A clothing line is a collection of apparel designed for a particular audience and sold in retail locations and/or through online stores. If you are looking to venture into this business, have in mind that starting a clothing line involves establishing a company, designing the clothes, choosing materials, and also making plans for the manufacturing process.
You will need to be experienced in the art of making clothing designs and unless you intend to use a clothing manufacturer, you will have to design your clothing line yourself using your creativity and some vital equipment. Have it in mind that with the right tools and equipment, you reduce the time it takes to create new cloth designs, minimize mistakes, and ensure you make perfect clothes.
With so many different equipment and supplies, it can be a bit daunting for a beginner. To help you understand the essential tools and equipment you need to start your clothing line and what these items do, here is a list of the most important equipment needed to start a clothing line and how much they cost.
Most Important Equipment Needed to Start a Clothing Line and How Much They Cost
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A Tape Measure
Although small, this is one of the most important tools you need to make clothes. Note that this tool will help you create picture-perfect clothes that fit your clients. Owing to that, it’s always advisable you purchase at least three tape measures.
You can keep one tape measure in the toolbox, another around your neck, and the third in the fabric you intend to sew. In place of this tool, some designers prefer to use a grading ruler and a set square to attain the same outcomes. You’ll find the two handles if you aren’t good at using a tape measure.
- Cost: from $4.49 to $6.35
- Where to buy: Walmart, eBay, Home Depot, Etsy, Amazon, etc.
A Tailors Chalk
Have it in mind that you can’t work on clothes without a tailor’s chalk. Tailor’s chalk makes it easy to mark your fabric when you’re measuring it and preparing to cut it. It will work on most materials and is easily removed, making it a popular tool in the sewing world.
However, you may easily misplace them and get frustrated, hence the need to have a number of them within reach. When designing apparel for your clothing line, ensure to spread out at least five tailor’s chalks around your work area! Make sure to keep them in different bold colors for easy identification.
- Cost: 10PCS $3.82 to $3.89
- Where to buy: Neighborhood stores, Amazon, Etsy, SullivansUSA, eBay
To make clothes for your clothing line you will most definitely need sewing machines to help join various parts of the fabrics. Have in mind there are numerous types of sewing machines, and the one you need will depend on their specific applications.
For instance, you will need a pocket sewer machine to stitch pockets of blazers, while chain stitches are required to sew woven and knit fabric. Meanwhile, you will need a button hole sewing machine to make holes button in a garment, a lock stitch machine for all kinds of apparel, and a two-needle lock stitch machine to design and decorate fabrics.
- Cost: $150 to$6,400
- Where to buy: Bed Bath & Beyond, Joann, Sewing Machines Plus, Overstock, etc.
This is, without doubt, another very important piece of equipment any clothing line needs. Although all textile machines are essential, note that a weaving machine is very critical, especially owing to its ability to interlace two sets of yarn together.
Also, know that some weaving machines can thread at right angles, and this makes them very important for correct measurements. Even for smaller, less industrial clothing manufacturers, a weaving machine more or less gives you an advantage when it comes to styling.
- Cost: $1,200 to $20,000
- Where to buy: AVL Looms, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Amazon
A Dressmaker Dummy
A dressmaker dummy is a doll used by artists, tailors, dressmakers, window-dressers, and others to display or fit clothing and show off different fabrics and textiles. The dummies let you know how the dress you are making will look on the real person upon wearing it. It also ensures you spend take less time working on body parts that don’t fit, thereby saving you time.
When looking for dressmaker dummies for your fashion business, it is recommended you go for adjustable ones to enable you to work on different dress sizes. Note that this will also help reduce the number of dummies taking up space in your shop.
- Cost: from $200 to upwards of $1000
- Where to buy: Sewing Supply Shops, Mannequin Mall, eBay, Walmart
Have it in mind that cutting machines can either be computerized or manually handled to cut fabrics into different shapes. Cutting machines may include a straight knife, hand shears, band knife, and computerized cutting knives.
Note that computerized knives do a better job and are also faster, meanwhile a straight knife can be suitable when the quantity of the fabrics is low. A band knife will provide you with better cutting accuracy than a straight knife, while hand shears are always needed in cutting single or even double plies.
- Cost: $20 to $560.00
- Where to buy: Joann, Amazon, Home Depot
You will need pressing machines during the final stages of the clothing manufacturing process. There are numerous types of pressing machines with specific pressing requirements depending on the type of fabric. For instance, you will need a form finishing machine to finish jackets, skirts, and blouses.
You will need small cabinet press machines to press shirts before buttoning to avoid button marks on the final apparel. Howbeit, tunnel finishers are perfect for knitwear because it helps in gentle seaming and quick drying of the fabric.
- Cost: Approx. $21.95 to $2,000
- Where to buy: Sewing Machine Plus, eBay, Amazon, and Walmart
You will need knitting machines if your clothing line includes knitted apparel. There are numerous types of knitting machines, such as single jersey machines, flatbed, and double jersey knitting machines. Single jersey machines are known to have a cylinder measuring 30 inches that contain needles for producing plain fabrics.
A double jersey machine features extra needles that help in making items that are thicker than single jersey garments. Flat bed knitting equipment can be used on many fabrics and helps you add parts, such as collars, V-necks, and pockets to a fabric. However, when choosing a knitting machine, take into consideration its brand reputation, model number, diameter, number of needles, and gauge.
- Cost: $20 to $1,000
- Where to buy: Hobby Lobby, Craft Stores, Sewing Supplies Stores, Amazon, Walmart
Direct to Garment Printer
This is genuinely a very important piece of equipment that can set you apart in this line of business. This machine is wonderful especially since it helps you to easily print multiple different designs.
In addition, you can use a leverage machine for a single clothing item or a batch of 20, 30, 100, or even more. They are known to be very environmentally friendly using only the required amount of ink hence removing any wastage. It also needs very little when it comes to the overall setup.
- Cost: $20,000 to $30,000
- Where to buy: Epson, Amazon, Screen Printing Equipment Stores, eBay
A Reliable Computer
This is also another very essential piece of equipment you need to start a clothing line. In this modern age, you need to understand that your computer is, without a doubt, the hub of your business.
This is more or less where you will learn, source materials and suppliers, find buyers, display your designs, communicate with customers, accept payment, and more. A computer and an internet connection are very necessary to build a successful clothing line business.
- Cost:$400 to $1,000
- Where to buy: Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, Electronics Stores