Types of Samples in Garment Industry

Types of Samples in the Garment Industry

What is Sample 

The sample is a product proto-type which represents a group of products or lot or bulk production, in order to assess their quality, style or design or any other characteristic of the product.

What is Sampling

Sampling is a process of making a product proto-type prior to starting bulk production or pulling from bulk production to check the accuracy of bulk.

Types of Samples

1. Proto/Development Sample:

Sample develops from the design sketch or the design concept is known as proto sample. Proto samples are also known as the first sample.


  • Normally made of matching fabric quality (weight and fabric types), closer colour or actual colour is preferable.
  • Made in middle size or base size like 12 for knickers, 34B for bra, 42-40” for Polo-shirt
  • Accurate styling, and workmanship are required as per the design.


  • To see the physical products that was in the designer’s mind.
  • To assess & take decision if this style can be launched in next season.
  • To assess any new factory capability

2. Fit Sample

Sample develops according to the spec sheet measurement and design sketch.


  • Fabric & trims quality must be accurate & colour can be available
  • Made in middle size or base size is used
  • Accurate styling, and workmanship required as per the design


To check the garment fit on the dummy or on the human model.

Different buyers call it by different names like:

M&S, call it CS sample. Next, call it as white seal. H&M, call it as fit sample.

3. Size Set Sample:

After fit sample approval by the buyer, size set samples are normally made for jump sizes for pattern grading.


  • Fabric & trims quality must be accurate & colour can be available
  • The size set samples are normally made for jump sizes. Like S, L, M,  XXL.
  • Accurate styling and workmanship are required as per the design
Measurement Spec Sheet
Measurement Spec Sheet


  • To check the garment fit of multiple sizes
  • To check Pattern grading

4. Pre-Production(PP) Sample:

PP sample is made in garment factories prior to starting bulk production. PP sample is made with actual fabric, trims and accessories of the style.


  • Fabric & trims quality & colour must be actual as bulk.
  • Made in middle size or base size is used.


  • The buyer checks sample fitting, colour, and design are correct for bulk production.
  • The factory follows this sample during production, inspecting garments once approved. 

It is called a sealed sample, red tag sample etc based on buyer terminology.

5. Production/TOP Sample:

Samples taken from a production line on a random basis is called production sample.


  • This is bulk production same as the approved PP sample.
  • Buyer QC can randomly pick or factory people can send it to the buyer taken from a production line.


  • The buyer checks if production is being done following the approved PP sample.
  • Once it is approved by buyer, QC checks bulk production against it to release goods during inspection.

Different buyers call it by different names like:

  • M&S call it Showroom /Rack sample.
  • Next call it as Gold seal.
  • H&M call it as sales sample.

6. GPT Sample: 

The sample that is collected from the bulk production and sent to a testing lab for garment performance test (GPT), is known as GPT sample.


Garment performance tests like seam strength, seam slippage, button pulling strength, Washing durability, print quality, chemical tests of metals, and dyed and printed colours are done.


  • To check if garments produced following the required parameters of testing.
  • To see garments’ appearance after washing.
  • To check the performance of the garment to various physical and chemical tests.

7. Photo shoot Sample:

Samples for capturing a photo for the catalogue and e-commerce sites are called Photo shoot/Press sample.


  • 100% same as bulk production or final sellable product in terms of quality, colour & fitting.
  • Photo is taken on model or dress form.


Use for photographing promotional material like collection campaigns for advertising, lookbooks, e-commerce and can be promoted to magazines for editorial photo shoots.

8. Salesman/Marketing Sample:

In garment sampling, the SMS sample stands for Salesman Sample which is displayed in the store to forecast the order volume.


  • SMS samples are ordered after fit sample approval before size set.
  • Quantity 200-500pcs depending on the customers and season.
  • Use actual fabric & trims in terms of quality & color.


  • To see the customer feedback and order placed by their retailers.
  •  To forecast order volume.

9. Digital garment/3D sample:

A garment sample that is made on the software and shows the 3D form of the garment, is called a digital garment sample.


  • On the digital sample, a customer can see the garment fit, fabric fall, and pressure points (tight fitting) on the selected digital model, both as a still form as well as the digital model moving on the screen Pull up for.


  • To reduce sample approval process time, many customers go for digital garment samples.

10. Counter sample:

Samples which are discussed already every party should have one copy of sample which called the counter sample


  • It is not any sample type.
  • It is just a copy of any sample for keeping purposes.


If any party need to see a sample for meeting purposes, checking approval etc, they use their counter copy.

11. Shipment sample:

Buyers need to keep a random garment piece from the final shipment audit. This sample is referred for packing details, all detailing attached to the finished garment, that will be going to the buyers stores. 


Shipment sample is kept by the buyer as well as by the factory for future reference if any complaint is raised by a customer regarding deviation of the product design and product detailing in the sold garment. 


The purpose of sending shipment sample is to assure buyer that quality is maintained throughout the end of production.


A perfect sample is key to a garment factory’s success. It showcases your production skills, catches quality issues early, builds buyer trust, and sets you apart from competitors. Skimp on the sample, and you risk order rejection, rework delays, and a damaged reputation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *