Now that we have covered the basics of what a tech pack is, we would like to get into some of the more specific terminologies involved in the development of a tech pack.

One of the most important factors in the tech pack is tolerance. You may have heard the word tolerance in the context of tech pack development before, but if you haven’t and you aren’t sure what it means, don’t worry: we’re here to help.

What is tolerance?

Tolerance is the plus-or-minus measurement used to determine whether a product meets a specified quality standard. No two garments of the same size can be guaranteed to be the exact same – this is why two “smalls” of the same shirt may have a slightly different fit, but both shirts may still fall within an acceptable range. As long as the measurements (such as +/- 0.5 inch tolerancetolerance, or half an inch bigger or smallerthan the intended standard measurement) fall within the set tolerance, the garment still meets the quality guidelines. Tolerance is essentially the maximum room for error in a garment’s specific measurements.

So, why is there tolerance?

Let us begin by saying that, on any scale, perfection is impossible. The more of something you make, the more nuanced differences you will be able to detect—this is especially true for fabrics and other malleable materials. The more human hands touch something, the greater the tolerance needs to be to account for both machine and human error. Tolerance does not only pertain to apparel design and development, but to a wide variety of trades, such as engineering and construction. If you are building or creating anything that requires specific measurements, it is important to include an acceptable tolerance so that you can maintain consistency and the standards you have set.

Is it really necessary?

Yes! If you are designing a dress, for example, you will need to factor in the plus-or-minus measurements for each point of measure for the garment. The overall body length of the dress, the cross-shoulder measurement, chest, hip, waist, and armhole width, and length of sleeves and zippers are among the things you must take into consideration when determining the tolerance if you want to maintain product consistency. If your tolerance is too high, such as +/- 2 inches, you may end up with larges that fit more like mediums or extra-larges, and you are no longer maintaining consistency. Conversely, a lower tolerance, like +/- 0.125 inches, is much more likely to give you the measurement precision you are striving for, and as such, the fit of your garment will be much more consistent with the standard you have set.


For more information about technical design packages, visit the following pages:

What is a “Tech Pack”?

Tech Pack Basics: Designer Education

Technical Design