Product Development + Production
Created on:
March 10, 2021

What is a Production Sample?

A production sample is a perfect prototype of your design that reflects your the finalized specifications and can be used by manufacturers as a guide. This production sample reflects your tech packs and technical drawings.

A production sample is different from a muslin because instead of being made from a “draft material” like raw cotton it is made out of the final fabrics, trims and notions and can be used as an example for future production to use as a guide.

Muslin vs Production Sample

Production samples often cost a bit more than just one-off production as they typically involve more feedback and adjustments on fit and finishings from your manufacturing partner.

What makes a production sample fully "production-ready"?

There are a few details that make a sample "production-ready" versus just a working sample:

• Final fabrics, trims, and notions

• Finished seams / fully finished

• Garment tags placed correctly

• Sample size from which you will be grading up or down

Being confident in your production ready sample and having it in hand is an important step in the product development process. Typically, at this point, you make the decisions to finalize the product and move onto production or pre-selling.

Need help getting a production sample?

With N.A.bld you can work with partner manufacturers across the US to develop your production sample. Brands can choose which suppliers they'd like to work with to produce production samples in order to get a feel for the manufacturer or to request additional development services in the process.

How do I know if I am ready to start sampling?

If you have the four things below, you are ready to start sampling.

• You have a production-ready pattern

• You have material sourcing sorted

• You have a tech pack* (can include sketch)

What if I only have a sketch?

If you are starting off with a sketch! That's great, but there is a little more work to do. You will need to find a technical designer or sample maker to help you build out the concrete details of the construction, measurements, fabrication and more. If you don't have these resources available, sign up with a consult today and we can detail how we take brand from sketch to sample in 6-8 weeks.

How do I get started with sampling?

Start off by completing your tech pack.

*Note! Your tech pack at this point may not be finalized, but that doesn't mean you should skip the detailed documentation! If you want the N.A.bld  team to take a look before you send it to a manufacturer, submit it for review! We are happy to see if there are any areas you should add to before moving forward. If you need additional help building out your tech pack documentation, we provide this as a service so get in touch!

Next, meet your Manufacturers.

Take some time to browse through our manufacturers and see their specialties and how they like to work. Feel free to give them a call or message them directly through the N.A.bld platform if you have questions!

Request a quote.

Once your tech pack is ready and you have chosen your favorite facility, request a quote for a sample by clicking the  “sample garment” box in your bid on the N.A.bld platform.

Requesting a Sample Quote

Requesting a Sample Quote

Pick a manufacturer and get going!

Once you receive all your quotes back, you can select your favorite partner, open a Purchase Order, and a cut ticket will automatically be created for the production of the sample. Note – you will have to order fabrics if the manufacturer does not do this on your behalf!

You will receive the garment depending on the timeline discussed with your manufacturer. By the time you have your production sample, you are ahead of the game. Why?

• You will have worked with a manufacturer so you know the true hourly labor rate for your sample and you have hopefully found the manufacturer you want to work with in future

• You are ready to take finished e-commerce and editorial photos and get ready to sell

• You have a high quality sample fully-finished that you can lend out and have for trunk shows, present to buyers, or send to press to put your best for forward

Begin building your tech pack today and you’ll be on your way to a production sample in no time.