In the process of writing a review of a book called The Spec Manual, I can’t find material that I know I wrote at one point or another so I can link to it. In the interest of expediency, I’ve created this glossary entry.
POM Codes are used to specify the measuring points of a garment or product. If you measure garments, you will need to have codes to indicate the location you measured at given points of the product.
Generally there are no established standards for code abbreviations (with some caveats below) but some codes are in such broad usage as to be universal. You’ve seen these abbreviations on this site before, maybe you didn’t know what they were. These are used so often that I do recommend you memorize them. These are the most common examples:
CF= center front
CB= center back
SS= side seam
HPS= high point shoulder
TM= total measure
Some customers (department store etc) may specify POM codes. If this is the case for you, these will be listed in the vendor compliance manual they give you.
Most often, it’s up to you or whomever you hire to make up your tech packs to figure out where and how to use codes. Codes can be one-time use, meaning given codes vary per each specific garment spreadsheet or they can be universal codes. By universal code, I mean that a given code will always have the same meaning no matter the style or in which spreadsheet or document it may appear.
By way of example is the coding system used in tech pack software like StyleFile. The program includes a database of codes for use across all of your tech packs if you want to use it or you can create your own universal codes. At right is a sketch of a style with universal codes.
Which system should you use?
If you’re just starting up and only have a few styles, single use numbered codes are probably the best option. This is also a good option if your products are not garments and have unusual attributes that vary. For example, a back pack or other type of utility product.
If your firm is larger and trying to reduce confusion and ambiguity by streamlining the tech pack process, universal codes might be a better choice for several reasons. For one, as an established firm, you have signature pieces and usual product types you produce repeatedly so it is easier because you have fewer variances. Using universal codes in this environment means that people will eventually memorize the most common ones, making the specification process that much faster.
Review: The Spec Manual
Things you must know if you have a clothing line: garment measuring
Creating Tables: POM Table (off site: Style File Wiki)
Giving instructions to a pattern grader pt.2
Giving instructions to a pattern grader pt.3
What is a tech pack?