Softgoods manufacturing process links

Having recently undertaken a few softgoods projects I found it very difficult to find any online resources on construction and manufacturing processes. For my purpose I think I pretty much sussed a large proportion simply by unstitching a bag, however items like semi rigid bags I have no idea how they are made.

I was wondering seeing as this is softgoods section I was wondering if maybe any of the rockstars on the forum or anybody with a lot of experience in designing bags could post up links, terminology etc… There are a lot of sticky threads containing heaps of information about footwear in this section, not so much about bags.

For some bags where the panel seems to have a little stiffness and form, there’s a piece of thin chipboard in side, possibly covered with foam. In others that are more rigid, somtimes they actually use a fabric laminated molded foam.
Solid and coiled wire is used in the beading sometimes for rigidity/resiliency. It’s hard finding info online, find some old cheap samples and cut them up.

Its a closed loop industry. You will not find solid industrial sewing techniques online.

After visiting several factories for various softgood products; I came away with the sense that a factory has one or two and even up to five guru’s (pattern and sample makers). They basically know everything there is to know about their particular product type and the best practices to get the job done efficiently. Pattern makers generally work very closely with the sample makers. These are the people to ask questions… these are the people that can make or break a softgood company.

I own and operate a small sewing shop (myself, wife and a 1.5 year old boy who is now bona fide slave labor… he still can’t cut strait yet wheres the whip?) and we do it all. I’m not the best pattern maker, nor am I the most efficient, and I’m trying like heck to be a better designer (I still need a crap load of work in design)… but I can sew very well and have had some great non-traditional training in obscure sewing (NFPA & OSHA rated Fire Gear). This process takes time and patience to learn effectively and I’d like to think I’m putting in the time and effort.

That wordy BS response said, fire those questions this a-way and I might have an answer.

If I’m stuck for info, I ask the factory or agent for some old out-of-season tech packs that I can study, it’s how I learned to make tech packs for shoes, by studying my design managers work. Also learning how to do blueprints, Istudied the outsoles of shoes and the tech pack for that shoe.

If you can get some tech packs you will then be able to learn lots of the terminology too. If you ask the factory for examples of tech packs from desginers they like working with/who they think are professional and easy to understand, then tailor your tech packs in a simlar way, they’ll love working with you.

With a new resource I always ask them how they prefer to work.