Understanding the Process: CMT vs. Fully Factored Fashion Manufacturing

MakersValley Blog | Understanding the Process: CMT vs. Fully Factored Fashion Manufacturing
Mia McCarthy

Mia McCarthy

While all industries require specific skill sets for success, the niche market of fashion calls for a strategic approach to effectively grow the business. Essentially, knowledge and experience is the key to success. Many fashion brands underestimate the production process and fail to recognize its complexities. Garment manufacturing is divided into two primary approaches: CMT manufacturing and fully factored manufacturing. Learning the in’s and out’s of each is critical to choosing the right one for your business. Here’s the main differentiators as I see them:

The Three Step Process: CMT Manufacturing

Someone looking to produce and manufacture a product from start to finish would take the CMT approach also known as cut, make, and trim. In this scenario, the fashion brand is responsible for providing all the raw materials needed to create the final product. Before the production process begins, the garment factory requires tech packs, patterns, fabrics, and stitching requirements to ensure accuracy.  From there, the factory takes over to cut the fabric based on the desired pattern, make/assemble/stitch all the pieces together, and trim the finishing touches, such as zips, buttons, or other decorative elements before delivery to the client.

Why Choose CMT?

CMT is geared towards clients who want some form of control over the garment manufacturing process in terms of textile selection. From materials to tools, these clients have a solid understanding of how apparel factories operate. Typically, they already have a line of products out in the market and they’re looking for ways to outsource apparel production in order to produce high product quantities in the most efficient way possible. Because these factories have a three step process, they can shorten the brand’s lead times to meet their high demands.

Another factor to consider when evaluating CMT manufacturing is the little to no minimum quantities that this option requires. The flexibility of CMT gives clients the luxury of making production and inventory decisions independent of manufacturing partner input or restrictions, allowing them to simply source with garment specialists. Whether it’s for leather handbags or designer dresses, CMT helps designers and brands create their ideal product at a relatively low cost.

Fully factored garment manufacturing in Italy

The Full Package in Garment Manufacturing

Fully factored manufacturing is also referred to as Full Package Production (FPP). As its name implies, this approach encompasses the entire production process. From sourcing and purchasing raw materials to packaging and delivering final products, manufacturers who operate within this model cover it all, from start to finish. In addition to the CMT process, the full range of fully factored manufacturing services includes:

  • Textile design
  • Acquiring raw materials
  • Creating patterns
  • Prototype samples
  • Mass production
  • Packaging & Shipping

Why Fully Factored Manufacturing?

Fully factored manufacturing offers clients the services needed to complete the entire production process with one company, therefore simplifying the overall process. This is geared towards newer and less experienced designers or companies that want to focus on building their brand rather than the operational responsibilities. While this option costs more, it saves one of the most important factors other than money – time. It allows clients to avoid the hassle of purchasing raw materials and organizing sourcing delivery by allowing manufacturers to take over the entire project from start to finish.

saving money and time with the correct apparel manufacturing choiceChoosing the Right Option For You

While both options have benefits, it’s important to select the method that adheres most closely to your individual business’ needs.

Ask yourself what does my company need? 

CMT Garment Manufacturing

  • Sacrificing time
  • Customization
  • Flexibility
  • Little to no minimum quantity order 
  • Factory mistakes covered by client
  • Better for clients who understand production process

Fully Factored Garment Manufacturing

  • Sacrificing money
  • Easy process (sourcing through delivery)
  • Complete operations 
  • Factory mistakes covered by factory
  • Better for new and less experienced clients

All in all, companies must decide which factors to prioritize through the entirety of the production process. Whether you’re newer to the fashion industry or working with an experienced label, it’s absolutely essential to select the right manufacturing option to maximize success in the long run.


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