Cost of Clothing – What Are the Costs Involved in the Outsourcing of Clothes Production?

This article is about the price of wholesale clothes.

How to decide how many different fabrics, colors, and logos I can handle with my budget. Over a certain limit the total cost will not make sense anymore. What is the cost of getting clothing made? How to calculate the cost of an order?

Think first in terms of fabrics.

Each fabric will need to be ordered wholesale by bags of 180kg. Let’s say your clothing line is using two different fabric: poloshirt fabric and classic t-shirt fabric. The manufacturer will have to order two bags of cotton (one of each fabric).

The cost of one bag of cotton is around usd 700 for ready to dye fabric.

Second: Price of dying the fabric.

It will take another usd 200 per bath to dye the fabric. A bath can accept up to 80kg. (When the weight is over 80kg another bigger bath is used.)

Note that the limit is 80kg for dying (not 180kg) so it takes around usd 500 to dye a full bag of cotton in one color. If you were to dye the cotton in ten different colors, then the cost of dying would be 10 x usd 200 = usd 2000.

Finally, Third: Cost of manufacturing clothes.

The cost of manufacturing your clothes is related to the time spent by the on site people. It is made of fix costs and variable costs.

Fix costs of manufacturing garments: A fee representative of the work achieved by merchandisers, designers, cutters and direct client service relations. Amounts involved: from usd 150 for a simple t-shirt (in any quantity).

This cost can go up to usd 500 for a garment involving additional work (very specific fabric, custom made buttons or zips etc..). Note that this fee is not related to the quantity of clothes ordered.

Mixed costs: (not really fix, not really variable):

Printings and embroideries: usd 50 for the first one then around usd 1 per print. Labels: Custom made Woven labels (neck label), personalized dust bags and hanging cards cost around usd 75 each for any quantity under 500 pieces.

All the amounts presented in this category are for designs involving two colors in standard sizes. These amounts can easily double with a larger logo and with more colors involved.

Variable costs of manufacturing garments: Production people.

People: Cost of time spent on the job by sewers, helpers and quality control people to finalize the order. This can be around usd 1 or 2 depending on the quantity for standard t-shirts. For jeans this will be around usd 4.

More details:

Order one bag of cotton:

180kg of fabric will be cut in 500 t-shirts. This is using 220g/m2 fabric (heavyweight fabric) with a medium size t-shirt 85cm tall (bottom to neck).

Dye in three colors:

Using the same datas, a bath of 80kg means around 220 t-shirts. Cost for dying the 180 kg of fabric in three baths: usd 600.

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