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                          INDUSTRY PROFILE #3
                          MEN'S DRESS SHIRTS
                              Prepared By
                            Edward Hochberg
                              Reviewed By
                            George J. Coury
                         Robert W. Rugenstein
                             Published By
    1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 500, Arlington, Virginia 22209 USA
            Telephone: (703) 276-1800, Fax: (703) 243-1865
                  Telex 440192 VITAUI, Cable: VITAINC
           Internet:, Bitnet vita@gmuvax
                          Men's Dress Shirts
                          ISBN: 0-86619-290-5
              [C]1987, Volunteers in Technical Assistance
                           INDUSTRY PROFILES
This Industry Profile is one of a series briefly describing small or medium-sized industries. The
Profiles provide basic information for starting manufacturing plants in developing nations.
Specifically, they provide general plant descriptions, financial, and technical factors for their
operation, and sources of information and expertise. The series is intended to be useful in
determining whether the industries described warrant further inquiry either to rule out or to
decide upon investment. The underlying assumption of these Profiles is that the individual
making use of them already has some knowledge and experience in industrial development.
Dollar values are listed only for machinery and equipment costs, and are primarily based on
equipment in the United States. The price does not include shipping costs or import-export taxes,
which must be considered and will vary greatly from country to country. No other investment
costs are included (such as land value, building rental, labor, etc.  as those prices also vary.
These items are mentioned to provide the investor with a general checklist of considerations for
setting up a business.
These profiles should not be substituted for feasibility studies. Before an investment is made in
a plant, a feasibility study should be conducted. This may require skilled economic and
engineering expertise. The following illustrates the range of questions to which answers must
be obtained:
    *    What is the extent of the present demand for the product, and how is it now being
    *    Will the estimated price and quality of the product make it competitive?
    *    What is the marketing and distribution plan and to whom will the product be
    *    How will the plant be financed?
    *    Has a realistic time schedule for construction, equipment, delivery, obtaining
        materials and supplies, training of personnel, and the start-up time for the plant
        been developed?
    *    How are needed materials and supplies to be procured and machinery and
        equipment to be maintained and repaired?
    *    Are trained personnel available?
    *    Do adequate transportation, storage, power, communication, fuel, water, and
        other facilities exist?
    *    What management controls for design, production, quality control, and other
        factors have been included?
    *    Will the industry complement or interfere with development plans for the area?
    *    What social, cultural, environmental, and technological considerations must be
        addressed regarding manufacture and use of this product?
Fully documented information responding to these and many other questions should be
determined before proceeding with implementation of an industrial project.
              Equipment Suppliers, Engineering Companies
The services of professional engineers are desirable in the design of industrial plants even though
the proposed plant may be small. A correct design is one that provides the greatest economy in
the investment of funds and establishes the basis of operation that will be most profitable in the
beginning and will also be capable of expansion without expensive alteration.
Professional engineers who specialize in industrial design can be found be referring to the
published cards in various engineering magazines. They may also be reached through their
national organizations.
Manufacturers of industrial equipment employ engineers familiar with the design and installation
of their specialized products. These manufacturers are usually willing to give prospective
customers the benefit of technical advice by those engineers in determining the suitability of their
equipment in any proposed project.
Volunteers in Technical Assistance (VITA) is a private, non-profit, volunteer organization
engaged in international development. Through its varied activities and services, VITA fosters
self-sufficiency by promoting increased economic productivity. Supported by a volunteer foster
of over 5,000 experts in a wide variety of fields, VITA is able to provide high quality technical
information to requesters. This information is increasingly conveyed through low-cost advanced
communication technologies, including terrestrial packet radio and low-earth-orbiting satellite.
VITA also implements both long- and short-term projects to promote enterprise development and
transfer technology.
                         MENS' DRESS SHIRTS
Prepared By: Edward Hochberg
Reviewed By: Robert W. Rugenstein
             George J. Coury
1.  The Product
Men's dress shirts are made from white broadcloth. They come in a
variety of styles and are made to be worn with suits and ties.
They can be either long or short sleeved.
2.  The Facility
This Profile describes one small plant operating with one shift
and manufacturing 15,000 dozen men's dress shirts a year. It also
describes a larger plant running a single shift and manufacturing
22,000 dozen shirts a year.
The proposed plant should not be confined to the production of
just men's dress shirts. It should be able to adapt to many other
similar products. For example, the same facility can be used to
cut and sew plaids, checks, oxford, other shirts, school uniforms,
and women's blouses. If proper supervision is maintained,
there should be no loss of production capability. In fact, making
a variety of styles should make it easier for the factory to
sustain itself.
The shirts described here are worn mostly on prestige occasions
by white collar workers, government officials, and business
executives. As such, the market for them may be greater among the
white collar members of any society, including less industrialized
1.  Outlook
    A.   Economic
    Will depend on the society and existing conditions.
    B.   Technical
    Much of the machinery listed in this profile is expensive; if
purchased new. In order to cut costs, it can be substituted with
reconditioned used sewing machines.
2.  Manufacturing Equipment Flexibility
The machinery and equipment required are much the same as those
used to manufacture other clothing. As a result, fixed capital
expenditure may be identical, but the fabric used is somewhat
more expensive. The degree of skill needed may also be greater,
and the total labor force somewhat larger. But it is possible to
produce both men's dress shirts and men's work shirts in the same
factory at different times, depending upon the demand.
3.  Knowledge Base
A good business plan is necessary. A two-to three-year projection
should be prepared carefully to avoid exaggeration.
Management should have:
    a) Business experience
    b) Knowledge of field
    c) Sources of capital
    d) Capability of finding government support
    e) Knowledge of market and sales
    f) Knowledge of procurement of material and equipment
    g) Knowledge of export capabilities
4.  Quality Control
Quality control is very important, and specifications vary from
company to company and garment to garment. For example, an entire
order can be rejected for as little an error as the number of
stitches per inch or the tension of the thread.
5. Constraints and Limitations
In developing countries there is usually an ample labor pool
easily adaptable to this industry. However, there is some
possibility that a shortage of designers, pattern-makers, and
possibly cutters and mechanics may occur. Other considerations
  --No special transportation requirements.
  --Manager and supervisors should be fully experienced.
  --Some operators will work on more than one machine.
  --After break-in period, production workers should go on piece
     work rates.
  --Plant should be near a source of labor and a reliable
    electric power system.
1.  Users
White collar workers, officials and executives.
2.  Suppliers
With a specific investment size in mid, management should plan a
trip to New York or other garment centers for fabric sources and
equipment dealers. There are usually sales representatives, of
equipment and fabric in most urban centers, but there is much
more diversity in the United States.
3.  Sales Channels and Methods
This plant may sell directly to large stores and to wholesalers
for resale to small retailers and dry goods stores.
4.  Geographic Extent of market
Domestically, the market may be nationwide. The limiting factor
in this case may be size of plant and outside competition rather
than transportation. The product is easy to ship, and transport
costs are normally low in relation to product value.
Export - Large investments in plant and equipment for textile
export at this time is not a good idea, unless there is a written
firm commitment from a textile outlet for the garments.
5.  Competition
In the domestic market, more expensive materials may compete for
prestige wear. Large-scale foreign manufacturers, with a large,
low-wage labor force available, may constitute serious competition.
Export Market - The plant is relatively small and might have
great difficulty in competing with large-scale plants or with
exports from areas where labor is plentiful and cheap. There is a
possibility of entering this field as contractors for U.S.
6.  Market Capacity
The rate of consumption of dress shirts will depend primarily
upon the level of income, and the availability of other prestige
wears. Where such shirts are worn for more formal occasions and
at all times by officials, higher white collar workers and
professional people in a population between two and three million
should be sufficient to support the output of this plant.
        Requirements                                Annual Output:
                                        15,000 dozen        22,000 dozen
1.   Infrastructure, Utilities       Small Plant         Medium Plant
     Land                             1/3 acre            1/2 acre
     Building      one story           6,000 s.f.         to 10,000 s.f.
     Power         connected load        100 hp            to    120 hp
     Fuel                             __________          ___________         
     Water                            __________          ___________
     Other                            __________          ___________
2.  Major Equipment & Machinery      Small Plant         Medium Plant
                                        Units                Units
     Tools & Machines
     cloth unwinder                       (1)                  (1)
     cloth spreader                       (1)                  (1)
     cutting table (360sf & 225sf)        (2)                  (1)
     cutting machine                      (3)                  (4)
     cloth drill                           (1)                  (1)
     buttonhole machine                   (2)                  (2)
     buttonsewer machine                  (2)                  (2)
     sewing machines
       single needle                      (20)                 (26)
       shirt front                        (2)                  (2)
       safety stitch                      (2)                  (2)
      *1 lap seam                         (2)                  (2)
     trimmaster (portable)                (2)                  (3)
     collar & pocket shapers              (1)                  (2)
     Support Equipment & Parts
     furniture & fixtures
     turning stands
     hand trucks                           (2)                  (2)
     steam irons (with generators)        (6)                  (8)
     chairs & workbenches                (36)                 (45)
     work tables
     storage shelves
     spare parts * tools
     work baskets
     truck/van                             (1)                  (1)
of equipment & machinery only              $84,000           $96,000
Duty & shipping not included
*Based on $US 1987 prices. The costs provided are estimates and
are given only to provide a general idea f or machinery costs;
they are not intended to be used as absolute prices. Costs still
need to be determined on a case by case basis.
*1 Assemblers could use lap seam or safety stitch.
*3.  Materials & Supplies             Small Plant         Medium Plant
     Raw Materials
     broadcloth                       400,000 yards        600,000 yards
     lining                             8,000 yards         10,000 yards
     buttons                           15,000 gross         22,000 gross
     tags and labels                   1,800 gross         2,400 gross
     thread                             3,000 cones          4,000 cones
     office & factory supplies
     shirt boards & paper             15,000 dozen        22,000 dozen
     pins                              10,000 gross         10,000 gross
     boxes (6 shirts/box)              2,500 dozen         3,750 dozen
     shipping cartons (3 doz./carton)  5,000 dozen          7,500 dozen
4.   Labor                             Small Plant         Medium Plant
     cutters                                2                     3
     operators                             26                   36
     pressers                               6                     8
     floor help                             6                     8
     bundling/cleaning                     4                    6
     manager                                1                     1
     office                                 1                     2
     supervisor                             2                     3
5.  Distribution/Supply flow          Small Plant         Medium Plant
    Amount in per day
    Amount out per day                60 dozen            75-85 dozen
6.  Market Requirements               Small Plant        Medium Plant
    population                         2-3 million
7.  Other Requirements                Small Plant        Medium Plant
*This includes an approximate amount of materials used over a
period of a year. It does not mean that a year's supply must be
stored on the premises.
The plant layout should be no problem as the equipment is easily moved about to

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provide an efficient flow of work. Adequate work space needs to be allowed for
ease of movement. Room should be allocated foa a designer/pattern maker.
Unless otherwise stated, these addresses are in the United
1. Technical Manuals & Textbooks
Fashion Institute of Technology
7 Ave. & 27 St.
New York, New York 10001
Library and bookstore with full listing of books on design and
pattern-making, marketing, etc.
Model Garment and Factory for Men's Shirts and Trousers. United
Nations Industrial Development Organization. 31 pp. December,
2.  Periodicals
Women's Wear Daily & Daily News Record
Fairchild Publications
7 E 12 St.
New York, New York 10003
Apparel World
366 Park Ave., South
New York, New York 10016
Bobbin Magazine
Bobbin International, Inc.
PO Box 1986
1110 Shop Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Apparel Industries Magazine
180 Allen Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30328
3.  Trade Associations
American Apparel Manufacturing Association
2500 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22201
(703) 524-1864
National Knitwear & Sportswear Association
366 Park Ave., South
New York, New York 10016
4. Equipment Suppliers, Engineering Companies
Hudson Sewing Machine Co.
109 Johnston St.
Newburgh, New York 12550
(dealer in all types of equipment)
The Singer Company
135 Raritan Center Parkway
Edison, New Jersey 08837
(sewing room equipment, cutting room equipment)
Kurt Salmon Associates
350 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10118
(management consultants, consulting services)
5. Directories
Buyers Guide:
Sourcing Guide for the Apparel Industry
produced by
The Associate Membership Congress
American Apparel Manufacturers Association
2500 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Virginia 22201
6. VITA Resources
VITA has on file a number of documents related to the textile and
clothing industry. For example:
Selected Information Resources on Textiles. Compiled by J.A.
Feulner.  National Referral Center, Library of Congress. May,
1986. 17 pp. XII E-1, P.1, 022470, 12.
7. VITA Venture Services
VITA Venture Services, a subsidiary of VITA, provides commercial
services for industrial development. This fee-for-service
includes technology and financial information, technical assistance,
marketing, and joint ventures. For further information,
contact VITA.

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