Quality Control for the Apparel Industry

Last month I reviewed the quality book written by Pradip V. Mehta called An Introduction to Quality Assurance for the Retailers. I was sufficiently impressed with it to order a previously written book from the same author entitled An Introduction to Quality Control for the Apparel Industry. That one is out of print so only a few used copies are available.

I’m not suggesting everyone run out and get a copy of this new (old) book but there are some things that are different about this title as compared to traditional apparel quality books because it seems that the textbooks most often used (Evaluating Apparel Quality comes to mind) are so obvious. The latter shows photographs of mis-matched seams, puckered fusible, offset pockets and I can only think those things are so obvious as to be beyond being remarkable. I mean, don’t people notice that sort of thing without benefit of a textbook? Does it constitute value to enumerate those glaring sorts of defects? Gratefully, Mehta doesn’t spend much of his page count rehashing the obvious. Rather, I’ve found a few dandy things I wouldn’t have expected. The example below is an illustration from a discussion of fabric evaluation with respect to degree of flexion one can expect from people’s bodies along with the calculation of percentages when moving through the range of motion.

I like the sorts of things depicted above. Still, Mehta doesn’t spend a lot of page count on that stuff either but the work represents value in that he cites his sources carefully so one can find the original material readily. If you’re similarly interested in the citation for the above illustration (#14), it is American Fabrics and Fashions. New Encyclopedia of Textiles, 3rd ed. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, J.J., 1980 which I’d consider an unlikely source. I wonder if a transcription error was made because reference #15 seems more likely. Once you read it, you’ll probably agree. Citation 15 is an article entitled Fundamental relationship of fabric extensibility to anthropometric requirements and garment performance written by William Kirk, Jr. and S.M. Ibrahim from the Textile Research Journal, Jan. 1966

There are a couple of other interesting things about this book which I’ll leave for a future post, probably next week. Again, it’s a nice little book but I’d hesitate to make a broad recommendation for buying it considering the needs of most of you vs the content. It seems that most of the book discusses the various methods and means of textile and seam testing, primarily laboratory type tests. Few of us can afford official laboratory testing services or have the means (money or intellectual capital) to set up something like that in house, to say nothing of it being largely overkill. I think the first book of his that I reviewed is more appropriate because it also explains how to set up a quality control regimen in house.

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One comment

  1. Babette says:

    While the diagrams explain clearly what lvel of flexion is being looked for, this doesn’t seem to be something that post construction checking helps with much. (I assume that construction quality is what most garment quality control is concerned with).

    Instead the need for a particular amount of flexion in the garment probably needs to be taken account of at the patternmaking stage when fabric selection has been completed. This is an issue I have with a lot of 1970s jacket patterns. They are narrow in the back and shoulders. I’ve heard stories of people needing to take their jacket off to drive as a matter of course in the 70s. This is cut not quality surely?

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