representing a brand can visit the factory at any time and pick a garment from the production line for inspection. These samples are called "Top of production or TOP samples" and they are evaluated to ensure that the bulk production is of the same quality as the PP sample. TOP samples are also checked for their packaging.

Manufacturing terms

Navigating the manufacturing process in the fashion industry requires a solid understanding of various terms and concepts. Whether you're a designer, brand owner, or production manager, familiarizing yourself with key manufacturing terms is crucial for ensuring smooth operations and successful product development.

Acceptable quality limit

Acceptable Quality Limit is the quality level that is the worst tolerable. It describes the maximum number of acceptable defects during the random sampling of an inspection.

Batch number

A batch number is a sequence number associated with a specific batch or production run of products. It is used to track a product In the event of a quality and compliance problem.

Clothing manufacturing

Clothing manufacturing includes numerous operations necessary to make a garment. It includes processes like cutting, sewing, and finishing. The whole manufacturing process breaks down into a number of sub-operations needed for constructing a particular garment. Some of these operations vary depending on the type of equipment available, work methods used, and workers’ skills.

CMT manufacturer

CMT (Cut, make, trim) clothing manufacturers provide a service that includes cutting, trimming, and sewing the garment into a fully finished product.

Eco-friendly manufacturing

Eco-friendly manufacturing is a process of manufacturing that protects the planet by conserving natural resources.

FPP manufacturer

FPP (Full Production Package) is a clothing production type where a manufacturer provides all stages of garment building to the brand.

In-line production inspection

In-line product inspection or DUPRO (During Production Inspection) is an effective way for customers to know about the status of the manufacturing of an order, gain important information about the shipment schedule, and identify defects early on before they affect the entire production. This type of inspection generally takes more time than the more common Final Random Inspection (FRI) and should be completed by inspectors with several years of experience in production monitoring.


MOQ is an acronym that stands for minimum order quantity and refers to the minimum amount that can be ordered from a manufacturer.

On-demand manufacturing

On-demand manufacturing is a production model when goods are only made when or as they are required. In the fashion industry, this is also called made-to-order. Here, brands will not send the quantities they need to their manufacturers until their customers have directly ordered the product. This also usually involves paying for the item up-front. This often leads to longer wait times for the customers, as the product has not yet been made by the manufacturer at the point of order.

Pre-production process

The pre-production process is planning that is done prior to the bulk garment production. That includes sample development and approvals, sourcing and testing raw materials, garment costing, pattern making, and process planning. Efficient production can’t be reached without the pre-production processes.

Size set

A garment size set is an essential component of the sampling process. It refers to the set of sizes for the design of your clothing item. When you order a size set, the factory will send you samples of your design in each size that you intend to manufacture. For example, if you intend to manufacture a garment in sizes S, M, L, and XL, the factory will send you four different samples for those sizes.

Size breakdown sheet

A size breakdown sheet is a document that fashion brands use to request multiple sample sizes from the manufacturer.

Pattern-making terms

Pattern-making is a fundamental aspect of fashion design, serving as the blueprint for garment construction. Understanding key pattern-making terms is essential for creating well-fitting and visually appealing garments.

Body measurements

Body measurements refer to measuring the actual person (or people) who will wear a garment. These are different from garment measurements and can be taken manually or purchased from different body data services. Many body measurements are important to building a balanced, well-fitting garment.

Flat pattern

A flat pattern is like a blueprint for cutting your fabric. It translates the flat, 2-dimensional fabric, to fit around a 3-dimensional body while allowing for both the proper aesthetic fit as well as the proper fit for the comfort and range of motion for the wearer.

Key body measurements

Key measurements are different depending on the type of garment you’re planning to make. The most common key body measurements are Center Back (CB), Center Front (CF), and High Point Shoulder (HPS).

Product development terms

Product development is a multifaceted process in the fashion industry that involves conceptualizing, designing, and bringing garments to market. Understanding essential product development terms is crucial for coordinating efforts across various stages of production.

Consumer-centric product development

Consumer-centric product development is an approach to creating products or services that place the needs, preferences, and behaviors of consumers at the forefront of the development process. In consumer-centric product development, the ultimate goal is to design and deliver offerings that meet or exceed the expectations of the target market.

ERP systems

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are software solutions designed to streamline and integrate core business processes and functions across various departments within an organization.

PLM systems

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems are specialized software solutions tailored to the unique needs and processes of fashion businesses. These PLM systems offer features and functionalities specifically designed to manage the entire lifecycle of fashion products, from initial concept to final production and beyond.

Project management in fashion

Project management in fashion product development is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge, and experience needed to achieve go-to-market goals within a budget and timeframe.

Supply chain

The fashion supply chain refers to the entire process of creating and delivering fashion products, from the initial design and manufacturing of garments to their distribution and retailing. It involves a series of interconnected stages, including design, sourcing of raw materials, production, transportation, distribution, retail, and ultimately, consumption by end-users. Each stage of the supply chain contributes to the creation and delivery of fashion goods.

Sustainable product development

Sustainable product development in fashion refers to designing and creating fashion products to minimize negative environmental and social impacts while maximizing positive contributions to sustainability. It encompasses the entire lifecycle of a product, from conception and design to sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, and end-of-life considerations.

Technical design terms

Technical design plays a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy, fit, and functionality of garments during the production process. Familiarizing yourself with key technical design terms is essential for effective communication and collaboration with pattern-makers, sample developers, and manufacturers.

Arrow callout

Arrow callouts or callout comments are additional pieces of information that are attached to technical sketches. Some designers also call them comment annotations. These technical annotations are notes of explanation or comments about a specific detail of a technical sketch.

Bill of Materials

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is a list of raw materials to produce a garment and prepare it for shipment. When your business makes a physical product, you need to source the materials to make it. Sourcing materials is an essential part of the production process. The materials you choose make a huge difference to the quality of your product.

CAD sketch

In the fashion industry, a Computer-aided design sketch (CAD sketch), also known as a flat sketch or technical flat, is a technical drawing of a garment that is laid flat to show design details such as seams and stitching.

Fit sheet

The Fit Sheet is an additional table in a tech pack where designers document each point of measurement of each physical sample. The main purpose of a Fit Sheet is to make sure each measurement is within the provided tolerances.

Fit session

The fit session is a meeting between the designer and technical team where they assess the fit of a sample garment/accessory or a collection.

Tech Pack

A Tech Pack, also known as a specification sheet, is a set of documents created by designers to explain their design to a manufacturer so that they can turn this information into a finished garment. It serves as a blueprint of a final garment that includes information like detailed flat sketches of the design, materials to be used like trims and labels, measurement specs, size gradings, colorways, etc.

Technical sketch

Technical sketches (also called fashion flats) illustrate every design detail from different angles (front, back, side, and yes, even inside). They help your factory and pattern maker visualize how to make the first sample look as close as possible to your desired look. That’s why they are done in black and white and are typically created on Adobe Illustrator.

Garment Spec Sheet

A garment specification (spec) sheet, or measurement table, is a technical document that contains all construction details of the garment. It looks like a technical diagram or a garment sketch, including all of its measurements. Designers use spec sheets to communicate design concepts to manufacturers.

Garment Cost Sheet

A garment cost sheet is made to calculate the cost of a piece of garment. The typical garment cost sheet includes the material cost, labor, and cost of processing.


Grading is used to increase or decrease the size of a pattern proportionally. This means maintaining the shape, fit, balance, and scale of style details (dress, original design) as sizes change.

Quality control terms

Quality control is a critical aspect of ensuring that fashion products meet specified standards and requirements before reaching consumers. Familiarizing yourself with key quality control terms is essential for maintaining product integrity and customer satisfaction. c

Quality assurance (QA)

Quality Assurance (QA) is focused on the process. It builds quality into each step of the manufacturing process including design, production, and beyond.

Quality control (QC)

Quality Control (QC) is focused on the product. It is generally understood as assessing the quality of products upon completing manufacturing and after being classified into acceptable and unacceptable categories where checking of the actual results is done to ensure that things are as expected.

Quality fade

Quality fade is a gradual decline in product quality over time. This happens when the supplier deliberately uses a lower-quality material or component than initially agreed upon. The overall product might look generally the same, but suddenly you start noticing issues with a particular aspect of the product.