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What Should I Consider Before Hiring a Textile Maquila?

Published on
May 23, 2024
Textile maquila GAT Fashion Lab

Fashion Designer and Content Creator. Daniela leads the social media operations at GAT Fashion Lab

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Finding a textile maquila can be a somewhat challenging task if you don't have clarity regarding the service you are seeking or the type of textile maquila your brand or company needs.

That's why in today's blog, we will tell you the things you should consider before hiring a textile maquila. Let's get started:

In the industry, there are various types of services that fulfill different functions, but due to lack of knowledge, they are often associated with clothing maquila. However, what is sought in a clothing maquila is not always what it offers.

How do I know what type of service I need?

The function of a textile maquila is often generalized by believing that it is the only clothing manufacturing service that exists, as mentioned above.

In the industry, there are various types of services, including:


-Full package

-Private label


Recommended: Essential Guide, Types of Maquila and How to Choose the Right One

What is a textile maquila?

CMT stands for Cut, Make, Trim, which is most popularly known as Maquila, a service dedicated to the manufacture of clothing where the process depends mainly on the client (brand or designer) and not the manufacturer. That is, the client assumes responsibility for providing the workshop with all the necessary requirements, while the manufacturer is only responsible for cutting and manufacturing the garments. In some cases, the manufacturer receives the pre-cut pieces and focuses solely on manufacturing.

This business does not engage in designing or creating patterns and may not offer cutting services in some cases.

The working process here begins with providing:

  • Pre-cut pieces
  • Instructions or sewing guide
  • In some cases, a physical sample of the finished garment

Textile maquilas are characterized by having large operating equipment. However, not all maquilas specialize in making the same type of garments; some are specialized in certain sectors such as:

  • Underwear
  • Sportswear
  • Swimwear
  • Streetwear


At GAT Fashion Lab, we offer private label service. To learn more about this service, click here.

Advantages and disadvantages of a Textile Maquila

- More formal and industrialized textile maquilas usually have very high MOQs, as they are optimized to work with large production volumes with big brands and in certain categories.

- Hiring a textile maquila requires previous experience in fashion product development: pattern making, fabric selection, creation of technical sheets, samples, and more, as everything must be delivered very clearly and ready for production.

- These manufacturers have lower operating costs by providing fewer services than a FPP or Full Package, however, they require more attention and control from the client, which can result in higher costs than hiring directly with an FPP, so review your numbers very well.

- Small maquilas are often very informal, their workers may not be well contracted, and they suffer from a lot of absenteeism, which can lead to delivery date breaches.

Therefore, make sure your supplier has their work team well contracted, and ideally, inquire about their compliance and quality with brands they have previously worked with.

textile maquila GAT Fashion Lab

Problems with maquilas

Maquilas in Latin America are not usually recommended for companies or brands looking to scale their productions in the future because maquilas present problems with:

  • Delivery time delays
  • Low production volumes
  • Production errors
  • No number of setbacks
  • Additional charges for setbacks
  • Failure to meet the quantity of deliveries or incomplete deliveries of production
  • Delivery of batches with sewing errors
  • Among others

For these technical and constantly occurring difficulties, maquilas are not usually recommended for people who are starting out.

Items to consider to find the ideal textile maquila

Define what your brand or company needs:

Once you have identified which production model you are going to use, the next step is to make a list of what each one requires; for example, if the service your business requires is a maquila, you must provide:

  • Pre-cut pieces
  • Instructions or sewing guide
  • In some cases, a physical sample of the finished garment

And so on with each production model.

Recommended: How to find a clothing manufacturer with full package service

Define selling prices:

Having clarity on what value you want to sell your garments to end consumers facilitates the production budgeting process.

A very common mistake is to want to sell garments at a low cost, which is not recommended because, to sell garments at low prices, it would require a considerably large production volume, speaking of more than 200 units per design.

The risk with these volumes is that if you do not have previous experience, you run various risks, such as all these garments remaining in stock unsold, causing losses to the business.

Define how many units you want to produce per design

This is why it is important to have clarity in the finances and budgets stipulated to define how many units you can manufacture without risking losses.

Recommended: Finance Tips for Entrepreneurs | Alberto Bressan | TEDxComodoroRivadavia


Not all textile maquilas or manufacturers have the same production capacities. In some places, these figures are falsified to attract more clients, but all this achieves is delaying delivery times and providing incomplete order batches, among other inconveniences.


Although producing externally is more economical, it is necessary to consider that these distant productions increase shipping costs. Usually, internationally, their value is higher compared to national shipments.


Work experience is the best letter of introduction for a maquila or clothing production company. It is advisable to conduct a thorough analysis of who their clients are or were, past client opinions, this to get an idea of who the company is and how their work is.

Labor practices:

This industry is notorious for labor exploitation, so we recommend that when hiring the service, verify that the company complies with the labor laws of each country and that all its employees are legally formal and comply with the 12 main WRAP standards, to learn more about them click here.


The manufacture of garments and the fashion sector are among the most polluting on the planet, so it is essential to hire services/companies with good sustainability policies and certifications.

Recommended: How to find a clothing factory in Colombia?

Where can I find a maquila in Colombia?

  • Fairs and events
  • Institutions
  • Directories/online search
  • Recommendations

Finding a textile maquila is a task in which clarity in the industry spectrum must be maintained. The manufacture of garments not only encompasses one modality or formality but several.

Remember that we have a community and an educational podcast called Fashion Businesses in which we invite people from the industry to tell us about their experiences, anecdotes, and mistakes they made in the growth process in the fashion world. Access it by clicking here.

We hope this article helps you in your process when choosing a textile maquila. At GAT Fashion Lab, we have more than 20 years in the fashion industry under the full package modality. If you want to learn more about us, click here.

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