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What Is A Sample/Sampling?

We get a lot of enquiries from prospective clients who would like us to make a sample for them. The email will go sometimes like this:

"Hello, I’d like to enquire about your sample costs please!"

This simple line, is not so simple to answer.

Let us explain.

We need to first understand what the sample process is and what it includes:

'A sample is your final garment made in the your final fabrics, with all the trims and finishings'.

To an inexperienced person they tend to think the word 'sample' encompasses the whole process of developing a garment, but it does not.

A sample is the final garment that you will receive once you have created your patterns and toile. It will include all of trims you will be using,e.g. zips, buttons and embellishments, and comes after you have made your patterns and toiles.

Please see below for more information about what a pattern and toile is:

What is a pattern?

Pattern cutting in the fashion industry is the process of taking a design and making it into fabric.

But before it is made into fabric, it is made into paper (2D). For example what you are wearing right now was once a design that was most likely made into paper and then into fabric (3D).

The role of a pattern cutter is to interpret your design, put it onto paper/card, or in digital form so it can then be made into fabric of your choice.

What is a toile?

A toile is a 3D mock up (clothing prototype) of your 2D patterns. It is usually made in a similar fabric to your your final fabric. We make a toile so that you to see what your design will look like in the final fabric which you will be presenting to your customer.

The toiling process should not be viewed as a lesser important part of the sampling process and should be viewed as a key step in the development of a garment.

It is important to note that there is a lot more work that comes before making a sample.

Please see below:

Getting a garment made usually follows these steps:

  1. Designing

  2. Pattern Cutting

  3. Toiling

  4. Sampling

So to summarise a sample is what your garment will look like once all of the above steps have be adhered to.

If you need any further information on samples, please get in touch:

Please leave a comment below.

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