top of page

What is CMT clothing manufacturing?

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Industrial sewing in garment factories forms part of the CMT process when starting a clothing line

What is CMT?

CMT stands for cut make and trim. It is one of two main types of garment production used in textile factories across the globe and is probably the most common, especially for smaller fashion businesses and start-ups.

CMT clothing manufacturers work alongside textile suppliers. You select the raw materials and bring the design, and the factory will produce the garments to your specifications.

Woman cutting fabric to patterns, part of the CMT process

What does the CMT production process involve?

As you would expect, the CMT manufacturing process is made up of three main steps; cut, make and trim.

Step 1: Cut

The fabric is cut to your pattern and ready to sew. This is time consuming and requires specialist equipment and plenty of space.

Step 2: Make

The pieces are sewn together and the garment is created, as per your specified design.

Step 3: Trim

The garments are finished, any small threads or imperfections trimmed and a quality check takes place.

Before this though, you need to provide a CMT factory with the design specifications, tech packs, fabrics, patterns and stitching requirements from you before production can begin. You are then responsible for packaging and distributing your products yourself.

Full production package or fully factored manufacturing is different to CMT

What is the difference between CMT and FPP?

FPP stands for full production package, a different type of garment production method. You may have also heard it called fully factored manufacturing (FFM).

This type of clothing manufacturing covers the entire process; designing the garments, suggesting, sourcing and buying the raw materials, making and grading patterns, sampling prototypes, producing fit samples, bulk production, packaging (including labelling and swing tags) and shipping.

It may be more expensive than CMT manufacturing but it can a lifesaver if you are new to the fashion industry and need help to source fabrics and other raw materials, or help creating the perfect designs and patterns from your simple hand sketched drawings.

Whether you choose CMT or FPP/FFM depends on the stage of your business and designs, the amount of clothes you need to produce per run, the amount of time you have to dedicate to chasing orders and deliveries and, of course, your budget.

Clothing manufacturers at a sewing machine

What are the advantages of CMT clothing production?

  • Cut make and trim (CMT) is great for start ups and new fashion designers as CMT manufacturing tends to be more flexible with lower minimum order quantities - friendlier for smaller budgets.

  • You have more control over the final product, production and product development.

  • CMT manufacturers specialise in certain areas, leading to greater expertise in these areas so be sure to find a CMT manufacturer that suits your apparel manufacturing needs.

  • CMT manufacturers often have a greater degree of sewing knowledge and technical skills.

What are the disadvantages of CMT clothing production?

  • CMT manufacturing units are small so you can't always switch to FPP or FFM as required when your business grows.

  • Not all clothing manufacturers have access to the latest manufacturing industry tools or be able to carry out all the embellishments you might like, so do check with the company first.

  • You need to have some idea of what you're doing - CMT manufacturing doesn't include the designs or patterns so these will need to be done either by you or by someone else with expertise in this area.

Person looking at sewing patterns and fabric samples as part of the clothing production process

What can Hemming Birds offer when it comes to CMT?

At Hemming Birds, we have industrial machinery at our fingertips and are able to facilitate orders as small as 50 products at a time up to 1000’s. We also offer packaging and labelling services on top of our small production runs, leaving you one less task to worry about! If we cannot fulfil the order ourselves, we can put you in touch with other UK companies that can help.

You can see what other industrial sewing solutions we have on our website or contact our team to discuss all your clothing manufacturing needs. You can also read our blog on how to start your own clothing line which will give you more ideas and help when starting your own fashion business.


bottom of page