An Inside look into the Purnaa Manufacturing Process
Updated: Feb 14, 2020
At Purnaa, you may call us manufacturing nerds. We love to share what we do and think the manufacturing techniques that go into clothing production is super interesting. Sharing our passion, we frequently give tours of our factory; but because most of you can't join us in person in Nepal, we thought we'd give a virtual tour here.
Let's get started!
First, put yourself in the shoes of a typical Purnaa client, you have a great product designed, a tech-pack completed, and are ready to start making beautiful products.
First, you meet with our 'Kings of Details' - our meticulous project managers. It's their role to manage your project from start to finish - from sampling through production and delivery. They will conduct an initial consultation and collection of all the required documentation to make sure we get your product just right.
With design information ready, the process continues to our sampling team, who bring your ideas on paper to life. Our sample team members are exceptional problem solvers; utilizing manufacturing techniques and navigating issues with their pattern-making and sewing expertise.
Concurrently, our sourcing team seeks out the best fabric options to meet your specific requirements. Because the different kinds of Nepal-made fabrics are limited, we frequently have to source from outside of Nepal. You can select from one of our 150 sustainable fabrics on offer from our existing suppliers in India, China, and Nepal.
Once you receive your final sample it's time to confirm an order and purchase fabric in bulk. It usually takes about two months to make fresh fabric and ship it to Nepal, so we need to plan well ahead. As soon as materials arrive, it's cutting time.
The cutting team lays out your fabric on large tables as much as 50 layers thick and cuts with a tall razor cutter or cuts your material with large cookie-cutters on the die-press. Using the patterns created by the sampling team, they solve the puzzle of how o minimize fabric waste - saving you materials and overall cost. Inevitably, there is always some waste, but we give the scrap a second life by selling it to a local mattress factory for filling. Once all the materials have been cut and prepared, it's time to move into the sewing phase.
We currently have 4 sewing teams, each with 8 or 9 people. There are a number a benefits to organizing sewing into small teams. But because we hire marginalized people, we often train the staff from scratch and have a variety of skill levels on a team. When a new product starts, workers are trained on the whole sewing process. Then the team leader breaks down the complicated process into simple steps and assigns tasks by skill level, and if somebody is absent for the day, they can flexibly rearrange the team. The team has a target for the day and receives a monthly bonus if ahead of target. Additionally, Nepali culture is very community-oriented. By working on teams we help build that community at work and bring a stable support group around our workers.