If you’re reading this, chances are you are already purchasing blanks for your brand and are curious about cut and sew. But is cut and sew right for you?

What is cut and sew?

Cut and sew is, as the name suggests, the cutting and sewing of fabric to make a garment. The whole process entails developing a pattern, sampling, grading, fabric/trim sourcing, production, and finally, finishing (Not all factories will provide all of these services. We will cover that in more detail in another post). In this post, I will go over the 4 major differences between purchasing pre-made blanks vs. cutting and sewing your own design.

1. Cost

The development process is expensive - plain and simple. You will need hundreds of dollars, even thousands at some places, to develop 1 style. Development fees are typically paid upfront with no refunds. A huge investment for those starting out. The cost per garment will generally be more expensive than buying blanks as well depending on the volume you order. 

2. Time

Developing and producing a garment takes time. The development process itself can take months before you are ready to go into production. Unless you have an assistant or production manager, you’ll most likely have to be present in some shape or form during each stage of the development process. This takes time away from focusing on other aspects of your business. You’ll also need to plan well in advance, taking lead times and production delays into consideration, for the release of your garment.

3. MOQ

Cutting and sewing will come with an MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity). Each factory’s MOQ will be different. I’ve seen MOQs of 500 units and I’ve seen MOQs of 5,000 units. Whatever the case is, you won’t be able to just get a “few” pieces. 

4. Your garment

The benefit of cut and sew is that you get to call the finished product “your garment”. It is a fully customized piece that others won’t be able to find elsewhere. Cut and sew allows for greater flexibility and creativity in design, as the fabric pieces can be cut to any specification. Designers looking to take their brand to the next level and who want to offer unique products will often choose the cut and sew route.

Is cut and sew right for you?

Ultimately, this decision will be up to you / your team. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding whether cut and sew is right for you.  Those of you looking to test out the market, are just starting a brand, or don’t want to invest in inventory upfront, will be better off purchasing blanks. Purchasing blanks gives you the freedom to allocate your time and money on growing other parts of your business. For those of you who have an established brand, know what your customers like, and are looking to take your brand to the next level, cut and sew may be the answer for you.