Apparel finishing is the final step in a garment production process that ensures products are ready to be shipped. The goal of apparel finishing is to make sure each garment meets customer specifications. Apparel finishing includes a variety of tasks, including trimming extra sewing threads and inspecting for loose threads or other defects. Other activities include ironing and button attachment. The process also helps ensure that each garment is properly packaged for shipping.
Finishing workers, along with those who screen, ticket and pack garments for shipment, typically work standing in static positions for long periods of time. The repetitive nature of their jobs can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, such as back pain. In addition, they may be exposed to volatile chemicals, such as perchlorethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethylene and dimethyl formamide (DMF), used for stain removal in some settings. These solvents can cause health issues, such as central nervous system depression, peripheral neuropathy, dermatitis and liver toxicity.
The garment industry is highly competitive, and garments that are not finished correctly can lose valuable market share. Consequently, many garment manufacturers are under pressure to improve the efficiency of their apparel finishing processes and reduce the overall time spent on quality control. Despite the importance of the finishing process, few companies have adequate systems in place to control the work content and quality of their work.
Garments that are not finished properly can be damaged during shipping, which can significantly impact the company’s bottom line. Therefore, it is essential to develop a strong system of inspection and repair in order to minimize the risk of damage and increase the likelihood of on-time delivery.
In apparel manufacturing, pattern cutting is the first step in garment cutting. Fabric is spread into multiple piles, each of which represents a different garment size. This is usually done using a semi-automatic spreading machine, which unrolls fabric from bolts and distributes it evenly across a cutting table.
After garment cutting, the next step in apparel finishing is pressing. During the pressing process, the sewn product is subjected to heat and pressure with or without steam in order to remove creases and give a flat appearance to the garment. The pressed garments are then folded in specified dimensions and tagged with price tags and hang tags before being packed for shipment.
Adding fullness to fabrics is another common garment finishing technique known as weighting or hand building. It is usually achieved through the addition of starch, polyvinyl alcohol, vinyl-acetate polymers, and/or thermoset resins. In some cases, fabric is coated with water repellents to help protect the fabric against moisture and stains.
Garment finishing includes other applications, such as sizing and shrinking, antimicrobial treatments and ozone finishes. These are designed to treat the microorganisms that can grow on fabrics and garments. Antimicrobial treatments protect against bacteria, fungi and pathogens that can cause skin diseases. Ozone finishes prevent fabrics from odour degradation and shrinking and provide protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Other functions of a finishing department include suckling extra lose sewing threads, removing stains from garments and repairing stitching faults in the final product. Moreover, the finishing department is responsible for ensuring that all garments are correctly sized and meet specific customer requirements. apparel finishing