We took you through the start of the clothing production process this morning. Now it’s time to finish off the orders and send them off to retailers so that customers like you and I can fab goodies to our wardrobes.
The process below takes care of the “trim” part of CMT (an abbreviation for “cut, make and trim”). To refresh your memories, Karen Kane does the cutting, but the garments are contracted out to nearby sewing rooms to be sewn together.
Garments often come back from sewing rooms in an “almost complete” state. For example, these black knit tops were redelivered to Karen Kane so that the beads could be sewn onto the rosettes by hand, which is precisely what these nice ladies are doing here.
The finished garments also have to be correctly finished off with swing tickets and hangers, which are retailer specific. Garments are still ticketed by hand! The swing ticket is actually an extremely important little piece of card, because it contains not only the brand’s name, the retailers name, size and style number, but also the bar code and SKU number, without which retailers cannot track garments. Think how often you ask a sales assistant to track down a garment for you. It’s possible because of the information on the swing ticket. Sometimes, similar information is available on the sewn in label.
These garments are trimmed and ready to go! The Karen Kane label is especially known for it’s short, black knit dresses that drape like a dream — of which I have a few. Here is a style just like that heading for the dispatch area, which as you might have guessed is HUGE.
These garments are also ready to be dispatched. This style is one of Karen Kane’s oldest and best selling items that they produce year after year. It’s a simple nylon/spandex tank top with built up sleeves, available across an assortment of colours. I have one in black and white that I wear all the time.
Finally, the dispatch area, where orders are boxed and shipped to their respective retailers and boutiques. Soon with the launch of Karen Kane’s new online store on 1st July, orders will be shipped from here to another warehouse where they will await your order.
We went back to the main conference room after our tour of the factory facility, where I couldn’t wait to lay my hands on the final sample of the Shearling jacket that I saw being hand cut on the cutting tables only an hour ago. When you like and appreciate the environment in which an item was made, it changes it’s status from great to magical.
Although I’ve visited many a factory floor, it was fun and interesting to see the Karen Kane operation in action. Their facilities are extremely clean, ventilated and organized, which really appeals to the neat-freak in me. The employees are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, which made the experience even more fab!
- Design at Karen Kane
- Karen Kane’s Sample Room
- Clothing Production at Karen Kane
- Karen Kane’s Trim and Dispatch Departments (this post)
- Karen Kane the Family Business