Manufacturing Resources

What You Need to Know About Small Batch Production


fashion business small batch production

With the resurgence of US manufacturing, there are more options for manufacturing your collection at the quantity you need.  Knowing how much production you should start off with can be complicated. Starting small or producing a large run each have their benefits, but which one is right for your brand?

What is Small Batch Production?

Small batch production is a term used to describe a small production run, typically less than 500 units (garments). Finding factories with low quantities can be daunting, but don’t be afraid to ask a factory representative what their minimums and capabilities are.

A lot of the time, factories will list minimums and capabilities right on their website, so be sure to check that out before picking up the phone or emailing them.

Where are you selling your product?

Your quantities should be dictated by where and how you are selling your collection.

Selling online will give you flexibility for pre-orders and limited inventory. It also allows to have soft launches of new styles without having to restrict your brand to seasonal releases.

On the other hand selling to a retailer opens you up to larger quantities, higher sales, and more brand exposure. Keep in mind, you have to stick to the buyer’s schedule and their seasonal requirements.

Must Know Terms

  • Styles, Options, and Colorways – A style is a single item of clothing like a jacket or a skirt. An option or colorway is the wash, color, or finish of a style. For example: one t-shirt in blue, white, and black would be one style with three options/colorways. Manufacturers will often quote pricing per style per color(way).
  • Blocks – This is a silhouette that has minor changes from season to season. An example would be a T-shirt or midi skirt that changes color, trim, or adds a pocket. As blocks have very minor changes from season to season, you create a collection “staple” and development costs will decrease significantly. This is a great way to add more to your collection while saving money and establishing a fit for your brand.
  • MOQ – Minimum Order Quantity – This is the minimum quantity of each style that they will manufactured. Small batch manufacturers typically start at 50-100 units per style, but there are a few factories that offer zero minimums, like us. (JLD-Studios). Large batch manufacturers set their minimums around 500-1000 units per style.
  • CMT – Cut, Make, and Trim – This is another way to say Cut and Sew manufacturing. This includes the entire assembly of the garment.
  • Sourcing – This is a term used for the procurement of various resources. This includes fabric, trims, printing, embroidery,and more.

JLD StudiosJLD studios offers Apparel & Textile Design, Technical Design, Patternmaking, Packaging, and Manufacturing Support. We are passionate about seeing designers succeed by providing the tools to help promote growth regardless of company size.

From initial design to your technical package, we work with you and help to guide you through the entire development process.

Get Your Own Cost Sheet
It's important to figure out exactly how much your product costs to produce, from buttons to labor, if you're going to successfully build a fashion business. This is your template for creating cost sheets in your business. Pricing your products may seem intimidating but this template will make it a breeze.

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StartUp FASHION is an online community where independent designers and emerging brands are coming together, helping one another, forming friendships, collaborating, letting off steam, sharing victories, and belonging to a network of people who get it; who are doing it too. We’re a place to access and discover the tools and information you need to build your fashion business. We help you define your path and give you the guidance, encouragement, and resources to follow that path.

  • kim weible


    Hi, I am owner of a small baby and toddler boutique. I am interested in starting my own baby/toddler clothing line. Because I do not have a lot of money I wondered if any recommendations on manufacturers with low MOQ and experience with Children Apparel? Thanks

  • Chanda Heng


    Hi I would like to get information on your price for customize clothing. Than you Chanda

    1. Burcu Yildirim


      hi chanda if you search for manufacturer www.burcuyildirim.co

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