425 SE 11th Ave Portland, OR 97214   info@portlandapparellab.com

FAQ

Got a few things to iron out?

You don’t need to be a member to purchase day passes, attend events, sign up for classes or hire our design services team. As you find your fit, keep in mind member benefits include all of these either for free or at a discounted rate!

There are no prerequisites to use the cutting table, resource libraries, or portable sewing machines. You’re required to take an Industrial Machines class or private lesson before accessing the Industrial Machines area of the shop.

With a great tech pack, you are likely to see fewer errors going forward into production. Even small batch sewers need tech packs to do their work! Click here for a detailed description of what a tech pack is.

We are not an in-house manufacturer. Small-batch manufacturing in Portland can be hard to find. There is no one-size-fits all solution. We can help get you production-ready, educate you on the right questions to ask, and point you in the right direction.

We’re here to make equipment and knowledge as accessible as possible without breaking the bank. For roughly the price of a monthly yoga membership, you get access to over $50,000 worth of professional-level equipment in a beautiful light-filled workspace. Not only will you save on rent and equipment, you’ll get on-site advice and companionship from fellow sewers. With your PAL membership you directly support your larger, local community of makers so we can all have access to more. We are better together!

Our memberships auto-renew monthly, but you can cancel at any time. We’re here to make equipment and knowledge as accessible as possible without a major commitment. Rather than invest in your own full studio of equipment, we invite you to take a tour and we’ll help you figure out what level of engagement is right for you!.

Start by just showing up! Take a tour, purchase a day pass, come to events,  sign up for a class or private lesson. All of these are great introductions to the shop, and we’re here to help you get started! Feeling extra nervous? Start on the portable machines and work your way up to the industrial machinery.

We’ll teach you to sew your garment—or hire our design team! Take a group class or request private sewing or pattern-making lessons for one-off garments. Private classes can be tailored to your project and your pace. If you’re looking to develop a garment and samples for production, explore our design services!

At minimum you’ll need the following to be production-ready: A finalized garment prototype, a digital pattern in multiples sizes, a tech pack, a bill of materials, and a label sample. With PAL you can pick and choose what you want to do yourself when getting production-ready, and we can fill in the gaps! Want to dip your toes in before you commit to the process? We’re here to offer feedback and consultations to help you decide if you want to go further.  
For more on production readiness, click here for a look at what it takes to move from idea to market-ready.

We’ve found the most economical solution for our community-supported space and the makers who use it is to charge a day pass or membership rate. PAL is a prototyping style of environment where people move from machine to machine. It’s unlikely your desired machine will be occupied all day. If you need a particular machine for production services, email us at info@portlandapparellab.com and we will try to accommodate your needs.

Our design services team works with makers around the country through a combination of video conferencing, emails and phone calls. Clients can expect to travel to Portland at least once during the process. Email info@portlandapparellab.com to get started!

We source our own industrial machinery and supplies for the Lab, but if you’d like to email us a picture and description of your items we can try to share it with our community.

Portland Apparel Lab is:

Portland Apparel Lab (PAL) is one part community makerspace and one part garment production and design team.

THE WORKSHOP

PAL members treat PAL’s 1,000 sq foot workspace as their own, with access to industrial machines, oversized cutting tables, Optitex Software, resource libraries, wifi, a kitchenette and more. Are you a maker, or do you want to be? Click here to learn more about our facilities.

OUR SERVICES

The production services side of Portland Apparel Lab is a team of industry professionals ready to help you take your idea across the finish line. From inspiration to production-ready and everything in between. Find out more about our services here.

Portland Apparel Lab is not:

We’re not a fabric printer, fabric store, embroidery shop, or screen printer—but we connect our clients to them! We are not a small or large-scale manufacturer. We’re here to get you production-ready for one!

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