Behind every great product is a thorough product-development process, and WORK+SHELTER offers a range of Development Services to guide you through that process. Whether you’re an industry newcomer, highly experienced, or somewhere in between, we can provide the product-development services you need to get your custom design ready for production.
Our in-house team of technical designers, fabric and print experts, and patternmakers can guide you through every step. Or we can work collaboratively with your design team to fill in any gaps between your developed materials and our production team’s needs.
WORK+SHELTER’s full menu of services includes the following:
- Technical flats
- Measurement charts
- Tech packs/spec sheets
- Sample making
- Marker making
Our favorite local technical designer + patternmaker, Xochil Herrera Scheer of The Chicago Patternmaker, working with clients on a Technical Specification Sheet.
Our team is happy to give guidance on fabrications, trims, construction details, grade rules, and more as needed. We always review samples in house before sending them to you, to make sure they meet or exceed standards.
An important note: the pre-production process can take time, anywhere from 2-6 months, depending on the level of detail in the product, how many rounds of revision are necessary, and whether a custom textile needs to be created.
Have a shorter timeline but a slightly flexible vision? Rapid development & prototyping can be achieved using in-stock materials and our retail-ready patterns for some less complex products. Clients coming in with some materials in hand (production-ready patterns, for example) may also experience a shorter lead time.
Still not sure how much help you need? Read more about that here.
One of the W+S queens, Bhawana Acharya, is our in-house merchandiser and is responsible for going to the local markets to scout out what fabrics and trims are available to meet client requests.
Typically the first (and most important!) step in product development is finding the right materials for your project. The fabrics and trims you choose help determine the price and quality of your product. What you choose to use can also make an impact on the environment, and a statement about your values. All of our stock fabrics have at least one eco qualifier, and we’ll always work to find you the most earth-friendly options for your product(s).
Sourcing depends not only on the product itself, but also on the size of the order. Small-batch production can pose challenges when it comes to sourcing, but we will work with our current stock and vendor connections—and consider other customers that might have similar needs—to find you a good fit for your product. Once we confirm fabric and trims, we can more accurately predict the cost of your project, and then move into sampling.
An important note about sourcing in India: working with fabric that is not manufactured in India is discouraged by the Indian government, which puts a large tariff on imported textiles. Luckily, India is full of beautiful, sustainable, high-quality fabrics.
Want more info on how we source our fabrics? Check out our post on sourcing, here.
By now you may be wondering, ‘Yes, but when will I get my completed production lot?” Once product development is complete—meaning production-ready patterns and all fabrics and trims are in house—bulk cutting and sewing can start. Production times depend on order size and complexity, but 6-10 weeks is typical.
We are always happy to talk through timelines with you at the outset, since every project is unique.
Client partner, Samantha Jo along with Karina Rosenstein + Theresa VanderMeer of WORK+SHELTER meeting with our screen printer, Pratap Singh.
We think of our clients as our partners, and act accordingly—it takes effective teamwork to bring a custom product to life! We love that our clients want their products made ethically; fair treatment of the people sewing the products is our whole reason for being. In return, we’re here to help and lift you up throughout the process, to be used as a resource whenever you need us.
We pride ourselves on our timely communication, both with our close-knit team in India and with our client partners. Time zones are not a hindrance—we speak with our facility managers India every day, and are able to provide a quick response to any questions or problems that may arise.
If you have an apparel or accessory design you’re looking to develop, drop us a line at [email protected] or schedule a meeting with us to chat through the process. You can also find more information on our website here.