The Idea Lab


The Idea Lab is Western owned manufacture of high quality premium Garments. We understand that whilst Chinese factories are becoming increasingly efficient, sometimes they fail to meet our standards of quality and service. We are here to ensure those requirements are met.

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If you want to get access to premium, high quality manufactured garments whether they designed from scratch by yourself or taken off the shelf from an existing design then you are in the right place. Western owned and connected to a wide range of manufacturers in China to deliver your products at competitive prices without compromising on quality.

Whilst Chinese factories, owing to their huge industrial boom are producing nearly every imaginable product for export into the global market they often don't have a complete understanding on what western companies expect in terms of quality and service. This is where The Idea Lab can help. A growing number of UK, European, Australian and American Companies are choosing The Idea Lab to assist with the manufacture of their promotional products. See below for a summary of some draft questions, what we do and how we can help you get the most out of the Far East. 


There are on average three stages of converting fibres into fabric.

  1. The first stage is spinning, whereby fibres are made into yarn. Cotton and Wool being natural fibres need some additional processing to remove impurities but Polyester, Acrylic and other synthetic fibres don't need to be cleaned in the same way. 

  2. Weaving. This is the process of converting the yarn into fabric. 

  3. Processing. After weaving, fabric is rough and is not yet ready to be made into garments. It goes through various processes such as dying, washing and finishing to give it the finished feel. 


We help clients to make a range of garments including but not limited to. To be direct to our enquiry page please click the enquire now button below. 

  1. Staff Uniforms
  2. Printed Hoodies & T Shirts (for universities and sports groups)
  3. Promotional clothing for giveaways and events.
  4. Hi Visibility Work Wear & Jackets 
  5. Baseball Jerseys 
  6. Waterproof Jackets
  7. Padded Jacket
  8. University Hoodies
  9. Sports Kits 
  10. Basketball Shorts


When samples are received and confirmed, they are used in the factory as a measure for production. Production takes the lead from the samples and typically with garments is done in this way. 

  1. The patterns for each size to be produced are laid on the fabric in such a way that the amount of waste is reduced when the garment is cut. 

  2. The fabric is cut using special machines that cut through many layers of fabric at once. 

  3. They are sent to the sewing assembly line. To maximise production, each person on the line only sews one small part of the garment and then passes it along. 

  4. Pressing. Throughout the sewing process, the newly-sewn seams will be continually pressed. 

  5. If a garment is washed, dyed or printed on it will be done here at this stage. 

  6. Buttons, button holes, final steaming, pressing and clipping stray threads is done here. All labels are attached here. 

  7. Hang tags, UPC stickers (these are unique to each SKU), polybags, placing on a hanger, folding with tissue paper and packing into final cartons. 

  8. Everything is shipped out hopefully on schedule.  

We purchase all raw material in the fabric markets located around Guangzhou. Purchasing the fabric directly gives us great access to great quality at supplier ready prices without any inflation by the factory. We then take the material directly to the supplier and pay directly for the sewing labour per piece. 

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Minimum orders for garments being manufactured in China depend heavily on the piece and how complicated it is. But generally the order quantities here are much more favourable than other garment producing nations such as Bangladesh, India & the Philippines. Typically we can accommodate orders starting around 100-200 pieces for most garments. Use the enquiry form to submit a detailed request and we will get back to you. 


  1. Automated Flat Screen Printing. 
  2. Rotary Screen Printing
  3. Engraved Roller Printing (good for fine details in designs & multiple tones)
  4. Heat Transfer Printing (good for short runs and high quality print)
  5. We also on request can do embroidery on most garments. 


This is a very difficult question to ask, but we do get asked it a lot. Typically it will depend on a number of things. 

  1. What fabric do you want to use for your garment?
  2. How many pockets, zippers, hoods are there in total?
  3. How many units you want to manufacture?

With this in mind, however a simple pair of trousers might cost around $5 per piece. 


Everything we manufacture here in China is as per the customers requirements. So if you have particular dimensions per sizes we can follow them. We can also offer standard sizing to you if you wish. 


We can quote on standard garments, but specifics like material and sizes need to be qualified by the end client and in their specification. 


A garment manufacturing lead time depends on both the quantity ordered and the complexity of the garment being manufactured. A typical lead time in China for garment manufacture is between 30 and 60 days (if the quantity is large)


While manufacturers are capable of producing world-class garments and delivering high quality end products, their understanding of what Western customers want is not always fully understood. This is where The Idea Lab comes in. Being based in the heart of manufacturing China, delivers the security of quality manufacturing that firms rely on from China. With this in mind, we are fully involved in the manufacturing process from raw material procurement right up until final pre-shipment inspection. 

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Most of the work manufacturing here in China is in preparation. You should allow around two to four weeks for us to confirm and clarify all the points of interest regarding the garment you want to source from China. 

Regarding your garment design, reach out to us via email or complete the form on by clicking the enquire now button and we will advise the next best steps regarding prototyping your garment and how to proceed regarding manufacturing here in China. 

  1. Brocade: A medium weight stiff fabric used for formal clothing. Its rigidity makes it quite easy to work with. 

  2. Batiste: A fine weave fabric used mostly for shirts and blouses. Usually made from cotton or a cotton mix. It is a soft and light fabric making it very easy to work with. 

  3. Velvet: A tufted woven fabric with a smooth effect. Typically drawn from cotton or polyester it varies in elasticity and is relatively straight forward to work with. Elastic velvet can be used in tops and t shirts. 

  4. Corduroy: Made famous by the said trousers and blazers, Corduroy remains a simple fabric to sew but care should be taken to avoid too decorative stitchings as it can be messy. 

  5. Chiffon: Usually made from silk or polyester (or other synthetic materials). Because it is so light and thin, sewing chiffon can be difficult. Generally, the thinner the chiffon the harder to sew. 

  6. Crepe: A plain fabric with a rough, crispy surface. Any range of fibres can be used for crepe, but cotton, wool, silk and polyester are among the most common. Thicker and medium weight crepe is relatively easy to work with, whilst thinner and more flowing silk crepes are more challenging. 

  7.  Denim is a strong and hard wearing twill weaved fabric. Mostly cotton with some elastan for stretching. Classic Denim is blue with white weft yarns. Most commonly used in Jeans - tight and slim fit jeans you should choose a denim with 2-5% elastan. Sewing denim needs a special denim needle owing to its thick and heavy weight. 

  8. Flannel is a brushed lawn or twill weave fabric with a soft texture on one or both sides. Wool, Cotton or synthetic fibres are used. Cotton flannel is popular in shirts, wool flannel for outdoor wear. Flannel is a simple material to work with. 

  9. Fleece is a soft polyester (or polyamide knit) with a deep pile texture. Commonly used for sports and outdoor wear. Fleece is easy to sew and an overlocker can be used. 

  10. Interlock is an elastic knit used in all sorts of elastic garments, such as t-shirts, tops, and sportswear. Be careful not to stretch the fabric while sewing. 

  11. Jersey.  Commonly made from cotton and viscose. Often used in garments that require some stretch, such as blouses, t-shirts, tops and casual dresses. Jersey is simple to sew, but be careful not to stretch fabric when sewing. Sometimes it is necessary to use a transparent elastic into the seams to avoid the seam from stretching out of shape. 

  12. Sweatshirt Jersey. A thick and elastic knit with both a smooth and rough side. Usually made of cotton and used for sports and casual wear. However it is easy to stretch the fabric when its being worn. 

  13. Organza.  A stiff fabric with plain weave. Made from either silk or polyester Organza is used for evening clothing as well as fine shirts and blouses. Its lightweight makes it difficult to sew and it is suggested to use French seams instead of regular plain seams for a nicer and more durable result. 

  14. Satin. Actually a form of weave, it has a glossy side that is quite slippery. Made from either silk or polyester, although wool and cotton can also be used. Lightweight and shiny makes it suitable for use in evening gowns and lingerie. It can be a challenging fabric to work with as it is very slippery and loses its original shape. 

  15. Taffeta. A stiff and shiny plain weave material made from either silk or polyester. Taffeta is a firm fabric that is commonly worn as evening or wedding gowns. It is a stable material, making it easy to handle. 

  16. Tweed. Resembling hand woven wool, Tweed is a tough fabric of different yarns with a rough texture. It is used commonly in informal outerwear, trousers, coats and blazers. It is a stiff and easy fabric to work with. 

  17. Voile. Made usually from 100% cotton and is suitable for shirts, blouses and dresses. It is a simple fabric to sew.