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  • 10/29/2019

Why Working with Reference Samples is Beneficial

Why Working with Reference Samples is Beneficial

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Traditionally, designers have been told by manufacturers that they need final designs to move forward with their plans, but that’s no longer true.

Below, you’ll watch Sandy take the specs of a reference sample for a client to begin development of their unique pattern design.

Consultative manufacturers like Indie Source can work with you on development to put together tech packs based on rough designs or reference samples. In fact, we’re big advocates that drawings are actually of little to no value when it comes to the crucial details of putting together samples. Reference samples are much more helpful – and easier for you to obtain.


Reference samples are physical examples of the colors, construction, fit, or fabric that you’d like for your final collection. These are garments found in the marketplace that you can use to provide details about fabric, measurements, or construction. In other words, if you don’t have a completed tech pack, this is how you begin to tell us what you’d like to make. Add as many changes as you like.
Whatever it is, reference samples can guide you in:
  • Base sample sizes – what a small or size 2 will or can look like. (Remember sizing is subjective and a Large in one brand could be your brands Medium.)
  • Sample fits – how your first sample will fit
  • Fabrics and trims – target materials for sourcing
Don’t be afraid to get out there and find the clothes that closely reflect your original vision and will help you communicate the details of your collection to a consultative manufacturer like Indie Source.
Ultimately, reference samples will help you shorten the design and accelerate the development processes.
To get a production quote or begin development, Indie Source works with you to plan your collection, but we request for you to provide reference samples or production samples. We map out each style, identify fabric and trim, pattern directives, and details like timeline, retail and manufacturing target price points.
Physical references samples should be sent to us at 1933 S Broadway #1168, Los Angeles, CA 90007, or brought with you to your kickoff meeting if you are local.
 Want MORE Resources?
Learn about “Clothing Design and Development” CLICK HERE
Learn about “How to Bootstrap Your Fashion Line From Your 9-5” CLICK HERE
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