SHUKR Behind the Scenes, Part 1: The Design Process
/ SHUKR Behind the Scenes, Part Four: What’s Behind a Picture?
At the SHUKR factory in Jordan, we work with 3 unique seasonal collections: Spring/Summer; Autumn/Winter and Ramadan/Eid. Each season has 100 new designs. These 100 designs are then broken down into monthly production orders. Here’s an exclusive look at the hard work that goes into making the high quality clothes we are proud to offer our customers.
The first stage in production is to use computer-aided design programs to lay out all the various fabric pieces that will be cut. The “lay plan”, as it is called, is then printed out onto paper using a gigantic printer which is over 6 feet wide!
Fabric Laying and Cutting
This lay plan is placed on top of the numerous layers of fabric that are rolled out onto 25 feet long tables. Our workers carefully cut through the paper and fabric layers with specialized electric fabric cutters.
After the fabric is cut, the next stage in the production process is called bundling. This process involves sorting out all the various fabric pieces into specific bundles of styles, colors and sizes. Working through thousands of different cut fabric pieces is not an easy job – a slight mix up in the fabric pieces can lead to a long days work!
The sewers are then given the bundled fabric pieces to expertly sew together. Most clothing production companies work according to impersonal assembly line systems involving a specialized division of labor – one sewer sews the collar, another the pockets, another the sleeves etc. However, this only works when the company is producing very large quantities of a single style. This method doesn’t work well for the Islamic clothing market which is just a small, niche market. And it definitely doesn’t work well for SHUKR’s approach, which is to produce smaller quantities of many new designs in genuine seasonal collections, rather than larger quantities of just a handful of designs. Consequently, rather than an impersonal assembly line, almost all of our garments are completely sewn by just one or two workers, offering a much more personal touch for our customers.
Quality control checks are present at all stages of production, starting from an analysis of the fabrics before we even start cutting them. However, one of the most vital areas of quality control in the SHUKR factory is post-sewing: each garment is checked for its conformance to our rigorous sewing specifications that far exceed market standards.
After sewing, most of our garments are sent to a garment washing factory where they go through a vigorous pre-washing treatment to eliminate any shrinkage in the fabrics. The fabrics are also softened and other treatments may be required to create comfortable, moveable, flowing SHUKR garments.
Back in the factory, buttons are then sewed onto the garments that require them.
Thereafter, our garments are delicately and meticulously ironed using industry-standard steam irons.
The final stage in the finishing department is a thorough check on the quality and the sizes. Any defective garments – even if only slightly defective - are put aside to be sold in our defect shops in the local markets. Only completely unblemished, 100% perfect garments get to earn the SHUKR label. This is Jihad taking the measurements of a garment. He is one of our oldest employees. In fact, he was the second SHUKR worker hired, way back in 2001.
The finished items are tagged and packaged, ready to be sent off to our various distribution centers and retail outlets around the world.
Check out a previous post we made about our photography: SHUKR Behind the Scenes, Part Four: What’s Behind a Picture?
- Anas, Managing Partner