Frequently Asked Questions

Getting the basic apparel manufacturing questions out of the way.

Manufacturing fashion brands — especially as a start-up clothing brand — is an intricate process. There are many considerations and many questions you may have. Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) can answer some basic and essential questions regarding apparel manufacturing and our services. Please make sure you check this page before contacting us.

Click on any of the questions to quickly jump down to the answer.

Order Basics

What is your minimum order quantity (MOQ)?

Production minimums are 125 pieces in NYC and 300 pieces in China, per style depending on the garment. Smaller styles such as boxers, briefs, sports bras, and other undergarments require a 500 minimum – socks require 500 pairs, (1000 individual pieces).

Do I need a tech-pack?

No, you do not need a tech-pack to get started. You can provide the measurements of your fit model, or provide samples of similar garments with the fit you like. We can also schedule an appointment to take the measurements of you, a friend, or your fit model to create a spec-sheet. 

Can I order a sample before ordering?

Apparel Production creates a 1st pattern and pre-production sample upon the committing to a production order. The 1st pattern is free of charge with production orders meeting our MOQs. It is an initial upfront charge, but is later rebated or applied to your production order. However: free pre-production samples cannot be created until we have received the production order deposit (or commitment?)   

If you would like a sample before putting in a production order, we can accommodate that request — 

While we can technically produce a finished sample for any garment, the cost of a sample can be prohibitively expensive in small orders. In small run orders, it is simply not cost effective to request a sample. If you want a sample no matter what, please be aware of the cost.

What are the production costs?

The cost of production is dependent on many variables including fabric weight, consumption, quantity, and construction of the garment. We cannot provide a blanket cost estimate for any garment without specific garment details or viewing the construction and fabric. Please refer to our Request a Quote form and provide the required details to receive a fair cost estimate. 

Apparel and Garments

What is included in full production packages?

Our team of designers, and pattern makers assist with initial garment development to create your spec-sheet, 1st pattern, and pre-production sample. Included in the full production package is: 1st pattern, cut & sew sample, fittings, grading, marking, pattern corrections, fabric sourcing, production, cost of fabric and trim, freight, duty and tariffs if produced overseas.

What if I don’t have a design, artwork, or logo?

We do not offer artwork creation or artwork design services. For the best possible results, we recommend pursuing someone with a specialty in art, design, and logo creation.

Do you offer sublimation dyes, close match pantones, embroidery, patchwork, graphic designs, screen-printing, etc.?

Our NYC factory only offers cut and sew, patchwork, and embroidery for mass production, though our factories in China have the high-tech machinery required to produce all forms of graphic designs, embroidery, patchwork, screen and digital printing, and many more. While fabric sourcing, we can provide close-match pantones, or custom-dyed fabric at a minimum of 300 yards.

Custom Apparel Manufacturing Quote Process

Do you send proofs prior to apparel production?

You will always receive a proof of your order before it is put into production. We do not print, sublimate, embroider, or otherwise create anything without your express, written approval.

Please review your proofs carefully. Look over all the information listed within the proof, review the images carefully, and request changes with anything you are not happy with.

  • If you need changes made to your items, please let us know upon receipt of your proof. We cannot be held responsible for mistakes and errors that occur if you have approved production without carefully reviewing your proof information.
  • If you do not need changes to your proof, please reply to the e-mail and let us know you approve your proof for production. Remember, we cannot move forward with production until we have received written approval of a proof.

How long does it take to get back to me regarding a quote or other contact?

Simple contact inquiries are answered usually with in 24 hours (excluding weekends, holidays, and other closures). More complex inquiries like cut and sew manufacturing or dye-sublimation printing can take up to three days.

Apparel Manufacturing Order Timing

How long does it typically take to complete an order?

Order turnaround is impossible to precisely estimate without the details of a given project: turnaround times can depend on the services rendered and the complexity of the order. The average turnaround to develop your first sample is about 5 – 10 days after we’ve received your fabric, and depending on the number of corrections. Upon production, after our tables are set and fabrics are marked and cut, it’s about 2 – 3 weeks of production time. This does not include the estimated shipping time for your order. Shipments from China are 30 days by boat.

When does the clock start for my order turnaround time?

Your order turnaround time begins when payment has been processed. Please take this into consideration when determining your ship dates. 

How can I make sure my order is not delayed?

  • Please make sure you are absolutely ready to order.
  • Please make sure all the information you submit is correct and complete
  •  Please be ready to respond to us with any change requests, and approvals. We will contact you through the process of ordering custom apparel. Failure on your part to reply with approvals or change requests will result in a delay of your order. No orders are sent for production unless approved by you.
  • Please avoid unnecessary contact with our AP team. We are more than happy to give you an update on the status of your order! However, calling us with too much frequency can distract our employees and delay production.

Can you do rush orders?

Yes, there is a rush fee applied to your purchase order for all rushed items. Please note: non-negotiable rush fees, calculated by the day, accompany all rush orders.

Payment Terms

What are some upfront costs?

The initial cost of garment development including: 1st pattern, cut & sew sample, fittings, grading, marking, and pattern corrections are all upfront costs to begin your pre-production sample. These costs vary per style, and must be paid in full before we begin start working on your project. The cost of the 1st pattern is paid upfront and later rebated or applied to your total production order. 

When is payment due?

A deposit of 50% is required before production begins. The balance of your order is required before we release your finished products to you. 

What kind of payment will you accept?

Bank checks, money orders, cash, and PayPal.

Can you (send me a sample, order my goods, etc.) before I make a deposit?

No. API will not move forward with an order until we have received a deposit or a payment in full for the garment development. It takes time and materials to create samples. If we do these things prior to receiving payment, a client could decide to bring our work to another factory for production without compensation. Our loss of money and time means we cannot serve our customers as effectively – and that’s a big problem!

Can you give me a shipping cost estimate?

Shipping costs depend where you are located. 

Other Questions

What are your hours of operation?

Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM, Eastern Time.

Can we meet to discuss my project?

Yes! But before we can setup a meeting with one of our representatives, we will need you send us all information pertaining to your project for review.

Can you e-mail me, contact me, or otherwise get in touch with me regarding a clothing piece I am interested in creating?

No. This is for one very big, very important reason: talking to you without first gathering the required information (i.e., through our quote forms) is wasteful of everyone’s time. If you’re interested in Cut and Sew Manufacturing, for instance, speaking with a representative before submitting your CAD, mock-up, and/or tech-pack is essentially pointless. 

We need a lot of information to answer any questions you may have.

What seems like a broad, easily-answered question to you may actually hinge on several factors, depending on the service you choose — just asking, “Can you do X on Y product for me” is not a question we can easily answer. 

We must gather the specific, relevant information about your product, your garment, and your project, and give you one answer hand-tailored to your piece, situation, and finances.

Can you do rush orders?

Yes, there is a rush fee applied to your purchase order for all rushed items. Please note: non-negotiable rush fees, calculated by the day, accompany all rush orders.