QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES - SUIT PRODUCTION
Ideas have continuously developed and a more recognised approach has been adopted to assure the quality of suit production. The Quality Assurance sheet confirms that each stage of production is self administering the quality control.
Various techniques are being used to monitor that each stage is completed fully and correctly. When suits reach the end of the preparation stage a pre-assembly check is performed. Finally when suits reach the end of the assembly section, a stitch finish check is carried out, then after finishing, a pre-despatch check is completed.
The following breakdown explains more specifically the quality assurance checks that are carried out to ensure that suit production is as efficient as possible.
1. STAGE ONE PAPERWORK
Papers supplied from sales should be complete in every way. No customer details should be outstanding, and all payments up to at least the 50% deposit stage should be in place, before passing to order processing. (The paperwork at this stage usually includes the garment spec form; the diagram form; the lettering form; the measurement sheet). The remaining job pack is then printed and proof read and the order finalised.
2. STAGE TWO PAPERWORK (Automated by custom software)
The measurement sheet is then used for armhole selection and along with the remainder of the pack gets passed to the Lectra Cad Operator. Any alterations required for sleevework are carried out at this point. A copy of the garment specification form then gets placed in the suits in production file (see separate procedure).
This stage is a continuation of stage one and deals with the completion of the lining form; the components form; and the small parts form. Care is taken to ensure that all alterations from the leather alterations sheet are carefully mapped over onto the lining form. The suit now goes forward through the pattern making stage.
3. PATTERN CARD WORK
All patterns are drafted on our Lectra Cad System and stored by individual customer name and order number. Pattern matching software is used to scan the database for a close match before finally drafting each unique set of garment patterns. As blocks are made they are digitally measured and checked.
4. LETTER PREPARATION
This involves the correct sizing and selection of materials. All letters are set up ready for the cutting stage. Selection of badges and plastic covers are also done at this point.
5. LINING WORK
All linings are marked and cut as required. Each piece is ticked as done on the lining form. Back protector pockets are also marked and cut at this stage.
All components are prepared and selected as required. Each box is ticked as done.
Particular attention is paid to selected items such as zips, to ensure no rogue pieces are used.
7. LEATHER MARKING
Having selected all patterns and materials the suit is marked accordingly. Any alterations are ticked as done. Each piece is ticked as being marked. This should ensure that no part of the marking is incorrect or missing. The marking of all suits includes the punch hole placement, the notches and the overlay lines. These are all marked using removeable leather inks.
8. LEATHER CUTTING
Once marked, all pieces are cut and notched accordingly. They are then paired and bundled. Along with the lining, the components, the small parts and any letters etc - the leather bundles are placed in the work box ready for passing to assembly.
9. LETTER CUTTING
All letters are cut as required by either scalpel knife or hydraulic press. Any letters that are of key-line type are set in place ready for stitching. When stitched they cut by hand.
10. SCIVING AND SPLITTING
All pieces are skived and split as required using specialist equipment that thins leather panels along their edges, corners or in full. This enables less bulk at seam junctions and along otherwise thick edges. A thorough check is made before being passed on.
11. PRE-ASSEMBLY CHECK
This check ensures that all the relevant bundles and bags of pieces are in the workbox. A paperwork check is also carried out to ensure that all of the relevant tick boxes are completed on each of the forms that use this system.
12. STRETCH PANELS
All pieces are stretched as required using a spiked aluminium jig and heavy gauge corsetry elastic called Powernet. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
13. SMALL PARTS
Selected pieces such as pocket strips, cuff facings and adjuster straps are made up as required ready for insertion later during final stages. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
All facings are made as required attaching lining zips and pockets if specified. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
15. LINING ASSEMBLY
All lining pieces are made up as required. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
16. ASSEMBLY PART ONE
All pieces are assembled adding letters, badges and overlays as required before panels themselves are joined together. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
17. ASSEMBLY PART TWO
All pieces are assembled as require as a continuation of assembly part one. Punch holes may also feature at this point in the suit construction. A thorough check should be made before passing on.
18. ASSEMBLY PART THREE
The suit continues through until completion. When the suit is finished, a thorough and final check is made before being hung on the stitch finish rail. Each suit maker then completes our in-house stitch finish check sheet.
19. THE STITCH FINISH CHECK
No suit gets passed to the finishing department until this check is complete. If any fault is found correction is required before armour and linings are fitted.
The suit is finished as required adding press studs, loading linings, impact protectors and speed humps as necessary. Stitching ink is cleaned away and pre-tied thread ends are soldered neatly.
21. THE PRE-DESPATCH CHECK
This last and final check is carried out prior to collection or despatch of all garments. Only when the suit has passed the requirements of this check sheet can it be passed to despatch. Checks are made to ensure the correct fittings such as knee sliders and back protectors are present. Additional loose accessories such as thermal linings and gloves are made sure of and final packaging is carried out.
Only suits which have passed the pre-despatch check are they boxed or taken to the our studio ready for collection. All private customers receive an instruction booklet, letter & questionnaire, along with the invoice if necessary, which should accompany the suit. Boxes must be securely sealed, correctly addressed and also have an Interlink consignment label which corresponds with the main Interlink paperwork.