From the Floor Series: Production
From the Floor Series is a further insight into what we do at Dorsu, how and why. Have you ever wondered where your clothes were made? What the production process is? Who makes them? Well we would like to show you, every step of the way, from idea generation to final product.
The first piece in our From the Floor Series was all about our design process, and how we begin the journey of bringing our ideas to life. The next step, after we source our fabric, is moving items into production. The specific processes in the production line differ slightly depending on the product eg. t-shirts move through different stages to a tank dress, and then again depending on the different styles being run through production at the same time. Production starts toward the back of the building with cutting, moves into the middle with production and quality control and then to the front of the building into our studio store.
The main steps of production look like this:
Step 1: Cutting
The first step in the cutting in process is washing the fabric, to test shrinkage and colour fastness. Our cutter Samorn cuts paper patterns from the originals, laying them on the fabric in a way that minimises wastage. We then cut the fabric (up to 25 layers at a time) and bundle pieces together according to size. Our cutting table is located toward the back of our production space alongside the stored fabric, and acts as the physical first step of production through the building.
Step 2: Production room
The cut and bundles pieces are then moved into the production room and distributed along the production line. Different team members carry out different steps of the production process, with one person performing one or a few task along a line of tasks. As we have a small production team (currently 6 sewers and 2 quality control) some team members will be allocated a few steps in the process. Running a production line makes it much easier and faster to move items through, reaching our capacity and ensuring quality throughout every item.
Using a t-shirt as an example, our production line will generally look something like the following:
- Step 1 & 2: neckline and binding
- Step 3 & 4: shoulder seams and binding
- Step 5: overlock sleeves and body seams
- Step 6: hemline and edges
Step 3: Initial quality control
From production, garments are sent through the first stage of quality control, where one of each size is washed (if the fabric was not initially washed) and measured in thorough detail against their garment specifications. This is to check that garments are true to their size and reflect the original measurements and produced to a high quality standard.
Step 4: Finishing & final quality control
All garments are then ironed and moved to the final stages to be individually checked over for shrinkage, warping, and construction or fabric faults. Garments are folded, packed and stored for sale. Some of these products move directly into our studio store (located at the front of our production space), allocated to our flagship store in Kampot or sent to Tasmania where our online store is based.
We produce screen printed t-shirts from our customised range, working with our screen printing partner in siem reap to print tees for businesses, organisations, events, schools and groups of awesome people all over the world. These tees head through a few more stages of production.
After we have connected with great groups of people people who want to bring ethical products into their supply chains, we produce their tees (the same as above) and send them over to Silk Screen Printing Lab in Siem Reap, who print onto the tees using Pthalate-free ink. SSPL send the tees back to us, where we perform a final quality control check across the prints to make sure they are absolutely perfect and ready for delivery, right to our customers’ door.
All production staff undergo extensive training and skills development, to ensure safe, efficient and quality work by all team members. Upon employment, all staff are trained against our internal Human Resources policy, including occupational health & safety procedures, fire safety and evacuation and child protection. Training is updated and undertaken annually, where staff are also trained on the safe use and maintenance of sewing equipment and procedures to deal with risks and incidents in the workplace.
We believe that fair and safe employment is the responsibility of all companies and we prioritise the physical and emotional wellbeing of our employees above everything else.
Magical! Real people making clothing for people. See the end product & shop ethically made basics.
Next week in the From the Floor Series- we would like to introduce you to our team so you can get to know the talented individuals making your clothes. Stay tuned!
Questions? Please comment below and let’s chat!