GCSE Textiles

Why are industrial practices designed?

> To ensure good quality products are manufactured efficiently at a profit

> Designers work with clients and manufacturers -  all need to keep needs of consumer in mind

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What is the role of the client?

> identifies the need for a product through market research and uses this to provide a design brief for the designer

> set production deadlines and the price of the product

> usually a manufacturer or retailer

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What is the role of the designer?

> works to the design brief and researches market trends, fabrics and processes

> takes into account any relevant societal, cultural, moral, environmental or safety issues

> produces a design specification, product costings, and helps plan manufacturing

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What is the role of the manufacturer?

> uses models or prototypes made by the designer, and works out the most efficient way of manufacturing the product

> produces a production plan and a work schedule

> during manufacture they aim to keep material and labour costs down, while producing a high-quality, safe product on schedule in a safe environment

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What is the role of the user/consumer?

> demands a product that meets their requirements: a high-quality, value-for-money and safe product

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Production systems

all production systems consist of inputs, proccesses and outputs

> feedback loop = enables inputs and processes to be modified, e.g. a result of feedback from consumers and quality control checks

> can be modelled with a system diagraminputs - cad drawings, lay plan, fabrics, fastenings, manufacturing specification. Processing - designing, modelling, pattern making, quality control, manufacturing. Outputs - end product, consumer satisfaction, employee satisfaction. Feedback - information, new ideas, expertise, customer feedback (http://www.bbc.co.uk/staticarchive/bb0c5f1b2a8be4a5f103686e9048748e1bbef045.gif)

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Systems and subsystems

> In a production system, a number of different processes or subsystems take place at the same time.


> Lay planning: involves laying out pattern pieces of a fabric to work out the quantity and cost of material

> Costing: involves estimating how much each product costs to make, including materials, labour, rent and energy costs

> Quality control: involves the checks for quality that take place at all stages

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One off production

  • A single product is designed and made to a client's specification
  • Example = made to measure wedding dress 


  • Perfect fit, hight skilled, created to persons style, unique design, high standard, desirable characteristics


  • Expensive to make, high labour cost, only one, labour intensive, only wear once, designer ill = production issues, designer must have a wide range of skills
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Batch production

  • Set quantites of aproduct are manufactured to order
  • Quantity varies from a set of four cushions made by a designer/maker to 20,000 jumpers made for a department store.
  • Number of products could be made to meet seasonal demands


  • fashionable, designed to fit a range of shapes and styles, fairly cheap, low manufacturing costs


  • comes in and out of fashion quickly, not always a perfect fit, standard size, garment could be wasted if not sold, company might lose out on profit if products go in the sale
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Mass production

> Manufacturing of a large number of identical products over a long period of time. They are usually uncomplicated and can be made cheaply. Standardised production methods mean it is suitable for products that rarely need to be redesigned. Used for products that are needed in very large numbers, eg socks or jeans


  • products are made overseas where labour costs are lower, cost effective fabric, basic items, never goes out of fashion


  • Overseas production = increase in costs = not environmentally friendly, not sustainable = mostly synthetic fabric used, child labour issues/not always ethical, simple design/basic items, standard sizes
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> Just-in-time manufacturing is when materials are ordered so they arrive just as they are needed

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Stages of a Production plan

  • > Preparation stage: the amount of materials to buy-in. Preparation of garment patterns, templates and lay plans.
  • > Processing stage: fabric spreading, cutting, labelling and bundling of fabric pieces.
  • > Assembly stage: instructions for fusing, joining and pressing the separate parts.
  • > Finishing stage: instructions for decorative/functional finishing and final pressing.
  • >Packaging stage: how to label, hang, fold and cover the product ready for transport.
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What is used to produce the production plan?

> Computer software is used to produce the production plan

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What does a WORK SCHEDULE set out instructions abo

  • order of assembly
  • stitch type
  • processes to be used
  • time taken
  • seam allowance
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Examples of CAD, CAM and ICT in textiles productio

  • Textiles designs are stored electronically to ease repeat printing orders.
  • Processes such as colour matching, dye weighing and fabric printing can be automated.
  • Designs and information can be sent electronically on a global scale.
  • CAD and CAM can be used to enhance accuracy of repetitive identical production.
  • Initial set-up costs of machinery and programming can be high, but manufacturers benefit from cheaper costs, efficient production and standardised quality.
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What are Computer-numerical control (CNC) machines

  • Computer-numerical control (CNC) machines are used for:
  • printing
  • cutting
  • joining and other processes.
  • CNC-automated machines can repeat processes with accuracy and reliability, and are easily re-programmed when changes are needed. 
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Uses of CNC machines

  • picking up fabric from store room
  • spreading and cutting fabric
  • labelling and transporting cut fabric pieces for assembly
  • moving cut fabric pieces around the factory on an overhead conveyor
  • automating processes like buttonholing or embroidery
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