Carnivale of Couture: Andy Chang & board shorts

Today’s entry is written by Andy Chang from Taiwan. He owns and operates a contract sewing operation specializing in performance apparel like boardshorts. If you’re not sure what a board short is, here is a photo of a short from Billabong.

Andy did not supply me with a photo -a contractor can get in a lot of trouble for doing that- but I found this example on a website. Note that the short is both pieced and embroidered; that will become important as you read Andy’s entry.

I’m a garment factory operator and manufacture for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Quiksilver, O’Neil, Swiss Army, Original Penguin, Zegna Sport, Modern Amusement and etc.

Being a manufacturer for both the Classic brands such as Zegna Sport and lay back style of the surfer community, I believe the most difficult styles to make are not from the classy couture brands, but the surfer industry. If you walk in to Pacsun or any surfer store and look at their boardshorts today, You will find board shorts being pieced together in curves.

First you have to piece the curves together, and then you have to send it of for screen print. When the screen print is done, you have to send it off for embroidery and then have to fit the screen print inside the embroidery.

When that is done, you have to bring the piecing back to the factory and attach cargo pockets and send it off for printing and embroidery again across the body and cargo pockets. Once that is done you bring it back and finish the contour waist band, and send it of to embroidery again to embrodier across the waistband and the body, and bring it back to finish the leg opening.

After all is completed, the product had to be sent for heavy stone wash to provide a distressed look and garment dyed. This techniques is applied not only in boardshorts but also in Jackets, outerwear Ski Suits and etc..

Since all these process breaks the production flow, a production line need to have at least 3~5 styles being produced simultaneously to prevent production flow stopping.

Above is the most difficult type of clothing which my factory had encountered.

He has a website but it’s not up at the moment; below is his contact information.
Andy Chang
Dun Hua South Road Sec. 1, #3, 9F-2
Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: 886-2-2570-6056

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  1. Jess says:

    Nice work! Who knew that one pair of shorts went through that many complicated steps! It’s a real eye opener. I’d love to see a tutorial on a contoured waistband in a factory setting cause I would imagine that it couldn’t be sewn on the way a normal banded waistband would.

  2. kathie thompson says:

    This is so cool! I’m in financial accounting at a community college and I also sew. Our “team” looked at Billabong International to see how their numbers ‘shake out.’ Started me wondering and thinking about what goes into the production of their products. Nice to read. Thanks. Love the Billabong look.

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