Outstanding quality control checks protect factories from costly product recalls and even lawsuits.

The quality control process consists of tests and inspections designed to ensure garments are made to production standards and adhere to client specifications. The process consists of parameters such as durability, reliability, and aesthetics. Without it, there would be no way to keep garment quality in check. Why is a thorough quality control procedure vital for all garment factories? Keep reading to find out.

Three common types of quality control failures in garment production

Although product quality is monitored throughout the entire manufacturing process, formal quality control checks usually take place at the end of the production process, right before the finished product is ready to be shipped to the end customer. Customer satisfaction hangs on this crucial final step, and oversights at this stage can cause huge problems for both factories and customers. Here are some common reasons for quality control failures.

  • Why clothes might not fit right: the shrinkage problem

A key reason products fail quality control checks is that they’ve unexpectedly shrunk too much in the pre-shrinkage stage. Pre-shrinking is (Recommend to read: How to Relax Fabrics and How Steam Shrinking Works) a form of controlled shrinkage performed by factories to forestall unexpected shrinkage later in production, or worse—once the retail customer has taken the item home. Factories cannot accurately size clothing that has not undergone pre-shrinking, leading to poorly cut, misshapen garments that shrink in the wash. But with this necessary process comes the risk of over-shrinking. Thankfully, factories can use quality control checks to catch overly shrunk garments before they’re shipped out to clients.

  • How looks affect clothing quality

Being the right size isn’t enough for a garment to pass their quality control tests. Quality inspectors also take the look and feel of garments into account. Aesthetic defects such as open or poorly sewn seams, color differences, broken buttons, or misaligned button holes should not be overlooked during quality control, as consumers aren’t keen on spending their hard-earned cash on noticeably flawed clothing.

  • Danger of broken needles in clothes

Beyond the size and look of clothing, quality control also includes garment safety too. Among the more serious safety concerns is broken sewing needles showing up in products (Recommend to read: How Needle Detectors Work). In 2015, for example, Australian clothing retailer BONDS recalled over 17,000 baby suits after a customer found an industrial needle in one of the garments. The needle had become entwined in the clothing fabric and was sewn inside, surviving washing and posing a threat to the customer’s seven-week-old baby. Customers were told to return certain clothing items purchased between 2013 and 2015, and were promised a full refund, which hugely impacted the company’s reputation and revenue. Thankfully, quality control processes catch hazards like broken needles or other metal debris before they hit the shelves.

Why good quality control is important?

There are two aspects to a sound quality control system: product quality and process quality. The two cannot exist without the other. Product quality encompasses the aesthetics and safety of the garment, whereas process quality involves internal production procedures, adherence to regulations and standards, and quality of machinery. Both aspects are vital to overall quality control, and factories would be foolish to ignore one in favor of the other. Read on to find out why.

  • 1. Garment quality control is consistent

To begin, effective quality control checks ensure consistent product quality for clients, which is crucial to making partnerships between manufacturers and brands last. Moreover, factories that choose to learn from quality control failures will gain an edge over less conscientious competitors, as they can adjust internal procedures to avoid repeating the same mistakes. Factories might implement enhanced training to get all workers on the same page, for example, thereby increasing production consistency and decreasing quality control issues.

  • 2. Garment quality control builds reputation

It goes without saying that garment factories should strive for a positive reputation within their industry. Well-regarded factories garner more and better customers they’ll also attract a steady stream of dependable employees. Why? Because a reputation as a high-quality factory boosts employee moral, inspiring employees to take pride in their work. Moreover, factories with a good name will be taken seriously within the industry, leading to a long list of recurring and potential new customers. A positive reputation takes time to build and maintain—but factories can beat the odds by implementing outstanding quality control.

  • 3. Garment quality control means satisfied customers

Although garment manufacturers deal directly with brands, not consumers, consumer satisfaction still bears on their success. Happy retail customers are likely to recommend a brand to others, which leads to more business for the garment manufacturers who serve that brand. The power of consumers works the other way, too, with negative feedback spreading like wildfire over social media or by word-of-mouth. Excellent quality control systems ensure outstanding product quality and, in turn, repeat purchases by contented consumers.

What are the consequences of a poor quality control system?

Quality control does more than bring in the perks already mentioned here—it also saves manufacturers from setbacks that could prove to be their downfall.

  • 1. Poor quality control sends customers elsewhere

We live in a highly globalized world and are more interconnected than ever. Unfortunately for clothing manufacturers, this means clothing brands are spoiled for choice when choosing a textile manufacturer to supply their products. A shrewd business tends to have a long memory, so factories with poorly implemented quality control procedures risk losing clients for the long term to other, more consistent suppliers.

  • 2. Poor quality control damages reputation

A good reputation is hard to build and easy to lose. Factories with poorly implemented quality control procedures risk losing their hard-earned reputation. In the age of social media, a damaged reputation due to quality control issues could lead to a drop in sales—or worse, a boycott. Factories with strong quality control systems do themselves favors in the long run, as they’ll gain loyal clients and retain the trust of consumers.

  • 3. Poor quality control can lead to product recalls

Product recalls are every factory’s worst nightmare. Not only do they cause a massive inconvenience for customers, they also do irreparable damage to the factory’s reputation. Product recalls are costly, as brands have to issue refunds and send everything back to the factory. Worse still, injury from stray needles or metal debris can lead to legal action, causing further expense to factories. But there is hope. Good quality control procedures help factories avoid the ordeal and expense of product recalls, letting them focus on providing high-quality goods to their clients.

How Oshima helps with better quality checks

The Modular Quality Control System (QC-ONE) from OSHIMA is a smart, integrated quality control solution for garment factories. The groundbreaking machine is adjustable so that entire boxes can be checked at once by scanning the barcode. The machine also accepts single packaged products, sorts quality control passes and failures into separate boxes, and avoids cross-contamination. It comes with a sensitive metal detection device that scans for nails, broken needles, and metal debris, rotating items so that both sides are inspected. The machine integrates neatly into factory ERP systems, creating quality control reports for enhanced management control. With the QC-ONE machine from OSHIMA, factories can focus on producing high-quality goods without fearing expensive product recalls or lawsuits.


Quality control checks are hugely important for manufacturing. Faulty items that slip through this stage cause serious problems for factories, including tarnished reputations, product recalls, or even injury. The wisest factories implement strong quality control procedures and train staff accordingly, taking issues seriously and learning from mistakes to enhance consistency. Quality control machines that integrate into existing processes are convenient and save factories from the headaches caused by poor-quality goods. Talk to us today to see how OSHIMA machines can enhance your quality control process.