Hoodies are a wardrobe staple loved by people of all ages for their comfort and versatility. But have you ever wondered exactly how these cozy garments make their way from raw fabrics to store shelves and online shops? In this blog post, we’ll walk through the step-by-step manufacturing process behind hoodie production to give you an inside look at everything that goes into making your favorite sweatshirt.
Sourcing the Fabrics for hoodies
The first step in manufacturing a hoodie is selecting and sourcing the fabrics. Most hoodies are made using a combination of cotton, polyester, and/or rayon fabrics. Cotton provides softness and breathability. Polyester adds durability and shape retention. Rayon incorporates a silky texture.
Manufacturers source fabric bolts from textile mills to find the ideal fabric blend, weight, stretch, and feel based on the type of hoodie they are producing. The country of origin, cost, sustainability certifications, lead times, and minimum order quantities also factor into the fabric decision.
Cutting and Sewing of fabrics
Once fabrics are sourced, it’s time for cutting and sewing. First, technicians create digital patterns and plot out where each pattern piece will align on the fabric spreads using specialized software. The fabric bolts are then spread onto long tables and the pattern pieces are laid out to maximize use of fabric.
Automated fabric cutters or manual fabric cutters are used to precisely cut out the hoodie pattern pieces. These pieces are then sewn together by garment workers either using industrial sewing machines or by hand. Stitches are secured and seams are finished using multiple threads and industrial sewing machines built for high-volume production.
The hoodie front and back are first constructed, often using coverstitch machines. Then, ribbed cuffs and waistband are attached along with other construction details like pockets. Finally, the hood is attached by connecting it to the neck seam to complete the hoodie shell.
Adding Decorations and Labels on hoodies
At this stage, the hoodie shell is fully constructed. Next comes embellishing the garments with any decorations or labels that are part of the designs. This includes screen printing branded graphics, adding embroidered patches, inserting woven labels, heat transfer printing, attaching zippers, and any other special details.
Quality Control Checks
Before packaging, every hoodie goes through rigorous quality control checks. QC technicians examine the hoodies for any defects in the materials or manufacturing. This includes evaluating the seams, hems, graphics, pockets, drawcords, and all other components. If any issues are found, the defect is either repaired or that hoodie sample is rejected.
Packaging and Distribution
Hoodies that pass quality inspections are then tagged and packaged ready for retail. Customizable polybags are commonly used to package each hoodie individually. Hoodies are then packed in boxes or hung on racks in preparation for shipping and distribution. Safety inspections and paperwork is completed before hoodies are transported via plane, truck or ship.
The global supply chain transports packaged hoodies from factories worldwide to warehouses and distribution centers across different countries. Finally, hoodies are shipped in bulk to retail stores or eCommerce warehouses that sell directly to customers.
Creating hoodies is a complex global process involving sourcing materials, precision cutting and sewing, adding special details, inspections and packaging before sending to stores and ecommerce sites. By understanding the manufacturing steps, you can appreciate all of the technology, skill and effort that goes into making hoodies.
The next time you throw on your go-to hoodie, think through the production journey it has gone on – from textile mills overseas to your neighborhood or online store. Knowing how hoodies are made will give you a deeper appreciation whenever you cozy up in your favorite sweatshirt!