At MerchUp, we offer personalized clothing for people who have the need to create something original. We create designs that respond to the needs of our customers, and this is because our clothes are made locally. Each step takes time – how much and why that much?
Why is it worth buying custom-made clothing?
Mass production happens quickly. Clothes are made in huge quantities, in addition, usually outside the country of the brand. Finished products are transported on ships to European countries and sold there for a very low price. How is it possible that clothes from the other side of the world are cheaper than those produced locally? Clothing brands can afford very low wages for factory workers and the materials used in production can be of poor quality, making the workmanship itself usually perishable, for example, due to non-modern machinery.
Custom garments take longer to produce. It takes place in local sewing factories and this reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation. It’s more expensive because workers are paid in the same currency and the hours spent on production are longer. Due to the use of good quality materials and precise workmanship, custom-made clothes are more durable. At MerchUp, we are engaged in producing personalized clothing using this very method.
Check out footage of how garments are made at one of the sewing factories we work with.
How long do the stages of creating our clothes take?
We will discuss the stages with the example of one of the bestsellers – hoodies. Importantly, however, adding them up does not mean how long it will take to deliver your finished garments. Other factors affect the length of the process, such as:
- Queues in sewing, cutting and printing shops,
- the speed of information exchange with the customer,
- expectation of custom elements,
- changing the cut or pattern of clothes,
- periods of higher demand for the service (e.g. before the holidays).
1) Preparation of design and pricing
What happens at this stage?
- You choose the material, cut and color of the hoodie.
- We agree on the location and size of the logo/design.
- If necessary, we further personalize the design.
- We create a design and wait for your approval.
- We determine the number of pieces needed.
- We send a quote for the order.
The whole thing takes about 2 days. It’s worth remembering that production begins the moment you accept the design and indicate the size you need, so the visualization and quotation stage is not included in the 30-day waiting period for your order.
2) Production of material
At MerchUp, we produce the materials ourselves, from which our sweatshirts are later sewn. Materials in color from our standard range are always available with us, without having to wait for them to be produced. The standard time for their production is 4 weeks, so by having them in stock in advance, we greatly speed up the process of fulfilling our orders.
After determining the size of the order and the size of the hoodies, we proceed to the cutting stage, which takes about 2 days. This is when we cut all the elements that make up the sweatshirt (front, back, sleeves, hood, pocket) from the fabric.
4) Preparation of embroidery program or screen printing matrix
In parallel with the slicing, that is, in approx. 2 days, we prepare dies for screen printing or program the embroidery machine.
5) Making the decoration
It usually does not take long to make the decoration. The exception would be huge embroideries, such as on the entire front of the hoodie. In this case, it can take up to 3.5 hours to complete one pattern!
Thanks to the fact that we make prints or embroidery on yet unstitched garment elements, we can place the logo anywhere. In case of a mistake, such as soiling the sweatshirt with ink while printing, we are not forced to throw away the whole sweatshirt, but only one of its elements, which makes us use less material.
Stitching is one of the final stages, which also takes approx. 2 days. To start it, all previous ones must end. Machines with different specialties are used to make hoodies. Among other things, hole punches that make the holes through which the strings are later pulled into the item. We can personalize such cords – make them in your company’s identifying colors or print a logo or inscription of your choice on them.
At this stage, we also sew in either MerchUp or customer labels, if such arrangements were made, and maintenance (washing, ironing) labels for the clothes.
7) Cleaning and quality checking
During sewing in sewing rooms, pollen and threads settle on clothes, which we remove at the cleaning stage. We then carefully inspect each sweatshirt for defects and shortcomings. It usually lasts one day.
8) Packaging (confectioning)
We start packing the garment by attaching tags with your or our logo. Depending on the customer’s preference, we pack the hoodies first in foil and then in a bulk carton or separate boxes. We can also package them, such as in festive or branded with your logo boxes. The whole of this stage takes 2-3 days.
At MerchUp, we offer shipping of clothing to your office or directly to your employees. You can read more about shipping options here.
And that’s it! There are quite a few stages, and each of them begins only after the previous one is finished – like the printing of the elements that must precede the sewing. It is worth remembering that standard orders are delivered in 20-40 business days. If you find that you need hoodies for a special occasion that is just 2 weeks away – don’t give up! Consult us, we’ll try to do something about it – we often act in acceleration and like challenges.
Custom orders and extended lead times
Have an idea for a project and want to create it on your own terms, but don’t see it in our offer? Get in touch with us! We enjoy challenges and are eager to respond to a variety of customer needs.
However, it is worth remembering that custom orders can increase the time and cost of the order.
If you are interested in creating a material in your company’s identifying color at MerchUp, we offer the option of choosing a material color that we will prepare especially for you. This will involve the work of a technologist who will take care of creating the color in question, and then prepare material samples for your approval.
In addition to the color, we can also customize the type of material – customers often choose a warm and pleasant to the touch, the so-called “soft” material. “teddy” or thin, very comfortable loop knit. The process can take up to four weeks and increase costs for the company.
If you decide to choose a garment that we do not have on offer, we will have to create new molds (templates for die-cutting) specifically for that cut. It is a few extra hours of work for a builder to create such a model. Then you will need to sew a prototype and make the necessary adjustments. So the new cut means longer waits for finished garments and higher production costs.
If you decide to print on a garment in a very large format (for example, the entire back of a sweatshirt), you may find that our printers cannot handle such a task. In this case, we send the sweatshirts to a friendly printing house with the appropriate machines. But then again, the delivery time of the order may increase.
Signature strings and even metal ends to the strings in sweatshirts is a very interesting procedure that our customers love. He stresses that every detail has been carefully considered.
Changing the design once production has begun will affect costs and significantly increase waiting times. We never start sewing clothes without the customer’s approval of the design. Total satisfaction with the visualization is very important to us. However, we know that sometimes a project has to be approved by several people in the organization and disagreements can arise. We always ask the customer to make sure about the design with the decision makers to avoid unnecessary sewing of clothes.
For such custom solutions, we very often prepare a prototype. Its production will allow you to see if the material, design, and cut meet your expectations. In the event of any changes, the correction will not apply to the entire batch of clothes, but only to their design.
The production of clothing consists of many steps and appears complex. In our team, we strive to make the whole process as fast as possible, and on top of that, comfortable and beneficial for both parties. For example, at the size selection stage, we can create a form where your employees themselves indicate what size they are interested in. Because we sew the garments ourselves, we give you the opportunity to choose materials, cuts, and colors outside of our standard offerings. This may generate additional costs, but it will allow you to create a perfectly tailored product.
During the process, we always make sure we can move on to the next stage. So please accept the print, and then accept how the sweatshirt looks overall (print placement and size, color, cut). Your involvement in the process is invaluable and greatly reduces the waiting time for clothes.