Garment defects classification

Garment defects classification

Garment defects classification

Before starting to check over a garment, we need to remark what is a defect. We must also evaluate it depending on the type of defect and its position on the garment. In order to do this, it is necessary to have a Garment Defect Classification document.

However, how do you decide what is a defect and the level of it? What guideline should the inspector follow to consider a defect?

The purchasing company is who determinates the list of defects and their importance. Either in a specific document («Classification of Garment Defects«) or including it in the Quality Manual.

The document Classification of Garment Defects consists of:

  • A list of defects: The list of all the penalised defects and their importance according to the area where it is located.
  • Illustrative photographs of the defects.
  • Graphics identifying the importance of the garment areas.


The defects list

The defects list contains all the defects that may occur during garments production. In addition to each defect is assigned its level of importance depending on the position in which it is located

This means that the same defect would be more or less important, depending on how visible it is on the garment. The level of importance is established in three categories: CRITICAL, MAJOR or MINOR.

Usually, the defects list is organised according to its type, correspondingly to:

  • Fabric
  • General appearance of the garment
  • Confection
  • Finishing, iron
  • Labelling
  • Packaging


For instance, this could be a sample of a fabric defect list:

Fabric defects


Or stitch/seam defectsLISTADO DE DEFECTOS DE TEJIDO Igles











To help to define the type of defect, the list is usually together with a picture of it.

Fabric defects

Oil stains

mancha de aceite


Speck on the fabric

mota en el tejido

Contaminated tissue

Tejido contaminado 2

Hole on the fabric

agujero en el tejido


Needle failure

1falla de agujas


Broken Lycra

lycra rota


Barred fabric
tejido barrado
Knot on the fabric

nudo en el tejido


Sewing defects

Open seams

2 costuras abiertas

Retained seams

2 costuras retenidas 3

Stitch jump

2 salto de puntada 3

Loose threads

2-hilos sueltos


Graphics of visibility areas


In addition to the defects, this list must include a graphic of the areas of visibility. This graphic shows the areas either on a standard style or on a style that belongs to the company.

The areas are divided into three categories: VISIBLE, LESS VISIBLE, AND NOT VISIBLE. Depending on the type of defect and the area in which it is located, it can be considered as important or not, or it can even be considered as non-defective.


Areas of visibility for styles in general

visible areas of the pants for the AQL general garment


Areas of visibility according to the type of garment


visible areas of the shirt for the AQL

visible areas of the shirt for shirt in AQL
















visible areas of the shirt for throuser in AQL




















The Garment Defects Classification is also used as a supporting document for inspection reports. It is the guide that the inspector uses to determine the defects, to quantify them. And, together with the AQL, it helps to determine if the inspection is approved or not.


DSC_4778 EditarOlga Fuenmayor

Seampedia’s Editor.

Fashion Technical Management / Consulting

Product Development / Quality control / Production control.




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