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Fashion & Manufacturing Terminology To Know

Are you on the journey of finding manufacturers but coming across lots of terms and abbreviations and not sure what they mean? To help you out, we’ve created a list of need to knows, that you can use as your go to guide and get you started on the right foot.

Plus we're working on the ultimate downloadable guide that will include an extensive list of what we call "jargon" in the industry which I hope will become your most used resource. If you're interested to know when we complete this, sign up to our email community and we'll notify you when it's released.


The top 10 are the ones we know you’ll come across over and over.

1 - MOQ = Minimum Order Quantity,

This refers to the minimum amount of a design/colour that you can order, you will come across this abbreviation when ordering fabrics, trims and discussing bulk orders for kinds of products from garments to accessories. You'll even come across it when you need to order packaging!

2- Cut & Sew

When a manufacturer will cut your purchased fabric from the pattern pieces you have supplied and make a full garment, rather than one that has been purchased from a third-party supplier and say, screen printed or altered in some way.

3- Technical Sketch

These show a design laying flat with all the stitch and seam details. These sketches should be fully annotated with as much information as possible and make up part of a tech pack.

4- Tech Pack

A multi page document that shows the technical sketches and all corresponding information to communicate how the product should be produced including things like measurements, size, fabric information, finish details, colours etc.

5- Fabric Composition

This should cover the fabric type and what fibres it is made up of such as 100% Cotton, 90% Polyester 10% Spandex, 80% Linen 20% Viscose etc. This information is important as it can help inform how a garment may be pattern cut, shrinkage, wash care and so on.

6- DTM - Dyed To Match

This is often used when describing the colour of thread you want to use or if you want ribbed cuffs to match the rest of a jumper etc. Fabric suppliers might also use this term, for example you might advise DTM Fabric Swatch A meaning you want the fabric or lab dip dyed to match the colour swatch rather than a specific colour reference.

7- Yardage

Another word used to describe a batch of fabric. Fabric is often measured in yards rather than metres with Far East suppliers and this is where the term yardage comes from. Note: yardage doest mean a specific amount of fabric.

8- CMT = Cut, Make, Trim

This refers to a manufacturer who only carries out manufacturing when patterns/samples/fabrics have already been figured out. You have to provide a CMT factory will all graded patterns, fabric, trims and Specification Sheets.

9- BOM = Bill of Materials

The master list of every physical item required to create your finished products, this may be created by you or a manufacturer depending on whether you or they are supplying the materials and trims for the production.

10 - Block

A basic pattern that is used as a foundation to develop styles, some home sewers refer to this as a sloper. Your manufacturer may carry their own standard blocks if they are part of your development stage or if working directly with a pattern cutter they may have their own blocks.

We'd love to know if this list has been useful to you and if we haven't covered a specific term or abbreviation you were looking for feel free to ask us in the comments or you can email us directly on and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

And if you'd like to get more Fashion & Manufacturing insights subscribe to our emails below and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest blogs, videos and the release of a very helpful downloadable guide we are working on.

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