How Women's Gear Gets Made

I recently asked Texas hunter Pam Zaitz, founding owner of SHE Safari women’s camo company, to describe the process of creating an item of hunting clothing. Started in 2005, her business now manufacturers 53 styles of field wear (with more to come), in seven patterns, all designed with input from 27 female pro staffers. Three collections--Safari, Upland, and Camouflage--include items from pleated, vented shirts to fleece, water-repellant outwear. Here’s Pam’s behind-the-scenes description of how a piece of her company’s gear goes from concept to clothes rack. -- KH

Like many women, I was frustrated with the lack of hunting and field wear in designs we need. For years I wore small men's clothing or larger children's clothing, but was disappointed with the fit and style. I was determined to create a fashionable women's clothing line that would meet the demands of actual field use. Here is a brief look into the design of a single style such as the SHE Safari Pro Hunter Series Pants.
First we determine its primary uses since the garment's function plays a vital role in its design. A style number is assigned to ensure everyone will be referencing the same specific garment.

After a sketch is completed on a tablet, it is transferred to large easel paper then to computer aided design (CAD) software program. All measurements, trim, appointments and detail with multi-dimensional views are discussed prior to samples being made. This may take days or weeks depending upon input from the team. Once completed, patterns are made for a single size and a fit-check garment is produced. Adjustments to the pattern are made then transferred to the CAD program.

The final sample is graded, which involves sizing the garment for all size ranges. Material selections are made, keeping in mind the intended use. Samples from selected materials in various sizes are sent to the SHE Safari pro staff for extensive field testing. We then incorporate their suggestions into what becomes the final version.

Sound simple? This was the condensed version of the process. In fact, there are many more details involved in bringing a garment from original thought to store shelves. Overall it can be a time consuming process, but the results are well worth the effort to provide women with clothing they like while pursuing the outdoor sports we love. --Pam Zaitz