HQTS Quality Control

Garment Defects Prevention for Apparel and Textiles

Suppose you’re in the business of manufacturing apparel and textiles. In that case, you’ll want to look into implementing a strategy for keeping defects to a minimum to ensure your products are as high-quality as possible.

Because producing and selling clothes and garments with minimal defects will save you time and money while cutting waste, it also ensures customer satisfaction and keeps the brand reputation intact.

In this article, you will learn about the most common textile and apparel industry garment defects and get practical tips on avoiding them.


What is a Garment Defect?

A garment defect is a fault or an imperfection in a garment that detracts from its being perfect. They are classified in the apparel and garment industry when quality control is practised from the initial stage of sourcing the raw materials to the final stage of producing the finished garment.

How Are the Types of Defects in Garments?

There are three main garment defect types in apparel quality control – minor, major and critical – and the severity of the fault depends on which category the problem belongs to.

What Are Minor Defects in Garments?

These clothes defects are usually small enough to ensure they won’t affect the function or form of the item. Mostly, minor defects won’t even be noticed by the customer, and the product is unlikely to be returned.

What Are Major Defects in Garments?

These are more serious than minor defect fabrics as they depart away from the buyer’s product specifications significantly and could affect the item’s function, performance and appearance. These garment defects would be noticed by the customer with them likely to return the product and complain to the company.

What Are Critical Defects in Garments?

These types of garment defects are the most serious because they render an item unusable and could even cause harm to the customer. These defects could put companies out of business, cause lawsuits, and/or lead to product recalls.

How to Check the Quality of a Garment

Many factors determine the quality of a garment, but some of them are more important than others. The apparel industry measures quality by considering the standard of the fibres and materials used in production. But there are many other factors to consider when looking at overall quality in the garment industry, including performance, reliability and durability, and visual and perceived quality.

Sewing defects such as open seams, wrong stitching, colour, threads, creasing, thread tension, and raw edges should all be evaluated throughout the inspection process. Secondly, colour effects, including any colour differences in the final product compared to the samples, need to be checked to confirm whether they match. Thirdly, the sizing must be checked for any differences in measurements.

Finally, garment defects must be looked at, including faulty zippers and buttons, irregular hems, and loose threads. Other issues include raw edges, improper buttonholes, uneven parts, faulty trimming and differences in fabric colours.


Garment Control Checklist

What Are the Common Garment Defects Causes?

Five common fabric defects can be found in garments and apparel items:

1. Drop stitches

Drop stitches are found in raw textiles, and drop stitches are missed stitches that then appear randomly in the fabric. These are caused by incorrect yawn carriers, slubs and knots, yarn overfeeding or underfeeding and lose stitching during the production process.

How to prevent drop stitches: Ensure the yarn carrier is verified to the correct tension.

2. Dye marks

Dye marks are irregular patches found on the surface, and they are usually a result of low-quality fabric, improper levelling agents, incorrect pH in the production process, and dye machine entanglement. 

How to prevent dye marks: Ensure the base fabric is top-quality and maintains the correct pH level.

3. Horizontal lines

Horizontal lines are defined by irregular lines that run from side to side, and faults cause these in the bobbin or irregular thread tension.

How to prevent horizontal lines: Regularly replace the bobbin and checking the thread tension and positioning

4. Shade variation

Shade variation is usually an obvious defect that can be noticing a difference in depth of shade and colour from piece to piece, and it is caused by mixing fabrics, variations in the production process, improper cutting and unequal fabric stretching. 

How to prevent shade variation: Use the same base material, combine garments of the same colour, and correctly number the textile types.

5. Stains

Stains are fairly common and are defined as spots or patches of differing colours. Textiles can stain easily and appear on fabrics from the dirt on the factory floor, oil from machinery and dyes from other sources. 

How to prevent stains: Regularly clean the production machines and equipment and ensure no oils, grease, or dyes are near the textiles.

How to Prevent Defect Fabrics in Your Supply Chain

Quality assurance can be achieved by using a third-party apparel testing company to test your products and items before they reach the customer. Fabric defects can be found during  the defect analysis and prevention methods, as well as testing process. But defect prevention is a necessary step to take while completing the development process.

Reviewing and inspection should be carried out by team members by self-checking, peer reviews and inspection of all products. Secondly, a walkthrough comparison should be completed by comparing the samples against the customer requirements, thereby giving a better idea to any corrections that need to be implemented. Thirdly, any defects found should be logged and documented. Lastly, a root cause analysis should be completed.

How to Reduce Garment Defects in Your Supply Chain

Change is always occurring in the garment and apparel industry as customer and consumer behaviours change. Cost pressures are mounting, and companies must focus on quality assurance and quality control to compete in today’s market. To ensure they are meeting customer demands, reduced defects and improvement on a company’s reputation they should follow these four steps;

1. Evaluation

Sampling plans should be reviewed constantly and updated regularly. Companies should compare the sampling plans against the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). Using these standards can help to ensure the product or item is top-quality and suitable for shipping.

2. Sampling plan

Companies should also employ tightened level 3 sampling levels as the ISO standards state manufacturing companies should be stable, controlled and verified with a normal level 2 sample plan.

3. Zero-defect policy

Companies should adopt a zero-defect policy throughout their processes. This allows them to achieve a consistently high level of product quality, meet consumer expectations and therefore, stand out against competitors.

4. Quality assurance

Buyers should take complete responsibility for the quality, replacing any low-quality items. Companies should follow all the correct steps to ensure they reduce product defects and strengthen their brand equity.

Conclusion: Garment Defects Prevention for Apparel and Textiles

With over 25 years of experience in quality assurance, HQTS is ready to help your business in the apparel and textile industry with quality control services. We offer a wide range of curated services for the industry, including production monitoring, China pre shipment inspections and sorting inspections and everything in between. Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate your current quality control challenges.

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