How to Set Up a Garment Manufacturing Unit

Setting up a garment factory is a very critical and vast task. So, it requires careful planning and execution to ensure smooth operations and production. Following tasks involve to set up a garment factory: market research, legal compliance, infrastructure setup, machinery acquisition, supply chain management, skilled workforce recruitment, production planning, quality control implementation, marketing and sales strategies, financial management, and adherence to sustainability practices. Each step plays a crucial role in ensuring a successful operation. But preparing the project plan and budget estimation are crucial to set up a garment factory, once you are ready with the sufficient fund, start setting up your production unit.

Set Up a Garment Factory
Fig: Garment Factory

If you are interested to set up a garment factory then you are a right place. You should read this article till the end.

How to Set Up a Garment Factory:
The below factors to be considered while set up a garment factory are discussed below.

1. Selecting appropriate product category:
Deciding product categorization to be focused on during set up of a garment industry could play a crucial role. At the initial face of starting a garment unit, the various kinds of garments such as T-shirts, polo and woven products should not be considered at the same time and only one or two product profiles should be considered.

2. Estimation of production requirement:
It would be helpful to have an idea about quantity of garments that can be produced per day so that it would be helpful in future planning based on the budget and customer demand. This necessitates the process of determination of the production capability of an industry.

a) Plant loading:
Plant loading is defined as the allotment of workers or machines for future processing of an order by considering the sequence of processes as in a route sheet and the priority sequencing and utilization of work centers. Loading establishes the volume of load every work center should have in a forthcoming period which results in load schedules indicating the evaluation of labor and machine hours necessary to get the master production schedules with the available labor and machine hours in every planning schedule in the short term.

b) Capacity study:
A capacity study is the evaluation of a garment industry, manufacturing process, machine, or operator to estimate the maximum rate of production. The objective of the capacity study is

  • To find-out the deviation between the actual rate of production to its capacity
  • To evaluate the causes for lagging in the actual production
  • To achieve the actual production closer to its actual capacity using proper methods and reducing the idle time

There are various types of capacity available for a factory:

  • Maximum capacity – Number of hours available in a given time under normal conditions.
  • Potential capacity – Maximum capacity adjusted for expected efficiency.
  • Committed capacity – Total hours formerly allocated for production during a certain time period.
  • Available capacity – The difference between committed and potential capacity is known as available capacity.
  • Required capacity – It is garment SAM necessary to manufacture a specified volume in a certain period of time.

Calculation of Capacity:
Consider the following cutting plan example:

Size 10 12 14 16 18
Qty 40 90 80 25 25

The limitations on lay sizes are:

  • Maximum height of lay = 15 plies
  • Maximum length of lay = 4 garments marked
  • Time for laying one fabric ply = 1 minute
  • Marking time = 5 minutes
  • Cutting time = 10 minutes
  • Working hours = 8


Plan the cutting lay out.

Lay I – 25 Plies (Sizes – 16, 18, 12, 12)

Lay II – 40 Plies (Sizes – 10, 14, 14, 12)

Lay I

  • Maximum number of garments in Lay I = 25 × 4 = 100
  • Laying time for 25 plies = 25 minutes
  • Laying time for one garment = 25/100 = 0.25 minute
  • Marking time for one garment = 5/100 = 0.05 minute
  • Cutting time for one garment = 10/100 = 0.10 minute
  • Total processing time for Lay I = 25 + 5 + 10 = 40 minutes
  • Total processing time per garment = 0.25 + 0.05 + 0.10 = 0.40 minute

Lay II

  • Maximum number of garments in Lay I = 40 × 4 = 160
  • Laying time for 40 plies = 40 minutes
  • Laying time for one garment = 40/160 = 0.25 minute
  • Marking time for one garment = 5/160 = 0.03 minute
  • Cutting time for one garment = 10/160 = 0.06 minute
  • Total processing time for Lay II = 40 + 5 + 10 = 55 minutes
  • Total processing time per garment = 0.25 + 0.03 + 0.06 = 0.34 minute


  • Capacity/hour for Lay I = 60/0.40 = 150 garments
  • Capacity/day for Lay I = 480/0.40 = 1200 garments
  • Capacity/hour for Lay II = 60/0.34 = 176 garments
  • Capacity/day for Lay II = 480/0.34 = 1412 garments
  • Total time essential to complete the order = 40 + 55 = 95 minutes

3. Number of machines:
After deciding on the type of product and production capacity, the number of sewing machines and other machinery requirements could be calculated. Otherwise, it can be carried out conversely, that is, after deciding to set up a garment factory for a specific number of machines as well as type of product, projected production per day can be determined.

4. Type of machines:
The succeeding process is to select the proper kinds of machines suitable for the production of garments as well as the number of machines to be purchased in each kind of machine. This step would be useful for estimating the capital investment in machines. Apart from the sewing machines, list other essential equipment such as pressing tables, spreading tables, boiler, generator, furnishings etc.

5. Raw materials requirement:
After selection of product category and machines, raw materials such as fabric and other accessories and trims to make the garment with their average consumption have to be listed. This would be helpful for preparing the budget on material sourcing.

6. Factory space requirement:
The space needed for setting up of machines, equipment and administrative center has to be estimated. According to the estimation the factory layout could be planned.

7. Manpower requirement:
After setting up the machine and materials, the labor, the primary resources for a garment industry could be planned. The manpower calculation includes number of office staff, supervisors and workers. Further, an estimation has to be done for their salaries.

8. Project cost:
To determine the budget for setting up an apparel industry, one could prepare the cost of the project. For doing that, the assessment of total capital investment, EMI amount, salary for staff, workers’ wages and running costs have to be taken into consideration.

9. Internal process flow:
Plan out the detailed process flow for execution of an order. This will facilitate deciding what all the departments need to set up and plan to employ the people accordingly.

10. Supplier listing:
Finding out the good and reliable suppliers for fabrics, trims and other necessary items required to manufacture the garments is crucial for completion and dispatch of the orders in time.

Each garment factory set up is unique, and these steps provide a general framework. It’s crucial to adapt them to your specific requirements, considering factors such as garment specialization, scale of operations, and market dynamics. Consulting with industry experts or professionals experienced in garment manufacturing can also be beneficial during the setup process.


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Garment Manufacturing Technology Edited by Rajkishore Nayak and Rajiv Padhye
  3. Garments & Technology By Prof. M.A Kashem.

You may also like: How to Estimate Apparel Production in Garment Industry

Share this Article!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.