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Contents

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Importance of Cutting room .......................................................................... - 7 -

1.1. What is clothing? ........................................................................................................... - 7 1.2. Different types of garment production systems ........................................................ - 7 1.2.1. Individual Production ............................................................................................. - 7 1.2.2. Batch Production.................................................................................................... - 7 1.2.3. Mass Production .................................................................................................... - 8 1.3. Industry Sector and Product Types ............................................................................ - 8 1.3.1. Comparison between Bespoke and Industrial Production .............................. - 8 1.3.2. Product Groups with Examples of Product Types (Apparel Fabrics) ............ - 9 1.4. Process Flow of Cutting Room ................................................................................... - 9 1.5. Marker making ............................................................................................................... - 9 1.5.1. The requirements of marker planning............................................................... - 10 1.5.2. General procedure for marker planning ........................................................... - 10 1.5.3. Factors affecting marker planning ..................................................................... - 10 1.6. Fabric and Garment Symmetry................................................................................. - 12 1.7. Put Ups ......................................................................................................................... - 12 1.7.1. Flat, Open and Rolled ......................................................................................... - 13 1.7.2 Folded and Rolled................................................................................................. - 13 1.7.3. Tubular Folded goods ......................................................................................... - 13 1.7.4. Book Fold .............................................................................................................. - 14 1.7.5. A Velvet Frame .................................................................................................... - 14 1.8. Some important Definitions ....................................................................................... - 14 2.0 Production Process in the cutting room......................................................... - 16 2.1. Planning........................................................................................................................ - 17 2.2. Spreading ..................................................................................................................... - 17 2.3. Cutting........................................................................................................................... - 19 2.4. Preparation for Sewing............................................................................................... - 21 2.4.1. Position Marking .................................................................................................. - 21 2.4.2. Shade Marking ..................................................................................................... - 21 2.4.3. Bundle preparation .............................................................................................. - 21 -1-

2.4.4. Bundle tickets ....................................................................................................... - 21 3.0. MARKER MAKING MODES & METHODS ....................................................... - 22 3.1. Marker making ............................................................................................................. - 22 3.1.1. Traditional vs. Modern Methods ........................................................................ - 23 3.1.2. Manually produced markers ............................................................................... - 24 3.1.3. Computerized marker making............................................................................ - 24 3.1.4. Plotting................................................................................................................... - 26 3.2. Non Computerization methods for copying markers ............................................. - 26 3.2.1. Carbon Duplicating: ............................................................................................. - 26 3.2.2. Spirit Duplicating: ................................................................................................. - 27 3.2.3. Diazo photographic method: .............................................................................. - 27 3.3. Dimensions of Markers .............................................................................................. - 27 3.3.1. Blocked or Sectioned markers ........................................................................... - 28 3.3.2. Continuous Markers ............................................................................................ - 28 3.3.3. Splice Marks ......................................................................................................... - 28 3.4. MARKER EFFICIENCY ............................................................................................. - 28 3.4.1. FABRIC CHARACTERISTICS .......................................................................... - 29 3.4.2. Characteristics of Pattern Pieces ...................................................................... - 29 3.4.3. Grain Orientation.................................................................................................. - 30 3.4.4. Fabric utilization standards ................................................................................ - 30 3.5. Marker quality .............................................................................................................. - 30 3.6. Types of Markers ........................................................................................................ - 31 3.7. Marker Making Modes ................................................................................................ - 32 3.7.1. The Nap/ One/ Way marker (abbreviated N/O/W) ......................................... - 33 3.7.2. The Nap/ Either/ Way marker (abbreviated N/E/W) ....................................... - 33 3.7.3. The Nap/ Up/& Down marker (abbreviated N/U/D) ........................................ - 33 3.8. Defining Markers ......................................................................................................... - 33 3.9. Constructing Markers ................................................................................................. - 33 3.10. Use of the Marker after Cutting. ............................................................................. - 35 3.11. Computerized Marker Making ................................................................................. - 35 3.12. Stripes and Plaids ..................................................................................................... - 36 3.13. Marker Making Guidelines ....................................................................................... - 36 -2-

3.14. Some General Terms and Definitions ................................................................... - 37 4.0. Spreading......................................................................................................... - 39 4.1. Choosing Spreading Modes. ..................................................................................... - 39 4.1.1. Face/ One/ Way, Nap/ One/ Way mode of spreading (F/O/W, N/O/W). ..... - 39 4.1.2. Face/ One/ Way, Nap/ Up/ and Down method spreading (F/O/WN/U/D). . - 40 4.1.3. Face to Face, Nap/ Up/ Down (F/F- N/U/D) .................................................... - 40 4.1.4. Face to Face, Nap/ One/ Way (F/F- N/O/W) ................................................... - 41 4.1.5. Closed Face to Face, Nap/ One/ Way .......................................................... - 41 4.1.6. The Closed Face / Face, Nap/ Up/ and Down ............................................. - 42 4.2. Order Management..................................................................................................... - 43 4.2.1. Single Section Marker ......................................................................................... - 43 4.2.2. Section Spreading (Step Spread) ..................................................................... - 44 4.2.3. Spreading Stripes and Plaids ............................................................................ - 44 4.2.4. Velvet and Velveteen .......................................................................................... - 44 4.2.5. Recordkeeping ..................................................................................................... - 44 4.3. Advanced Technology for Spreading ....................................................................... - 45 4.3.1. Damage control mark sensors ........................................................................... - 45 4.3.2. Air Flotation Tables.............................................................................................. - 45 4.3.3. The Vacuum Table .............................................................................................. - 45 4.3.4. Heavy Roll Loaders ............................................................................................. - 46 4.3.5. Fully Automated Panel Cutting Systems .......................................................... - 46 4.4. TECHNIQUES FOR SPREADING QUALITY ......................................................... - 46 4.4.1. REMOVING TENSION IN THE LAY................................................................. - 46 4.4.2. CUTTING AT THE ENDS ................................................................................... - 47 4.4.3. REDUCING FABRIC WASTE AT THE ENDS ................................................ - 48 4.4.4. Controlling Shades .............................................................................................. - 48 4.4.5. FABRIC CONTROL DURING SPREADING ................................................... - 49 4.4.6. DAMAGE REMOVAL .......................................................................................... - 49 4.4.7. ENDS AND DAMAGED GOODS ...................................................................... - 50 4.4.8. Evaluating Spreading Cost ................................................................................. - 51 4.5. PREPARATION FOR CUTTING .............................................................................. - 52 4.6. Fabric/Garment Marker & Spreading Matrix ........................................................ - 54 -3-

4.7. Some common terms and definitions ...................................................................... - 55 5.0. Cutting ............................................................................................................. - 57 5.1. Hand Shears ................................................................................................................ - 57 5.2. The Short Knife ........................................................................................................... - 57 5.3. Electric Powered Cutting Machines ......................................................................... - 57 5.3.1. The Straight Knife or Up and Down ............................................................... - 58 5.3.2. The Round Knife .................................................................................................. - 58 5.4. Die Cutting ................................................................................................................... - 58 5.5. Band Knife.................................................................................................................... - 59 5.6. Auxiliary Devices ......................................................................................................... - 59 5.6.1. Notchers ................................................................................................................ - 59 5.6.2. Cloth Drills............................................................................................................. - 59 5.6.3. Inside Slasher:...................................................................................................... - 60 5.7. ADVANCED CUTTING SYSTEMS. ......................................................................... - 60 5.8. Some common terms and definitions ...................................................................... - 61 6.0. Cutting parameters/requirements .................................................................. - 62 6.1. Contribution to alignment difficulties ........................................................................ - 62 6.1.1. BOW ...................................................................................................................... - 62 6.1.2. Skewness (Bias) .................................................................................................. - 63 6.1.3. Fabric Dimensions show variations .................................................................. - 63 6.1.4. Superimposed plies must be matched ............................................................. - 63 6.1.5. Garment Pieces must be positioned accurately in relation
to the fabric pattern......................................................................................................... - 63 6.2. The Constraints of the Garment Design .................................................................. - 64 6.3. Spreading Techniques for Striped and Checked materials .................................. - 64 6.3.1. Check Spikes........................................................................................................ - 64 6.3.2. Pinning Table........................................................................................................ - 64 6.3.4. Folding ................................................................................................................... - 64 6.3.5. Blocking out and relaying ................................................................................... - 65 6.4. Marker planning with striped and checked fabrics: ................................................ - 65 6.5. Potential for automation of cutting stripes and checked fabrics. ......................... - 66 -

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7.0. Cut Order Planning ......................................................................................... - 67 7.1. Introduction .................................................................................................................. - 67 7.1.1. Sewing schedule .................................................................................................. - 68 7.1.2. Cutting schedule .................................................................................................. - 68 7.1.3. Fabric delivery schedule ..................................................................................... - 68 7.2. The issue of the cutting instructions ......................................................................... - 68 7.3. Economic cut quantities ............................................................................................. - 70 7.3.1. Fabric waste at lay ends ..................................................................................... - 70 7.3.2. Labour Costs ........................................................................................................ - 71 7.3.3. Marker Utilization ................................................................................................. - 73 7.3.4. Fabric Properties.................................................................................................. - 74 7.3.5. Cloth Availability ................................................................................................... - 74 7.3.6. Machinery Dimensions........................................................................................ - 74 7.3.7. Quality Constraints .............................................................................................. - 74 7.3.8. Table Length......................................................................................................... - 75 7.3.9. Sewing Room Needs .......................................................................................... - 75 7.4. Overview of factors affecting economic cut quantities .......................................... - 77 7.5. The Cut Order Plan..................................................................................................... - 78 7.6. Costing the cut order plan.......................................................................................... - 80 7.6.1. Material Costs ...................................................................................................... - 80 7.6.2. Labor Costs .......................................................................................................... - 82 7.7. Computerized Cut order planning ............................................................................ - 85 8.0. Documentation Procedures and Control ....................................................... - 87 8.1. Introduction .................................................................................................................. - 87 8.2. Fabric usage control: issue of materials .................................................................. - 87 8.2.1. Cutting Instruction ................................................................................................ - 87 8.2.2. Cutting Instruction Record. ................................................................................. - 90 8.3. Fabric usage control: spreading audit...................................................................... - 91 8.3.1. Lay Details ............................................................................................................ - 91 8.3.2. End Losses. .......................................................................................................... - 91 8.3.3. Edge allowance .................................................................................................... - 92 8.3.4. Splice allowance .................................................................................................. - 92 -5-

8.3.5. Remnant lengths .................................................................................................. - 92 8.3.6. Faults processed. ................................................................................................ - 92 8.3.7 Accounting for purchased length issued. .......................................................... - 92 8.3.8. Deviations from the costed marker plan. ......................................................... - 93 8.4. Fabric Usage Control: fabric reconciliation ............................................................. - 93 8.5. Fabric faults and claims for poor quality .................................................................. - 94 8.6. Documentation and the management function ...................................................... - 95 -

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1.0. Importance of Cutting room


1.1. What is clothing?
Clothing is assemblage of several parts together by means of a seam or stitch.
Raw material used for clothing is a TWO DIMENSIONAL FABRIC, but the
finished garment (clothing) is a three dimensional product which wraps around
our body giving proper fit and comfort ability.
The first stage in the manufacture of the garments is the cutting of the fabrics
into necessary pattern shapes.
Then the cut components are joined together by means of seams to create three
dimensional garments
1.2. Different types of garment production systems
There are different ways to organize the production of garments, according to the
type, the quantity and the diversity of products to be made.
The number of items to be made and the rate of delivery of these items
distinguish individual production, batch production and mass production.
Individual Production
Batch Production
Mass Production

1.2.1. Individual Production


With individual production (making through) each product is made only once. The
system requires highly skilled, experienced operators and versatile machinery.
Example: made-to-measure costume.
The Individual Production best example is CUSTOM TAILORING.
1.2.2. Batch Production
Batch production is used for larger, though fixed quantities of identical articles
either for stock or to order.
Examples: blouses, skirts

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1.2.3. Mass Production


Mass production means that large quantities of identical products are made
continuously. The high utilization of machinery and labour allows a high level of
automation and specialization.
Examples: T-shirts, work trousers
1.3. Industry Sector and Product Types
The clothing industry ranges from small, hand-made (bespoke) operations up to
large industrial garment making enterprises.
Industrial production is divided according to
Target groups (women's, men's, and children's wear),
Applications (underwear, shirtings, foundation garments, workwear, and
sportswear),
Materials (wovens, flat knits, circular knits).
Bespoke operations are divided along technical lines into men's tailoring,
women's tailoring, shirting, and underwear.
1.3.1. Comparison between Bespoke and Industrial Production
Bespoke Clothing Production
Industrial Clothing Manufacture
The clothing is made for individual clients,
according to individual size and requirements.
Particular characteristics of the client, in terms
of the body shape, can be taken into account
during cutting and sewing
The client selects the material and the design,
from sample swatches and fabric collections.
The cut and the style is agreed by discussion
with the tailor, before cutting begins
Bespoke tailoring involves a much higher
investment of time for each garment, and is
correspondingly more expensive than
industrial manufacture. However, the client is
usually rewarded by a more individual design
and a higher quality of material and
workmanship

Production is geared to an anonymous,


statistically and/or demographically and
culturally defined target consumer group.

Cutting patterns and sizes are based on


standard size charts, derived from large
numbers of measurements
Garments are produced in a limited range
of sizes. Standardised cutting and making
procedures mean that all garments have
the same shape; allowances for
uncommon body shapes can not be made.

The consumer has the choice between a


wide range of different garment styles but
has no direct influence over their design
and cut.

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Large-scale manufacturing techniques


allow a wide range of garments to be
produced in a fraction of the time required
for bespoke tailoring of individual items.
1.3.2. Product Groups with Examples of Product Types (Apparel Fabrics)
Knitted Outerwear
Shirtings,
Foundation wear,
Accessories
Underwear
Swimwear
Pullovers
Dress shirts
Brassieres
Socks
Twin-sets
Casual shirts
Corsetry
Stockings
Jackets & cardigans
Childrens shirts
Support stockings
Leggings
Knitted dresses
Nightwear
Swim suits
Scarves
Underwear
Bikinis
Caps
Lingerie
Swimming trunks
Ties
Handkerchiefs
1.4. Process Flow of Cutting Room
Marker Making

Fabric Spreading

Placing Marker
Paper on to the
Lay

100% checking &


Parts Replacing if
needed

Numbering

Fabric Cutting

Shorting &
Bundling

Input to Sewing
Room

1.5. Marker making


A marker is a diagram of a precise arrangement of pattern pieces for a specific
style and the sizes to be cut from a single spread.
Marker making is the process of determining the most efficient layout of pattern
pieces for a specified style, fabric, and distribution of sizes. The process of
arranging pattern pieces in the most efficient manner requires skill, time and

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concentration. Markers may be made by manually tracing master patterns onto


the fabric or paper or by manipulating and plotting computerized pattern images.
The marker making can be broken down in to following two sections
(1). Marker Planning
It is the placement of pattern pieces to meet technical requirements and
needs of material economy
(2). Marker Production.
This may include drawing of marker plan directly on the fabric, drawing it
on to a paper marker by pen or automatic plotter, or, where the cutting method
allows it, recording pattern piece information on the paper marker or on the fabric
without actually drawing pattern lines on it.
1.5.1. The requirements of marker planning
The greater attention is always given for the marker planning.
Any reduction in the amount of the cloth used per garment leads to increased
profit.
Marker planning is always a very open & creative process.
Marker planning is a highly skilled activity and different people have different
attitudes for this kind of work.
Computerized marker making can assist but rarely replace skilled people.
1.5.2. General procedure for marker planning
The large pattern pieces have to be positioned first and then fitting the
smaller pieces in to the gaps.
Most of the pattern pieces are irregular and often tapered, skill leis in
discovering those edges which fit together most neatly, and placing side
by side across the marker those pieces that fill the width most nearly.
The marker planner has to try a number of pattern placements, selecting
the one that gives the shortest marker.
1.5.3. Factors affecting marker planning
The work of the marker planner is subject to a number of constraints
relating to
1. Nature of the fabric and the desired result in the finished garment
2. Requirements of quality in cutting
3. Requirements of production planning

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1.5.3.1. Nature of the fabric and the desired result in the finished garment

Pattern alignment in relation to the grain of the fabric


Symmetry and Asymmetry of the fabric
Design Characteristics of the finished garment
Pattern alignment in relation to the grain of the fabric
Pattern pieces normally carry a grain line
When pattern pieces are laid down the piece of
the cloth, as it is commonest with large pattern
pieces, the grain line should lie parallel to the
warp of the woven fabric or wales in a knitted
fabric.
When pattern pieces are laid across the piece of
the cloth, the grain line should lie parallel to the
weft or course direction.
In bias cutting the grain lines will be normally be
at 45o to warp.
The requirement to follow grain lines restricts the freedom the marker
planner how to lay the patterns in the marker.
Symmetry and Asymmetry of the fabric
Many fabrics can be turned round (through 1800 ) and retain the same
appearance these fabrics may be called as symmetry or two way fabrics
When planning the marker on these two way fabrics no special action is
required.
More restrictions are fabrics with some asymmetry.
The ply fabric does not retain the same appearance, especially when two
opposite ways are sewn together.
Design Characteristic of the finished garment
While planning a marker the design characters of the garments are also to
be considered and this also affects the freedom of the marker planner in
the placement of the patterns.

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1.5.3.2. Requirements of Quality in Cutting

The placement of pattern pieces in the marker must give enough knife
clearance allowance for the freedom of the knife movement.
A blade which has the width, cannot turn a perfect right angle in the
middle of a pattern piece and space must be given for knife to turn such
corners
Pattern count must always be made at the completion of the planning of a
marker to check that the complete number of pattern pieces has been
included or not.
Correct labeling of the cut garment parts are essential. The marker
planner has to code every pattern piece with its size as the marker is
planned.
1.5.3.3. Requirements of production planning

Order quantity from buyer normally consists of different sizes in different


colors.
The requirements of the production planning and control will be able to
supply the sewing room with an adequate amount of cut garments at
sufficiently frequent intervals, consistent with the availability of the fabrics
and the best utilization of cutting room resources
Higher lay than a lower lay gives a lower cutting labour cost per garment.
1.6. Fabric and Garment Symmetry
Understanding the modes of marker making and spreading are important
concepts. The relationship to fabric and garment symmetry identifies how correct
choices must be made to obtain good quality and to control cost. There is a direct
relationship between quality and cost. Methods that lead to better quality take
more time, thus more cost. (Time is Money!)
a) For the purpose of defining marker making and spreading modes, we use
specific definitions of fabric and garment symmetry.
b) A Symmetric Garment is one in which, except for the difference of
buttonhole and button-sew, dividing the garment along the vertical
centerline of the body, the right half parts are identical but mirror image of
the left hand parts.
c) A Symmetric Fabric is one which has no change in appearance when the
fabric is turned 180o in the same plane.
1.7. Put Ups
Fabrics are prepared at the mill in a variety of ways for production. The way in
which it is rolled or folded when dyeing and finishing is completed is referred to
as put-up. Some methods of put-up are used to protect the fabric; others are
strictly for the convenience of spreading and handling.

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1.7.1. Flat, Open and Rolled


Flat, open and rolled is the most common preparation. It is utilized for most
woven fabrics prepared for factory production. The fabric is rolled on a hard
cardboard tube (or plastic tube) where the selvedges are at opposite ends of the
tube. The fabric is usually rolled with the technical face to the inside of the roll.
Roll lengths on each tube can reach 1,200 yards on a single roll, but are more
often in the 150 yard range, depending on the weight of the roll.

1.7.2 Folded and Rolled


Folded and rolled is a put-up that allows the utilization of a single center fold in
the length of the goods. In this preparation, the fabric selvedges are
superimposed one over the other. This preparation is utilized with very wide
fabrics that cannot be processed by a manufacturer who does not have wide
enough cutting tables. Folded and rolled fabric orients the technical face of the
fabric inside the folded surfaces, so they are not visible on the surface of the
spread.

1.7.3. Tubular Folded goods


Tubular Folded goods are prepared by rolling fabrics manufacturers on weft
knitting machines. These machines knit in a circular motion, creating a tube of
fabric. This put-up result in fabric on a roll with two folds, one at each end of the
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tube. This preparation results in the technical face of the fabric oriented together.
For every other layer, the face is not visible from the surface of the spread.

1.7.4. Book Fold


Book Fold is the most relaxed put up. Fabric is laid back and forth in a carton.
Book Fold is used for delicate fabrics to minimize the stress on the fabric.
1.7.5. A Velvet Frame
A Velvet Frame is used for pile fabrics. A tube connects two square frames that
contain concentric circles of sharp hooks. The fabric is hung from the hooks
where the selvedges are fastened to pairs of hooks (at each edge of the fabric)
starting closest to the center and rotating around the center to the outer edge of
the frames. This creates an air space between the concentric layers of fabric.
1.7.6. Carded Bolt
Carded Bolt is a put-up most often seen in mens suiting and fabric retail. The
fabric is folded in half lengthwise, and rolled on a flat board (cardboard).
1.8. Some important Definitions
a. Goods: A truncated form of the phrase Piece Goods which are textile
fabrics, either woven or knitted.
b. Lay: Multiple superimposed layers of fabric on a cutting table.
c. Spreading: The process of rolling out layer after layer of cloth, smoothly
without wrinkles, in such a manner that the selvedge on one side of the
cloth is straight, and parallel to that edge of the cutting table.

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d. Selvedge: The natural edge of milled fabric. Sometimes referred to as


self-edge.
e. Put up: The preparation of fabric for the spreading process.
f. Cutting Table: Work table that is at least six inches wider than the widest
fabric to be processed, and two to three feet longer than the longest
spread length.
g. Marker: The tracing of pattern pieces used to guide the cutting process.
The marker is usually created on paper and placed over the top layer of a
spread (lay). Kept on-grain, the patterns are fitted next to each other in the
most efficient manner possible for the marker mode required.
h. Flat open and rolled: Fabric is rolled on a tube with the fabric layer
spread out and selvedges at each end of the tube.
i.

Folded and rolled: Fabric is folded in the length, and rolled on a tube.
The selvedges are oriented one on the other.

j.

Tubular folded: Fabric that is created on a circular knitting machine is


flattened and rolled on a tube. Both edges of the fabric are virtually,
folded.

k. Book Fold: Fabric is folded into a carton accordion style, under no


tension or compression. The fabric is released flat and open.
l.

Velvet Frame: A Steel or Plastic frame with concentric hooks to hang flat
open fabric to prevent compression of the fabric face.

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2.0 Production Process in the cutting room


Irrespective of size, all cutting rooms use the same basic system to produce cut
work, with the raw materials going through the same operations in the same
sequence. The factor distinguishing the operations of one cutting room from
another is the level of the technology employed.
Cutting production starts with the receipt of the inspected raw materials,
production orders and graded patterns and finishes when bundles of cut work are
issued for sewing. The total process has four stages.
(1). Planning
(2). Spreading
(3). Cutting
(4). Preparation for sewing.
Spreads

Planning

Markers

Production

Manual

Spreading
Machine

Machine

Cutting

Die Press

Computer

Shade Marking

Preparation for
Sewing

Tickets

Bundles

Production Process in cutting room.

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2.1. Planning
The inputs to this function are the cut order plan, which contains detailed
instructions regarding the cutting markers to be planned and/or copied from
existing markers, and a graded set of patterns for the style to be cut. The graded
set of patterns can be cut out in a pattern paper or may exist in the memory of a
dedicated computer.
The operation itself consists of planning the layout of the pattern components so
as to ensure the most economical use of the materials and can be performed by
one of three methods.
(1).The marker planner uses full size patterns and arranges them in the most
economical fashion on marker paper. This is specially printed paper having
symbols on it which enable the marker planner to visually control the positioning
of components according to their specified grain lines.
(2).The full-size patterns are reduced, generally to a 1:5 scale, to facilitate the
work of the marker planner. The miniature patterns are then arranged on a
planning board with the cloth width represented at the same scale. When the
marker has been planned it is photographed, and this image is used as a guide
for preparing the full size marker.
(3).Computerized systems are used and the marker planner works interactively
with the system to plan the markers, which can then be used for manual or
computer controlled cutting.
Markers can be produced on a paper which is fixed the spread with the pins or
staples, or on adhesive paper which is heat-sealed to the top ply of the spread.
For computerized cutting, the marker is held in position by the vacuum used to
compress the spread and keep it stable.
2.2. Spreading
This is the preparatory operation for cutting and consists of laying plies of cloth
one on the top of another in a pre-determined direction and relationship between
the right and the wrong side of the cloth. The composition of each spread, i.e. the
number of plies of each color, is obtained from the cut order plan.
The spreads can be of two basic types.
(1). Flat Spreads - All plies are of the same length
(2). Stepped Spreads This, as the name suggests, is built up in steps, with all
the plies in one step having the same length. A stepped spread is generally used
when for some reason the imbalance between the quantities to be cut precludes
the use of the flat spread. The cut order plan details the colors and ply lengths for
a stepped spread if it is needed.
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Spreading itself can be a completely manual operation or can be performed by


powered machines of various levels of technology, of which some of the main
features are

(A). Blot Drive This is a mechanism which ensures that the fabric is spread
with the minimum amount of tension by unwinding the fabric at exactly the same
speed of the machine is moving.
(B). Loading On a modern machines, this is a mechanical process whereby
rolls of the cloth stored in a paternoster (magazine) at the end of the table can be
transferred to the machine according to a predetermined sequence or as
selected by the operation.
(C). Alignment A photocell is used to sense when the alignment of the edge of
a ply starting to vary and a control motor automatically moves the roll of the cloth
into the correct position.
(D). Ply Width Two photocells, one at each side of the machine, are indexed to
the narrowest width of the cloth which can be cut in the spread. If there is any
deviation from the indexed width, the machine is automatically stopped and an
audible signal sounded.
(E). Cloth roll drive This is a cradle for holding the cloth and a group of
powered conveyor belts which unroll the cloth via circumferential feed. This
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method is generally used for problem fabrics that require very precise control
during spreading.
(F). Pattern matching An optical head is used to scan the pattern of the fabric
and the sensory information is fed into the control unit which synchronizes and
co-ordinates the lateral and lineal movement of the cloth during spreading.
(G).Programming It is possible to programme spreading machines to perform
automatically all of the major elements in the spreading process. The
programme, which is prepared on the cad system, includes cloth roll selection,
loading, threading, spreading to given ply heights and lengths, etc.
(H).Defect Scanner This consists of a display monitor mounted on the side of
the machine, linked to the computerized marker planning system. When a cloth
defect is discovered during spreading, its size and position are digitized by a
projector type cursor at the front of the spreading machine. The operator calls up
by the marker and the position of the defects on the marker is shown on the
screen. The spreader then decides on the most appropriate course of action,
without the marker having to be laid on the spread.
(I).Operator comfort Most motorized machines are equipped with a platform
on which the operator can stand or sit while the machine is traversing the table.
A spreading machine is a important tool in the cutting room because it affects the
efficient use of the both manpower and materials.
2.3. Cutting
This is the major operation of the cutting room, when the spread fabric is cut into
garments. Of all the operations in the cutting room this is the most decisive
because once the fabric has been cut, very little can be done to rectify serious
mistakes.
Cutting requires the use of the different types of tools and equipment and some
of the their main features are
(1). Powered Scissors These are used for cutting one or two plies and are
often used in the sampling room.
(2). Round Knife This is a very fast machine, excellent for cutting the straight
lines or gradual curves. Blade sizes range from 4 cm to 20 cm in diameter and
the effective cutting height is about 40% of the blade diameter.
(3). Straight Knife The workhorse of most of the cutting rooms, the straight
knife, if correctly used, is versatile and accurate enough for most of the purposes.
(4). Band Knife The narrow blade of this machine allows the finest of the
shapes to be cut very accurately. Some band knife machines have air flotation
tables which support the block of work on a fine air cushion, enabling the cutter
to man oeuvre the work during cutting with the minimum disturbance to the plies.
- 19 -

(5). Servo assisted cutting This consists of a straight knife cutting machine on
an articulated arm at the side of the cutting table. The system has a servo-drive
which enables the cutting machine to be moved easily in all directions while
maintaining the right angles between the blade and the table.
(6). Press cutting This process involves the use of a hydraulic press which
forces a shaped metal cutting die through a pile of a material and is mostly used
in large quantities of small components have to be cut very accurately. Press
cutting is also often used for cutting many small components for leather and
suede garments.
(7). Computer Controlled cutting knives The input for this operation comes
from the markers generated on a computerized marker generating systems. The
marker data is transformed to the cutting unit by means of tapes, floppy disks or
directly from the marker planning system itself. Computerized cutting is six to
eight times faster than any type of manual method and cut components with a
consistent level of accuracy. Although a computerized cutting system requires a
substantial initial investment, it is considered to be most effective investment for
large-scale cutting production. Less expensive systems are available for factories
having smaller quantities to cut and these systems also pay their way.

- 20 -

2.4. Preparation for Sewing


The next groups of operations are concerned with preparing the cut components
for sewing, and include the following.
2.4.1. Position Marking
When required, this operation marks components with guides for sewing and
other operations. Drill marker can be used for marking the pocket placement
positions, dart lengths etc. The mark itself can be a very small hole or a mark
made by a chalk based liquid taken through the spread by the drill flutes.
2.4.2. Shade Marking
This operation ensures that the components cut from different shades of the
same colour do not get mixed up during the assembly process. Every component
for one garment is marked with a unique number, usually printed on a small ticket
which is stuck on the component.
2.4.3. Bundle preparation
Bundles of cut work are prepared according to the size, color and quantities, their
actual composition determined by the requirements of the sewing room. For
example, all the cut components for one bundle of garments can be packed into
one box, or each of the major components packed in its own container ready to
be issued to different preparation and sub-assembly sections in the factory.
Alternatively, if unit production systems are used, the components for single
garments can be loaded directly into the system from the cutting table.
2.4.4. Bundle tickets
These tickets identify each bundle and in themselves play an important role on
production planning and control for sewing and finishing sections. The tickets
themselves can be alphanumeric form or bar-coded, and in both cases they can
be computer generated.

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3.0. MARKER MAKING MODES & METHODS


MARKER EFFICIENCY,
COMPUTERIZED MARKER MAKING,
CARBON DUPLICATING,
SPLICING,
NAP EITHER WAY,
OPEN AND CLOSED MARKERS

Marker making is a critical step in the manufacturing process. Traditional


manufacturers manage the process of marker making in-house. By retaining
strict control over this critical step, they keep the fabric consumption as low as
possible. Controlling this step also permits them to ensure that the issues that
affect quality will be given proper attention. These include placing patterns on
grain, keeping patterns paired, and attending to details such as drill holes and
notches. Depending on the relative efficiency of each marker produced, the
company may save or waste thousands of dollars a year. Spreading and cutting
process fabric as it is received from the textile mill into cut parts ready for sewing.
The methods chosen for these steps have a direct effect on the quality and cost
of the finished garment.
It is essential that the designer, product developer, and marketing decision maker
understand that choices made on the nature of the fabric, and the fashion design
will directly affect the cost of the spreading, and cutting process needed for that
style. Fabric and garment decisions will affect the quality achieved in the
spreading process as well. The axiom Quality Costs Money is clearly found in
the marking, spreading and cutting processes. There is a direct relationship
between the methods chosen and the time needed to achieve varying degrees of
quality.
In spreading and cutting, volume is also a key to reduced costs. The greater the
volume produced (within the limits of the process), the lower will be the per-unit
cost. Therefore, the focus of technology is to increase the number of plies that
can be spread and cut in one cycle, or to increase the speed with which the
spreading and/or cutting takes place.
3.1. Marker making
General Description of a marker:
A marker is the layout of patterns on the top layer of fabric (which guides the
cutter). In order to make a marker, the usable width of the fabric to be spread and
cut must be known, and a full set of pattern pieces for all the sizes must be on
hand. The marker is usually traced on dotted paper (if made by hand), or printed
on plain white paper that is marginally wider than the width of the fabric. For
mens suiting and certain other applications, the marker is traced on the top layer

- 22 -

of fabric which is turned face down whenever possible. The marker is consumed
(destroyed) in the cutting process.
Under typical conditions, the marker is created for a single style, single fabric,
and single fabric width. Separate markers will be created for linings and/or
interfacings if they are required for the style. The legend at the beginning end of
the marker contains this information, as well as the size/quantity breakdown, the
intended fabric spreading mode, and the marker efficiency.
In the preparation of a marker, the patterns are oriented on-grain, and are
interlocked as closely together as possible without overlapping. The Marker
Maker will lock the patterns together where the scoop of one pattern will fit the
projection of another in order to ultimately get the patterns as close as possible,
using up all possible open spaces between the patterns. The closer the patterns
can be placed, the more efficient the marker is.
In the cutting process, the paper marker pattern is left on top of each cut bundle
of parts. In the creation of the marker, on every pattern piece, the marker maker
will write the style number, and size of that particular part to act as a bundle
identifier, telling the bundle preparation personnel what each part is.
A marker making is a diagram of a precise arrangement of pattern pieces
for specific style and the sizes to be cut from a single spread.
Marker making is the process of determining the most efficient layout of
the pattern pieces for specific style, fabric, and distribution of sizes.
The process of arranging the pattern pieces in the most efficient way
requires time, skill and concentration.
Markers may be made by manually tracing the master patterns onto fabric
or paper or by manipulating and plotting the computerized pattern images.

3.1.1. Traditional vs. Modern Methods


The process of marker making has not changed since the industrial revolution
(the advent of multi-ply cutting). The basic concept of achieving the most efficient
utilization of fabric by orienting the patterns as closely together as possible is the
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foundation of the process whether the marker is created with a full set of hard
paper patterns, or on a computer screen. The use of computerized marker
making facilitates visualizing the entire marker better, enables the saving of ideal
pattern layouts, and saves time in the generation process (printing the marker vs.
tracing every pattern by hand). More recently developed programs for marker
making on the computer are available to pre-lay patterns into the marker
following placement rules. It is still up to a trained and experienced marker maker
to complete the process by making minor corrections to the computerized layout.
3.1.2. Manually produced markers
Manually produced markers may be created by arranging full size pattern pieces
on the marker paper or directly on the top ply of the fabric in a spread.
Pattern pieces are traced using a pencil or tailors chalk. Manual methods of
marker making are time consuming and require a great deal of space. Full size
pieces must be manipulated, adjusted, and readjusted on normal width of the
fabric.
Manually made markers are also subject to errors and inconsistencies that may
occur in grain variations, poor line definition, placement and alignment of pieces,
and omission of pieces.
Accuracy of a manually made marker depends on the skill of the individual who
laid out marker and traced it.
3.1.3. Computerized marker making
Computerized marker making is the more accurate and provides the greatest
opportunity for pattern manipulation, marker efficiency, reuse of previously made
markers, and shortest response time.
Production patterns may be developed on the computer and/or digitized or
scanned into the computer. In addition, parameters for markers are entered into
the computer from cutting orders.
These might include style numbers, size and distribution, and fabric width.
Technicians manipulate pattern images on computer screens and experiment
with various configuration to determine the best material utilization for the
marker.
Protective devices are built into the programs to ensure grain line alignment and
prevent overlapping or omission of the pieces or other errors.

- 24 -

Once markers have been planned and stored, they can be printed or recalled
and modified for new cutting orders.
With newer marker making software, markers can be automatically created. A
computer can automatically develop up to seven different markers according to
the criteria set by the technician.
Automated marker making may be used to determine yardage requirements and
fabric costs for designs prior to line adoption.
Interactive marker planning is more
common and is the process by which the
operator plans markers by interacting
directly with the system through a VDU
screen. All the pattern pieces are displayed
in miniature on the top of the screen. In the
middle of the screen are the two horizontal
lines defining the marker width and the
vertical line at the left represent the
beginning of the marker. The right end is
for determining length of the final marker.

- 25 -

The quality of the computerized marker planning is more consistent than that of
the manual methods, because instructions regarding grain lines are always
followed, the butting of pattern pieces are precise with no overlapping, and the
pattern count is automatic a boon in complex markers.
After planning the marker on the computer, the marker planner instructs the
computer to plot the marker automatically on the paper.
3.1.4. Plotting
Plotting is the process of drawing or printed pattern pieces or markers on paper
so they can be reviewed or cut. Computer driven plotters may draw patter pieces,
graded nest of patterns, and/or markers with complete annotation, depending on
the needs of the apparel firm. New multi-head jet plotters are much faster and
can print variable line density and width, text identification information, and bar
codes.
Plotting may be the bottleneck in the preproduction processes if a firm runs a lot
of copies. Firms using computerized cutters may need not paper markers to
guide cutting process and therefore may only print identification information for
bundles.
The plotter operates in dual axis system; the X direction is determined by a beam
travelling along the table, and the Y direction by the pens travel along the beam.
The process requires minimum attention since the plotter uses a continuous roll
of paper and a series of markers can be plotted continuously. In practice plotters
are commonly left to run overnight.
If required markers may be allowed to plot in a slight larger scale, such as 1%
increase lengthwise, to allow for shrinkage on certain fabrics. Reference copies
in miniature can also be plotted.
3.2. Non Computerization methods for copying markers
Some the methods for copying markers without the use of the computers are
1) Carbon Duplicating
2) Spirit Duplicating
3) Diazo photographic method.
3.2.1. Carbon Duplicating:
Carbon duplicating method is used when small numbers of copies are to be
made as the original is drawn. Double sided carbon paper or special type of
paper can be used.
In this method, six to eight copies can be made without too great a deterioration
in the fineness of the line.
- 26 -

3.2.2. Spirit Duplicating:


In Spirit Duplicating or hectograph carbon system, the master marker is drawn
on the paper with the layer of special hectograph paper underneath it. This paper
transfers a blue line on the back of the master as it is drawn. The master is then
used to make one copy at a time in a duplicating machine. The machine uses
alcohol to wet a plain white paper which is then passed with the master between
two rollers transferring lines onto the copy.
3.2.3. Diazo photographic method:
The diazo photographic method makes as many copies of the markers are
needed, one at time, following the drawing of a master marker. The master
marker and light-sensitive paper are passed under high intensity of ultraviolet
light and the light sensitive paper is developed using ammonia vapor. The lines
and other markings on the master marker prevent exposure to light sensitive
paper which forms the copy; when developed the lines remain visible.
These copying methods were widely used in the 1970s, but have been steadily
overtaken by the popularity by computerized plotting. After computerized marker
planning, markers are plotted out as a required. This procedure has proved far
more versatile and more appropriate for responsive manufacturing than any of
these predecessors.
3.3. Dimensions of Markers
Markers are made to fit the cuttable widths of fabrics.
Cuttable width is the useable portion of the fabric width. Selvedges are often not
useable, and on printed fabric the design often begins an inch or so beyond the
selvage; thus these are not usable in the garments.
If the marker is wider than the specified fabric, garment parts located on the edge
of the marker will not be complete. Fabric is purchased by the width, but often it
runs wider or narrower than the required width. When the fabric width is grossly
inconsistent, fabrics in a lot may be grouped by width and different markers
produced for each width.
Using the extra width in planning markers can save significant yardage or
prevent recuts when fabric is narrower than ordered.
Markers may be produced in sections or blocks or be in continuous.

- 27 -

3.3.1. Blocked or Sectioned markers


Blocked or Sectioned markers contain all of the pattern pieces for one style in
one or two sizes. Sections may be used separately or joined together to form an
extended multi-size marker. Blocked or sectioned markers are easier to visualize,
plot, and handle, but they may not produce the best utilization of fabric.
Sectioned markers may be used to adjust the volume requirements for various
sizes or as a remnant marker. High volume blocks can be placed on one end of
the marker and low-volume blocks placed at the other end so the fabric can be
spread to correspond with the volume needed for each block. Blocking keeps
garment parts for one size in close proximity, which facilitates bundling and
handling.
Section markers are advantageous if there is end to- end shade variations of
the fabric. A stepped spread for a sectioned marker may consist of plies of varied
length, spread at different heights. The most frequently used configuration for a
stepped spread consists of group of plies that are spread the full length of the
marker and another group of plies beginning at the section line. Stepped spreads
are used to adjust the quantity of piece goods to the number of garments to be
cut from each section of the marker.
3.3.2. Continuous Markers
Continuous Markers contain all the pattern pieces for all sizes included in single
cutting. They may be lengthy and often require more juggling of pattern pieces.
Pattern pieces are grouped by size and shape rather than by garment size.
Continuous markers often have better utilization because there is more flexibility
in grouping and maneuvering large pieces and small pieces.
3.3.3. Splice Marks
Splice Marks are planned into continuous markers to avoid excessive fabric
wastage and incomplete pieces. Splice marks are points in marker where fabrics
can be cut and the next piece overlapped to maintain a continuous spread.
Splice marks may be one inch or several inches depending on the overlap
needed to accommodate the pattern pieces in the area of the splice.
3.4. MARKER EFFICIENCY
Marker efficiency is determined by fabric utilization, the percentage of the total
fabric that is actually used in the garment parts. The area not used in the
garment parts is waste. Marker efficiency depends on how tightly the pattern
pieces fit together within the marker.
The total surface area of the pattern pieces is compared to the total area of the
marker to calculate the percentage of the fabric that is used. This is determined
automatically by the marker making software.
- 28 -

If the marker making software is not available then the area of the each pattern
piece is determined by a planimeter a mechanical device that calculates the
surface area as the outline of the pattern is traced.
Factors that affect marker efficiency are
- Fabric characteristics
- Shapes of the pattern pieces
- Grain requirments
3.4.1. FABRIC CHARACTERISTICS
Fabric characteristics that affect the utilization include
- Difference in face and back
- Lengthwise directionality
- Crosswise symmetry
- Need for matching of the fabric design
- Length of the design repeat
- Fabric width
These characteristics frequently limit the arrangement of the pattern pieces.
Matching fabric designs requires special marker preparation and extra piece
goods. Stripe or plaid lines must be indicated on pattern pieces and markers for
accurate alignment and matching to corresponding pieces. The greater the
length between repeats increases the potential for fabric waste.
3.4.2. Characteristics of Pattern Pieces
Characteristics of the pattern pieces may limit fabric utilization. Generally the
fabric utilization percentage of increases when a variety of garment sizes are
used in the same marker and when the marker contains both large and small
pieces.
Smaller pieces can often be nested with larger pieces. The shape of the pattern
pieces determine how close they can be fit together. Irregular shaped pieces are
difficult to fit together with other pieces. Placement of large pattern pieces is less
flexible and often dictates the placement of other pieces.
Patterns may be sometimes modified to increase the fabric utilization.
-

Splitting the pattern pieces and creating a seam


Rounding or slanting corners
Reducing seam allowances and/or hem width
Adjusting pattern dimensions without noticeable change to fit and style
Adjusting grain lines for hidden garment parts
Modifying grain lines specified by the designer.

- 29 -

3.4.3. Grain Orientation


Grain line markings determine the placement of the pattern pieces relative to the
warp yarns in woven or wales in knit fabrics. Pattern pieces with a similar grain
orientation, if grouped together on the marker, generally produce better
utilization.
Combining several bias and straight grain pieces may not fit together as well as
create more fabric waste. Markers usually have good utilization when all pattern
pieces are on bias or all pieces are cut on straight grain.
Firms standards for grain tolerance may also affect the marker efficiency. Tilting
specific pattern pieces 1 or 2 % may not be noticeable, and it may increase fabric
utilization noticeably. This practice can impart the fit and drape of the finished
garment but it will not be noticeable to the untrained eye. Computer marker
making programs will lock in the grain orientation of each piece unless an
override function is used to adjust them.
3.4.4. Fabric utilization standards
Firms often establish fabric utilization standards. Firms producing basics may
strive for 90 % to 97 % utilization, while fashion firms may able to achieve only 80
% to 85 %. It is important for the firms to document the material utilization and
variances from the standards to monitor improvements or factors that impact the
utilization.
3.5. Marker quality
Accuracy is a major factor in marker quality. Complete data and precise lines are
essential for cutters and sewers to process the garment parts correctly.
Information needed for each pattern piece includes size, style number, and piece
name or number. Lines must be accurate, consistent, fine, smooth and a precise
image of the production pattern. Computerized marker making is more precise
and eliminates many of the mistakes that occur with hand-drawn markers. CAD
systems are one of the first areas for a firm to invest in technology because of
the time savings and accuracy they provide. Lines are always consistent, pieces
are not omitted, and pieces are always on grain and facing the designated
direction unless an override command is used.
The omission of the pieces even the smallest one from the marker can create
major problems and recutting. A missing piece may not become apparent until
the garment parts are prepared for sewing. By this time, it is difficult to find the
specific pattern piece and identical fabric to recut the pieces. This is a common
problem with the manually made markers.

- 30 -

3.6. Types of Markers


Markers are defined by two parameters, which are noted in the legend at the
beginning of the marker. The first parameter relates to how the patterns are used
in relation to the relative garment symmetry.
A. A mixed marker is the most popular type of marker. When the garment is
asymmetric, or for the purpose of obtaining good efficiency, the mixed marker is
used on fabric that is spread open and face up on the table. For most woven
fabrics, and flat open knits, mixed markers offer the best utilization of fabric
because the patterns are placed wherever they fit best in the length of the
marker.
B. An open marker is the second most popular type of marker. When the
garment is asymmetric, or for the purpose of obtaining the best quality from the
spreading process, the open marker keeps pairs of parts (left and right) close
together in the length of the marker. The open marker is used on fabric that is
spread open and face up on the table. For most woven fabrics, and flat open
knits, open markers offer the second best utilization of fabric.
C.The closed marker is used under special circumstances. As only one half of
the pattern set is used, the fabric spread on the table is folded in its length and is
oriented face to face. After cutting, any one pattern piece would yield the left and
right piece of the garment when choosing a pair of consecutive plies. Styles that
have certain pattern pieces that cover the full width (a one piece back versus a
left and right back pattern piece) can be oriented on the control fold of the marker
(see Spreading Closed Goods). Cutting through at the fold, yields a one-piece
part.
D. The closed-on-open marker is similar to the closed marker. However, since
there is no fold at the selvedge, the pattern pieces must be either left or right.
Styles with one-piece parts like a one piece back panel can not be made using a
closed-on-open marker without blocking and re-laying. For any one part in the
marker, a pair of consecutive plies of fabric (spread face to face) produces the
left and right pieces of the garment. Fabric dyeing must be consistent to use this
method, as garments will be constructed of two consecutive plies of fabric.
E. Blocking and re-laying in the spreading process may be used in conjunction
with a closed-on-open marker. To take advantage of a symmetric garment, and
placing a half set of patterns in the marker, when one pattern in the garment is
full body width (rather than left and right patterns), for two consecutive sizes in
the marker, only the larger pattern of the two is placed in the marker. After the
part is cut, the cut block for the pattern is divided in half, and the smaller size
pattern of that part is placed on the second half. This is then recut to the smaller
size.

- 31 -

F. Single Section Marker. When the patterns of all the different sizes are
scattered throughout the full length of the marker (placed wherever they fit the
best), the marker is known as non-sectional or single section marker. This
marker type has the highest utilization of fabric (highest efficiency) as the highest
quantities of patterns (of all marker types) are fitted together. The marker often
has multiple sets of the most commonly ordered sizes depending on the ratio of
sizes ordered.
G. Section Marker. Markers with more than one section, known as section
markers are utilized when the order ratios are unknown in advance. The section
marker facilitates producing different order ratios using the same marker through
step spreading. Although at the lowest efficiency, single-section markers permit
total flexibility in matching varied order ratios.
H. Grain. Patterns are placed in the marker with the grain line on the pattern,
oriented parallel to the fabric grain (defined by the selvedge line). This
convention is only deviated from slightly (only on solid fabrics), when absolutely
necessary, to interlock patterns reducing waste. The grain directly affects
garment quality so is very important.
The form of the fabric and whether it is symmetrical and /or directional determine
the appropriate type of the marker for a style. Markers may be open or closed
depending on the form in which the fabric is presented for cutting.
Rolled fabrics are open and flat when spread. Markers for this type of spread
require full- pattern pieces for each part to be cut. Markers made with the full
pattern pieces are called open markers
Tubular knit fabrics are closed on the both edges and therefore require pattern
pieces that utilize the folds. Markers made with the half pattern pieces for laying
along the folds of the tube are called as closed markers.
Marker makers must also consider the symmetry (side to side) and directionality
(end to end) differences in the fabric. Symmetric fabrics are the same side to
side. Asymmetric fabrics, such as border prints are different side to side. Non
Directional fabrics are the same end to end. Directional fabrics are different end
to end
3.7. Marker Making Modes
The second parameter for defining marker type is the mode. Markers are
prepared in one of several modes. The direction of the nap is used to define the
mode of spreading. Fabric is naturally rolled, under most circumstances, with the
down direction of the nap toward the open end of the roll of fabric.

- 32 -

3.7.1. The Nap/ One/ Way marker (abbreviated N/O/W)


The Nap/ One/ Way marker (abbreviated N/O/W) is made with every pattern
placed with the down direction of the pattern in the same direction. This mode is
necessary for fabrics that are asymmetric. All patterns are placed on-grain, and
in the down direction, which is usually toward the left edge (starting point where
the legend is written). The Nap/One/ Way marker is the highest quality but least
efficient of the three nap directions for a marker.
3.7.2. The Nap/ Either/ Way marker (abbreviated N/E/W)
The Nap/ Either/ Way marker (abbreviated N/E/W) is made where there is no
restriction of which way the pattern are oriented. The patterns may be oriented
either down or up, placed wherever they fit best, only making sure that the
patterns are on-grain. The Nap/ Either/ Way marker is usually the most efficient
mode yielding the highest fabric utilization. This Mode assumes consistent (dye)
color in the length and width of the goods. Nap/ Either/ Way also requires the
fabric be symmetric.
3.7.3. The Nap/ Up/& Down marker (abbreviated N/U/D)
The Nap/ Up/& Down marker (abbreviated N/U/D) is more efficient than the Nap/
One/ Way marker, but not as efficient as the Nap/ Either/ Way marker. In order to
get a better fit between the patterns, alternating sizes of patterns are oriented in
opposite directions. Should the fabric have slight variations in shade, the patterns
are placed where the left and right pairs of parts are located close together in the
length of the marker. This method is yields moderately good fabric utilization, and
good quality.
3.8. Defining Markers
Markers are defined by identifying the mode and preparation.
For example: a marker with all patterns facing in one direction for asymmetric
fabric, for an asymmetric garment with all the parts (left and right pattern pieces)
is Nap/One/Way Mixed (N/O/W Mixed) marker.
A marker with the patterns oriented randomly in both directions made for a
symmetric garment with half the set of patterns for symmetric fabric with a fold on
one or both selvedges, is Nap/Either/ Way Closed (N/E/W/ Closed)
3.9. Constructing Markers
A Marker is made by placing pattern after pattern into the marker space. This
space defines the fabric that will be utilized in the lay. The space is defined by
the following components which are common to all markers.
1. The two Selvedge Lines are drawn parallel to the edge of the cutting
table. The distance between the selvedges denotes the minimum usable
- 33 -

width of the fabric. If the fabric were 60 inches wide, the width between the
selvedge lines would (usually) be no wider than 59 inches.
2. The Beginning Line is at the left end of the marker as seen by the marker
maker/spreader. This line is perpendicular to the selvedge and denotes
the beginning point of the marker. Usually 18 to 24 inches of paper are left
at the left end before the marker to accommodate the legend.
3. The End Line is placed at the end of the marker (opposite the Beginning
Line). This line is drawn across the width of the marker and is located after
the extent of the last pattern Additional length may be added to the end to
accommodate the fabric allowance for end cutting or the use of catchers.
4. Splice Marks - Splice marks are placed along the control selvedge
(closest to the spreader). These facilitate the overlapping of fabric needed
when a roll of fabric runs out, or when a damage in the fabric must be
eliminated.
a. Damage Control Splice Marks are placed along the entire length
of the marker. Wherever the patterns in the marker meet in what
appears to be a natural break across the width of the marker, the
damage control splice mark is placed along the selvedge. The
damage control splice mark is most effective at saving wasted
fabric when it is as small as possible, and given the layout of the
patterns is placed at frequent intervals in the marker length.
b. Controlling Damages using Splice Marks: In use, when the
spreader comes across a damage in the fabric, they would cut off
the fabric, just past the damage in the direction of spreading. Then,
locating the last splice mark passed in the direction of spread, the
spreader would cut off the last ply of fabric at the splice mark
(perpendicular line) closest to the (just) cut off end. The spreader
then pulls back the fabric to the splice mark closest to the starting
point of the ply (the first perpendicular line passed). The spreader
would then continue spreading at that point. The overlap is only
counted as one pass (ply). The fabric removed in this process is
called damages. Usually the yardage lost due to damages is
recorded, and ultimately may be considered to increase the cost of
fabric. This is fabric that was purchased, but not utilized for
garments, thus increasing the cost of the process.
c. Section (Splice) Marks are places in any section marker. Section
marks may be used for damage control in the same manner as
splice marks for damage control. The section mark is usually small
in size, covering only one inch before the section line, and one inch
after the section line.
- 34 -

5. Legend. The legend is used to provide the critical information about the
marker. Usually placed at the beginning (and often the end) of the marker,
the legend contains the reference information about the marker. Prior to
spreading, it is critical for the spreader to check the legend against the
cutting order to ensure that the correct style number, fabric type, width,
and ratio for the order is about to be spread
6. Placement Rules. When the patterns are placed, the marker maker will
follow several rules. First, the patterns are oriented so the grain line on the
pattern is parallel to the selvedge line. The patterns will be oriented with
the nap direction as specified by the marker mode. The patterns will be
interlocked as efficiently as possible in order to waste the least amount of
fabric. The patterns will be placed from largest to smallest, as this is the
most efficient way to create a marker, causing the least amount of pattern
manipulation as necessary. Small patterns are placed whenever possible
in the spaces between the larger patterns. The cutting method is
considered when interlocking patterns to prevent impossible cutting
situations.
3.10. Use of the Marker after Cutting.
Once the spread is cut, the marker paper serves as a critical source of
information for every cut bundle of parts. With the style number, and size, the
bundle is easily identified and matched up correctly with the other parts to make
correct garments. The cut paper of the marker is also used for quality control.
Comparing the paper (which should be saved in the sort term) with the original
patterns, it is possible to check the accuracy of cutting.
3.11. Computerized Marker Making
Computerized Marker Making has been around for over thirty years. The method
requires an experienced marker maker to place the patterns correctly in the
marker. The marker maker works at a computer monitor rather than with full sets
of hard paper patterns, and all manipulation is done on the computer screen
rather than by tracing the of the pattern patterns onto the full size marker paper
on the cutting table. There are many advantages in computerized marker making
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.

The marker maker has a view of the entire marker at one time.
Infinite repositioning of the patterns is possible easily.
Tracing around the patterns is eliminated
Efficiency is calculated on-the-fly as patterns are placed.
The marker is saved in computer memory eliminating the need for a large
marker library
Full sets of graded pattern on hard paper are unnecessary. Once the
sample size pattern is digitized, grading is performed automatically
according to pre-installed grade rules
- 35 -

vii.
viii.
ix.

Markers can be created in one location, and electronically transmitted


anywhere in the world.
Variances in fabric width can be quickly accommodated with markers
made specific to the fabric width.
New systems can automatically do a rough marker which would only
require the marker maker to adjust manually.

3.12. Stripes and Plaids


Stripes and Plaids require special marking, spreading and cutting and bundling.
In fashion, vertical stripes are often expected to match at several points
depending on the price point. Across the center front, from the pocket to the
body, at the shoulder, at the yoke, and, sometimes from the collar to the body.
Horizontal stripes will match at the side seam, across the center front, from the
sleeve to the body, across a pocket, and across a center back seam.
i.
ii.

Plaids require matching in the horizontal as well as the vertical direction.


How the stripe/plaid marker is made. As it is impossible to place a pocket
literally on top of a front panel in the marker, the pattern is placed further
down the length of the marker in a location that matches the stripe or plaid
repeat. Markers for stripes and plaids start with patterns that are marked
with a stripe registration line which indicated a control point in the stripe,
with information on the width of the repeat. The marker is scored in the
length (and width for plaids) with a line at the beginning of every repeat.
When patterns are placed in the marker, they must be oriented by the
marker maker to match up with the repeat on the marker.

3.13. Marker Making Guidelines


There are some General Rules of Thumb that apply to the marker making
process.
1. Maximize the fabric width. The wider the fabric is, the more efficient the
marker will be, increasing the fabric utilization.
2. Maximize the overall quantity of parts in the marker. The greater the
number of parts in the marker, the greater the efficiency as parts will lock
better if there are more of them.
3. Maximize the overall quantity and variety of sizes in the marker; widely
different sizes of patterns fit together better. More sizes in the marker,
offers more opportunities for the patterns to match and interlock better.
4. Maximize the overall quantity of pattern sets in the marker, like the overall
quantity of parts offers more chances for the patterns to lock together
better.

- 36 -

3.14. Some General Terms and Definitions


a) Dotted paper: Thin paper with marks at 1 by 1 intersection points in a
grid parallel to the long edge of the paper, and perpendicular across the
width of the paper. The paper is available in widths of 54 to 140 in 6
increments, and in lengths of 100 to 1,000 yards on a roll.
b) Legend: The marker key containing the style number, size /quantity
breakdown, marker mode and spreading mode, written at each end of the
marker.
c) Spreading mode: The mode of spreading indicates the way in which the
nap and face of the fabric is spread from one ply to the next.
d) Marker efficiency: The percentage of fabric used in patterns vs. the fabric
wasted between the parts.
e) Bundle preparation: Sorting, separating and marking the cut parts, and
tying them into bundles for the sewing process
f) Mixed Marker: A marker in which all the pattern pieces of a style are
utilized. There is no restriction on where they can be placed, as long as
they are placed on-grain.
g) Open Marker: A marker in which all the pattern pieces of a style are
utilized as pairs (all the left and right pattern pieces). The Open marker
patterns are placed in pairs (left and right of the same size) to ensure that
if there are shade differences in the length of the goods, parts of the
garment that are seen side by side will appear with the same shade.
h) Closed Marker: A marker in which half the pattern pieces of a style are
utilized. Either the left half, or the right half of a pattern pair is laid into the
marker. When created for closed goods (folded in the length), one
selvedge is marked as the folded edge.
i) Closed-on-open: A marker with half of a set of patterns for each garment,
placed on open fabric. Every part of the garment must have corresponding
left and right patterns, or blocking and relaying is required. This mode is
intended for fabric spread face to face.
j) Utilization (See Marker efficiency): Fabric Utilization is the percentage of
fabric that is utilized by patterns in the marker. The more closely the
patterns fit together, the higher the fabric utilization. Typical apparel fabric
utilization ranges from 65% to 90% depending on the shape/ sizes of the
patterns, and on the marker mode.

- 37 -

k) Blocking and re-laying: The process of spreading a part for two sizes
with the intention of splitting the block, and re-cutting the smaller size out
of half of the block.
l) Single section marker: A marker with all the patterns of all the sizes
needed, placed wherever they will yield the most economical use of fabric.
m) Section Marker: A marker created with one or several sizes mixed
together, separated from the other sizes by a section line (across the full
width of the marker).
n) Step Spreading: Is a spreading method for varying the number of units
spread by size, where each section will have a different number of fabric
layers under it.
o) Each section usually has only one or two sets of each size patterns, and
the variance in ply count appears as gradual steps when the fabric is
spread on the table. Only the plies needed are spread under each section.
p) Grain: The natural warp direction of fabric. The grain is always parallel to
the selvedge of the fabric. In a garment, the grain is most often aligned
with the vertical center line of the body.
q) Down nap direction: As the garment is worn, the down direction is when
the nap points toward the floor. When a nap naturally hangs down, it
reflects more light than when it is turned 1800
r) Mode: The mode refers to the orientation of each layer in relation to the
previous layer.
s) Nap: The surface of the technical face of the fabric has a nap, if, when the
fabric is turned 180 degrees in the same plane, the fabric looks different.
This nap is the result of the fabric construction (such as velveteen, velvet,
terry, etc.), the result of fabric finishing techniques (surface treatment on
some microfiber textiles, or combing on wools), or a print on the fabric.
t) Splice Mark: Indicator on the control side selvedge, visible as a pair of
lines perpendicular to the selvedge, drawn outside the selvedge, with an X
between them. The splice mark denotes the left and right ends of a
complete intersection where patterns in the length of the marker begin and
end. In one pass of spreading, overlapping at the splice mark ensures that
all the pattern pieces cut in that layer of fabric will be complete parts.

- 38 -

4.0. Spreading
Spreading fabric for cutting may be done in a variety of ways. These spreading
modes describe the way in which the face of the fabric will be oriented, and what
the nap direction is from ply to ply. The choice of spreading mode will affect the
cost of spreading and the quality of the finished product (the result of the cutting).
Spreading quality is achieved when any flaws in the face of the fabric can be
identified by the spreader (even if the fabric was pre-inspected), and removed
(either during the process of spreading, or marked for removal after spreading).
The highest levels of spreading quality are, therefore, achieved with spreading
modes that permit the face of the fabric to be up and visible to the spreader at
all times.
Understanding how fabric is spread facilitates understanding why the choice of
certain types of fabrics will increase or decrease the overall cost of the product.
When quality problems are encountered in fabric shade, they often are traced
back to the choice of spreading mode.
4.1. Choosing Spreading Modes.
The choice of spreading mode often dictates certain methods of fabric handling
and the choice of machinery used for spreading. The availability of the proper
spreading equipment may restrict the choices of spreading (and marker types)
available for a particular facility (All spreading machines can Not spread all
modes of spreading).
4.1.1. Face/ One/ Way, Nap/ One/ Way mode of spreading (F/O/W, N/O/W).
The highest quality of
spreading is achieved
by the Face/ One/
Way, Nap/ One/ Way
mode of spreading
(F/O/W,
N/O/W).
Each layer of fabric is
spread with the face
up (usually) permitting
the spreader to see
all of the face of the
cloth to identify any
flaws in the fabric.
The fabric is spread in
one direction only,
from the end of the table to the beginning (Right to Left from the machine
operators point of view). This will ensure that there will be no problems with nap
direction in the finished product. For this mode of spreading, the patterns in an
open marker are placed N/O/W. This is a slow method of spreading however,
- 39 -

because after each layer is spread, the fabric is cut at the end (across the width
of the table just past the beginning of the marker), and the machine and operator
transverse back to the opposite end of the table to begin spreading the next layer
of fabric (known as deadheading, a term borrowed from the trucking industry to
mean traveling without a load). This process is repeated until all the plies
needed are spread.
4.1.2. Face/ One/ Way, Nap/ Up/ and Down method spreading (F/O/WN/U/D).
The second highest level of
spreading
quality
is
possible with the Face/
One/ Way, Nap/ Up/ and
Down method of spreading
(F/O/WN/ U/D). In this
mode, the fabric is spread
from the end of the table to
the beginning. At the
beginning of the table, the
spreader cuts the fabric
across the width, then must
rotate the roll of fabric 1800
(in the same plane). The
spreader then continues
spreading the fabric from the beginning back to the end of the table where the
fabric will be cut and rotated again. This process is repeated until all the plies
needed are spread. This mode requires that the fabric be symmetric, as
alternating plies are placed in opposite directions.
Markers for this method are most often open, Nap/ Up/ Down to take advantage
of asymmetric fabric, and are more efficient (than Nap/One/Way). The marker
may be Nap/ One/ Way although there will be no gain in quality (the only gain
would be more efficient spreading time)
4.1.3. Face to Face, Nap/ Up/ Down (F/F- N/U/D)
The most efficient (fastest) method of spreading is the second lowest quality
method. Face to Face, Nap/ Up/ Down (F/F- N/U/D). For Symmetric fabrics, and
moderate overall quality, this method of spreading is widely popular. Starting at
the end of the table, the spreader spreads the fabric to the beginning of the table.
Without cutting the end, the spreader folds over and weights the fabric end down,
and begins spreading back toward the end again.

- 40 -

For open, Nap/Either/ Way markers,


this mode produce the lowest cost
of spreading and most efficient
(least costly) fabric consumption.
The quality is low, as the face of
every other ply is not visible to the
spreader to see and remove
damages. This mode of spreading
also facilitates the use of closed
markers on open fabric, Nap/ Either/
Way, Nap/ Up/ Down or Nap/ One/
Way (most, moderate, and least
efficient respectively). This mode
requires
the
identification
of
damages parts during the sewing process by the sewing operators, or quality
control inspectors
4.1.4. Face to Face, Nap/ One/ Way (F/F- N/O/W)
When fabric is asymmetric, the
Face to Face, Nap/ One/ Way
mode allows the use of an open
or closed marker on open fabric
that is napped or one-directional.
The result of this mode is fabric
that is face to face, where
consecutive plies will yield pairs
of parts (left and right). This
method is relatively slow, and
produces the lowest quality, as
the face of every other ply is not
visible to the spreader. This mode
also requires the identification of damages parts during the sewing process by
the sewing operators, or quality control inspectors.
4.1.5. Closed Face to Face, Nap/ One/ Way
Closed fabric is fabric that is folded in its length either due to the textile milling
process (as with tubular knits), or deliberately by the mill to facilitate the
manufacturing process. (Very wide fabrics might be purchased folded to enable
the use of narrower tables for spreading that are already in place in the facility).
Closed Face to Face, Nap/ One/ Way spreading is the process where the
spreader starts at the end of the table spreading the fabric (tubular or folded and
rolled) back to the beginning of the table. The spreader cuts across the fabric
width past the marker end, and then transverses back to the end of the table to
start the process again. Two layers of fabric are laid on the table in one pass,
where both layers are Face/ Face.
- 41 -

Folded fabrics facilitate the use of closed markers where the fold is utilized for
parts that are single, in conjunction with paired parts. (a single back panel pattern
is folded in half, and laid on the edge of the fold. Other, paired parts are placed in
the open areas of the marker,
and when cut, yield left and right
pairs). Use of the closed marker
(half a set of patterns) speeds
the cutting process, as it takes
roughly half the time to cut half a
set of patterns. Quality, as other
Face/ Face modes is moderate
at best, as half the fabric spread
is not viewable by the spreader.
(Figure shows the spreading
mode of; Folded Fabric, Face
to Face, Nap One Way (F/F,
N/O/W.

4.1.6. The Closed Face / Face, Nap/ Up/ and Down


The Closed Face / Face, Nap/ Up/
and Down mode is similar to the
Closed Face to Face, Nap/ One/
Way mode except that after the first
pass, the spreader does not cut the
fabric off at the beginning of the table.
Instead, the fabric (two plies Face to
Face) is folded over and the spreader
begins spreading back to the end of
the table. This results in a Face to
Face mode where pairs of plies
alternate up and down the table. As
this method reverses the direction of
the nap, the quality is lower. Unless the nature of the nap or construction is such
that in the end use of the product, the nap direction is not noticeable by the
consumer, this method would not be used. (See does it matter when fabric is
Upside down?)
(Figure shows the diagram of spreading mode Folded Fabric, Face to Face, Nap
Up and Down (F/F, N/U/D)).

- 42 -

4.2. Order Management


In order to manage cut quantities to match order quantities, there are several
strategies used. The most economical approach is to use a single section maker
which contains patterns in the ratio that the style is ordered in. Fabric is spread in
multiples of the ratio of the marker. Step spreading for a section marker is done
when the order ratio and quantity is controlled by the number of plies under one
set of patterns in each section.
4.2.1. Single Section Marker
A typical example is for the size range of extra small, small, medium, large and
extra-large, there would be one set of size extra small patterns, two sets of small
patterns, three sets of medium patterns, two sets of large patterns and one set of
extra-large patterns. Thus, there would be nine complete pattern sets in the
marker.
Orders received in multiples of this ration XS/1, S/2, M/3, L/2, XL/1 would be
satisfied by spreading the required number of plies.
If the orders are received in multiples of a different ratio, it is necessary to create
a different marker.

- 43 -

4.2.2. Section Spreading (Step Spread)


Section Spreading (Step Spread) is used for section markers where the quantity
and ratio of garments cut is determined by varying the number of plies spread
over each section.
In most situations, the marker section with the need for the greatest number of
plies is situated closest to the left (beginning point) of the spread.
Then each section by decreasing numbers of plies needed is located after the
first going down the table. For the first color, the plies needed for every section
would be spread down the length of the table.
Then, for the first (and second if needed, etc.,) sections, the additional plies
needed for the sections quantity are spread over just that section. Finally the
additional plies needed just for the first ply are spread on the first section
4.2.3. Spreading Stripes and Plaids
Stripes and Plaids require the management and orientation of each layer of fabric
exactly over the next. This is done by using Nails or Spreading Pins to align
every ply.
The Nails will be driven into the spreading table, and located in the waste areas
of the marker, at a given repeat line, between where the patterns will fall.
The modern approach is to use a programmed pin table that raises sets of pins
up through the table surface to accomplish the same result as using nails.
The spreader will count the number of stripes on the fabric to a given repeat
where the nail is located, then the spreader will push the fabric onto the nail at
the very edge of the stripe, ensuring that the fabric lays flat. This is repeated all
the way down the table. By lining up one stripe, the fabric will be cut uniformly, so
that the parts will align. Stripes are usually spread face up for the best quality.
Plaids are handled in much the same manner. For plaids, nails will also be used
across the width of the fabric, at every other repeat in the fabric pattern
4.2.4. Velvet and Velveteen
Velvet and Velveteen fabric are spread using special frames on which the fabric
is put up.
These frames are designed to be mounted on manually operated spreading
machines. Velvet and Velveteen is spread F/O/W, N/O/W.
The marker is open, N/O/W. Two spreaders are required. The process is slow, as
the spreaders must unhook the selvedge at each corner (both sides of the roll),
at all four corners of the velvet rack during spreading.
4.2.5. Recordkeeping
During the Spreading process, the spreader records each ply spread on a cutting
ticket to report the fabric usage and actual number of plies and colors (shades)
spread.
Following the cutting order, the spreader will record how many plies of fabric are
spread per roll of fabric.
- 44 -

The yardage not spread in ends and damages will also be recorded. The
spreader will collect the roll tickets and staple them to the cutting ticket as a
confirmation of having spread each roll.
4.3. Advanced Technology for Spreading
4.3.1. Damage control mark sensors
One of the newest advances in spreading systems is the use of automatic
sensors and marks on the piece goods to identify damages in the fabric.
Reflective tape is applied to the fabric selvedge during the pre inspection
process. Automatic spreading machines are mounted with a sensor that detects
the tape as it passes through the electric edge control eye. The sensor stops the
spreading machine permitting the spreader to locate the damage and remove it
during the spreading process. This technology is particularly useful for Face/
Face modes of spreading where the spreader cannot see the face of the fabric
on every other ply. This system can essentially assure the same spreading
quality from F/F as F/O/W spreading. Also, this system permits higher spreading
speeds as the spreader is not limited to how fast they can spread and see
damages at the same time.
4.3.2. Air Flotation Tables
Air flotation Tables are cutting tables that have a
system of air jets mounted down the center of the
table. Air is forced out under the lay permitting it to
float on a cushion of air much like a hovercraft. This
facilitates moving either a block, or the entire spread
down the table. When used in conjunction with
automatic cutting systems, this technology facilitates
spreading down the length of a long table, then
easily moving the entire spread to the automatic
cutting system.

4.3.3. The Vacuum Table


The Vacuum Table is a revolutionary technology
used in conjunction with servo cutting machines.
Replacing the use of cloth weights to keep the
fabric in place during cutting, clear mylar plastic is
spread over the entire lay after the marker is in
place. Through small holes in the cutting table
surface, air is sucked out of the lay. This
compresses the lay and stabilizes it.

- 45 -

4.3.4. Heavy Roll Loaders


Heavy Roll Loaders are used when roll weights exceed 200 lbs per roll. Able to
manage rolls weighing over 1,200 lbs, these are used to lift the fabric rolls from
the floor to the spreading machine.
4.3.5. Fully Automated Panel Cutting Systems
Fully Automated Panel Cutting Systems are used
for home fashions items like table cloths, sheets,
mattress pads, napkins, bedding and curtains. The
Spuhl-Anderson Panel Cutter is one of these
systems which automatically pulls the fabric off the
roll an exact measured distance, then cuts it off
squarely and accurately.

4.4. TECHNIQUES FOR SPREADING QUALITY


Removing Tension in the lay
Cutting at the Ends.
Reducing fabric waste at the ends
Fabric Control during Spreading:
Damage Removal
Ends and Damaged Goods
4.4.1. REMOVING TENSION IN THE LAY
An essential element of spreading is to relax tension in the fabric during the
spreading process. Should there be any significant stretch in the fabric after
spreading, when the fabric is cut into parts, each part will shrink.
Even 5% shrinkage is enough to change a whole garment size
4.4.1.1.

Relaxing overnight

For most knit fabrics, the common practice is to let the entire lay relax on the
cutting table overnight.
If the lay is significantly long, it may be cut into long blocks in the length of the
goods, allowing the shrinkage to occur more evenly.
4.4.1.2. Beating the Lay

To further ensure that the fabric is spread without tension, the practice of
beating the lay is performed for most hand-spread modes.
The spreader takes a wooden yardstick and hits the top layer of fabric repeatedly
down the length of the table.
This will cause the fabric to jump or purposefully shrink back prior to laying
down the next ply.

- 46 -

4.4.1.3. Tight Selvedges

Depending on the milling method, some fabrics are finished where the selvedge
is shorter (tighter) than the body of the goods.
To relax the selvedge, the spreader will take a short knife and slit the selvedge
every six or twelve inches.
The slits are cut into the goods only the depth of the selvedge, thus not
damaging the fabric for the garments.
4.4.1.4. Positive fabric feed

Positive fabric feed in spreading machines is used on all automatic and semiautomatic spreading machines.
The positive feed roller is tacky enough to grip the cloth and pull the cloth off the
fabric roll.
The positive feed roller feeds the fabric down toward the table at the same rate
that the spreading machine moves down the table. This results in minimal or no
tension in the fabric on the table.
4.4.2. CUTTING AT THE ENDS
When spreading F/O/W, N/O/W, F/F, N/O/W, and F/O/W, N/U/D, it is necessary
to cut the fabric at the end of each spread length.
This can be accomplished by one of several methods.
4.4.2.1. Use of Hand Shears

Hand Shears may be used to cut across the width of the table. For fabrics over
45 wide, the spreader will utilize an assistant working on the other side of the
table in, cutting from the opposite edge.
4.4.2.1. Wand mounted round knife

A wand mounted round knife is an electric shears connected to a wand


approximately 36 inches long.
This device permits one spreader to cut across the entire width of the fabric. This
eliminates the need for another spreader to work the other side of the cutting
table (effectively cutting the spreading labor cost in half).
If a semi-automatic or automatic spreading machine is in use, the electric shears
is connected to, and stored on the spreading machine.
4.4.2.2. Automatic Cutting Knife

Another method of cutting the fabric at the end is the Automatic Cutting Knife.
Mounted on the table or mounted on the spreading machine.
The automatic cutting knife when activated will automatically cut across the width
of the fabric in a straight line

- 47 -

4.4.3. REDUCING FABRIC WASTE AT THE ENDS


The aforementioned methods of end cutting have a varied effect on fabric
consumption. Hand guided cutting with shears will regularly cause the loss of
approximately 3 of fabric in every ply. This is because cutting by eye is
inaccurate. The spreader does not take the time to rule a line on the fabric
exactly perpendicular to the selvedge to cut the end. Using the electric shears
only reduces this loss marginally, as it too, is hand guided.
The automatic cutting knife reduces the loss of fabric at the ends, by reducing
the variance to less than 1 per ply.
The automatic cutting knife, mounted on the spreading machine will consistently
cut perpendicular to the selvedge.
The only loss my come due to natural skewing of the fabric which is marginal
4.4.4. Controlling Shades
In order to be assured that garments will not be sewn together from fabric of
differing shades, it is necessary to separate shades and colors from roll to roll.
When multiple colors of fabric (noticeable difference) are to be spread, the
spreader will alternate colors by roll. This permits easy shade separation after
cutting.
This will result in a rainbow effect when looking at the cut edge of a bundle
before sorting. In sorting, all the plies of one shade become a single bundle
which is marked, tied and sent to the sewing room.
When only one color is being spread, it is necessary to separate the fabric
shades by roll using tissue paper or wax paper.
4.4.4.1. Tissue Paper

In order to create a noticeable separation between varying shades of the same


color in the spread, Tissue Paper is used. The tissue separating paper on a roll
that is the width of the fabric, is spread out over the last ply of one roll, before the
first ply of the next roll of similar color (but different shade) is spread.
After cutting, this tissue paper (often a pale pink in color) is visible in the cut
bundle.
4.4.4.2. Wax paper

Wax Paper would be utilized as a shade separator in the case where the lay is
high, and friction from the cutting blade might burn or fuse the edges of the fabric
near the bottom of the lay.
The wax paper would be applied the same as the tissue paper described
previously.
As the cutting machine cuts through the lay, small amounts of the wax from the
wax paper acts as a lubricant on the blade edge, reducing friction, therefore
cooling the blade

- 48 -

4.4.5. FABRIC CONTROL DURING SPREADING


Controlling the fabric during spreading is necessary for the cut parts to be of the
highest quality.
Ideally, each ply should be spread with the selvedge (or fold) superimposed one
atop another on the control edge, the fabric should be square, flat and without
tension.
4.4.5.1. Smoothing fabric

Some fabric when delivered on the roll may have pleats folded in the goods on
the roll. The spreader must straighten out those pleats before cutting, or the cut
parts will be misshapen. During spreading it is also necessary for the spreader to
open out any unnecessary folds, or creases, and to eliminate bubbles caused
by uneven tension in softer fabrics.
4.4.5.2. Skewing

Skewing is when the fabric comes off the roll angled across the weft (width).
This condition known as skewing is when the weft at one selvedge is further
down the table than the other.
This will cause the fabric to be off-grain in the (across) cross body direction.
A spreader can pull the goods slightly to minimize this problem, but most often,
management may decide not to spread skewed goods.
4.4.5.3. Bowing

Bowing occurs when the cross-grain weft bends further down the table in the
center of the goods only.
This condition is difficult to minimize, so in extreme cases, the fabric will be
rejected.
4.4.6. DAMAGE REMOVAL
The Spreader is the last quality control inspector to see the fabric before it is cut
up into garments.
The mill would most often, wash their hands of responsibility for damages and
flaws once the fabric on the roll is cut.
Therefore the spreader is expected to identify flaws in the fabric and either
eliminate them during the spreading process, or mark them for removal later.
4.4.6.1. Damage Control Marks

Often, in the process of their own inspection procedure, the mill may mark
damages in the fabric. These markings are usually noted by either a short yarn
tied at the selvedge, or a plastic tag inserted in the selvedge. The spreader will
use these selvedge marks in addition to inspecting all areas of the fabric to find
damages in the cloth.
- 49 -

Larger manufacturers (or those with a history of problem goods) may pre-inspect
100% of the fabric they will use. In addition to marking the damages for the
spreader, adjustments on fabric price may be negotiated with the mill should the
fabric be shown to have more damages than the mill quoted (for the price paid).
A modern approach to locating and removing damages in the fabric are
Automatic Selvedge Mark Detection Systems; See Advanced Technology
Damage Control Marking Sensors These systems improve the level of spreading
quality achieved, and in less time
4.4.6.2. Damages in Closed Fabric

Closed fabric preparations pose a particular problem in detecting damages.


At any given point in the spreading process, the spreader cannot see the face of
every other ply of fabric.
For this fabric preparation, the loss to damages is always greater. For lower cost
products, the decision is made that the spreader will not attempt to eliminate the
damages unless they are profound. In this case, as in the manufacture of TShirts, the garments are all handles the same, and are completely manufactured.
In final inspection, the garments with damages in them are separated out and
sold off as seconds.
In some product categories, seconds are a big business. Since underwear is
manufactured from tubular jersey knit fabrics (closed preparation Folded at
both edged) the spreader is never able to catch all the damages
4.4.6.3. Re-Cutting

Marking damages without removing them is a practice followed when the cost of
fabric is high.
Rather than removing the damages using splice marks, when the spreader
identifies damage in the fabric, they may first roll out the marker to see if the
damage falls in the waste area between parts in the marker.
If the damage falls over a garment part, the spreader will lay tissue over the
garment parts affected by the damage. After cutting, bundle workers will see the
tissue paper showing in the cut edge of the bundle.
They will pull the affected ply, and the cutter will select a piece of Ends fabric in
the same shade, and tracing the damaged part, then re-cut a good part from the
ends fabric. This good part will be replaced in the cut bundle.
4.4.7. ENDS AND DAMAGED GOODS
(1).Ends are the remnants left at the end of a roll of fabric. Ends are unusable in the main lay when they are too short to extend over an entire
section. However, since ends are good fabric, they may be utilized in
splicing short distances such as the small parts section of a marker. Ends
may be used for re-cuts as well.

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(2).Damaged goods are all the yardage of fabric that must be removed when
splicing to remove damaged fabric. Seldom completely good fabric, parts
of damaged goods may be usable for Splicing.
(3).Ends and Damages must be recorded on the cutting ticket. The exact
yardage of each is recorded as well. The cost of the Ends and Damages
must be added into the cost of manufacturing. These fabrics were paid for,
but unusable for garments, thus increasing the cost of each garment
produced
4.4.8. Evaluating Spreading Cost
There is a direct relationship between spreading methods and time.
The two cost calculations for spreading are
(1) The labor cost for the time to spread, and
(2) The cost of fabric absorbed in the spreading of good garments as well as the
fabric cost of ends and damages.
These costs may be calculated for each lay, or may be applied to averages for
spreading time and # garments per marker
4.4.8.1. Spreading Labor Cost:

Labor cost is calculated as the Cost per hour (loaded with an overhead and profit
factor), multiplied by the Average spreading time.
This cost is divided by the number of garments produced in the spread.
Spreading Labor Cost =
Labor Cost/hour X Spreading time
# Garments /marker
4.4.8.2. Spreading vs. walking

When the spreader is deadheading as in the F/O/W- N/O/W and F/O/W- N/O/W
method, the cost of spreading will be almost double of the cost of F/F methods.
Since labor time is directly related to spreading cost and quality, the use of labor
saving devices is important to spreading.
4.4.8.3. The Cost of Ends and Damages

The Cost of Ends and Damages is calculated by taking the total yardage
recorded for a lay due to these two factors. This yardage is multiplied by the
$cost/ yard for purchasing these goods divided by the number of garments
spread in the lay. Even though ends are actually first quality fabric, they are unusable in the spread. The only way to recoup the cost of ends is to attempt to sell
them off (salvage value).
Cost of Damages and Ends =
# Yards lost to Damages & Ends * Fabric Cost/yard
# Garments / marker

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4.5. PREPARATION FOR CUTTING


Once the last ply of fabric is spread, the spreader will re-count the numbers of
plies reported on the cutting ticket. Then the following additional steps are
performed to complete the preparation for cutting.
(1).Moving the spreading machine aside:
The spreader will park the Spreading Machine and remove catchers if they
were used. The spreading machine must be parked back far enough from
the lay to permit the cutter to work. When space is a premium, the
spreader may simply drive the machine further down the table, later to
move it back as the beginning of the marker is cut and removed from the
table.
(2). Facilitate shrinkage of the lay.
If the lay is knit, the lay would then be cut into blocks and left on the table
overnight to relax (shrink back). These blocks are cut at natural splice
sections in the lay. The cutter would cut between the parts across the
width of the goods. This releases the tension in the plies closest to the
table.
(3).Recheck the marker.
The marker is then placed on the spread. The control selvedge is aligned
with the selvedge on the control side. The beginning line is aligned at the
beginning of the spread. The spreader will then recheck to see that the
fabric reaches the end of the marker, and that every ply of fabric is wide
enough for the marker.
(4).Fastening the Marker to the Spread
There are several popular methods of fastening the marker to the lay of
fabric. It is necessary to keep the marker from shifting during the cutting
process.
a) Cloth weights are two to ten pound metal weights that hold the marker
down on the lay. Cloth weights are used whenever other methods of
fastening the marker are not possible due to the nature of the fabric. Cloth
weights are often used with low lays (slippery or expensive fabrics).
b) Lay tacks (sharp staples) are the most common method of fastening the
marker to the lay. Using a lay tacker a device similar to an open paper
stapler, the spreader will press lay tacks into the marker and upper layers
of the fabric. This will stabilize the lay and keep the marker in place. For
best results (to prevent damaging the finished fabric parts) the spreader
should apply the lay tacks to the waste areas between the parts. Use of
the lay tacks on the parts is only permissible if the fabric will not show pin
holes as a result.

- 52 -

c) Straight T-pins are used on softer woven fabrics such as wools and wool
blends, and terry cloth. These 1 to 3 long pins have a T shaped
head, and are driven down through the marker into the lay. T-pins more
securely hold the marker and lay together. Whereas if the lay tacks are
placed in the waste area, and discarded during the cutting process, T-pins
must be carefully removed after cutting to ensure that they do not travel
with the bundles to the cutting room.
d) Light spray adhesive is some times used in conjunction with cloth
weights. In this method, the underside of the marker is sprayed with a
rubber based adhesive. This adhesive is tacky enough to hold the marker
paper to the top layer of fabric in the lay, but is easily separated after
cutting. To protect the face of the top layer of fabric, the top layer must be
face down, so it is most often used with closed marker preparations.
e) Needle Plate: The needle place is a quick set device to stabilize the
marker and upper layers of fabric. The cutter positions the place and
presses the needles into the fabric. Care must be taken to ensure that the
pins do not penetrate the body area of the patterns.
f) Cloth clamps are manually set spring clips that hold the edge of a cut
bundle square and prevents shifting of the plies. Cloth clamps are
particularly useful when cutting small parts. Holding the clamp, the cutter
can keep their fingers safely away from the cutting blade. After cutting a
part away from the lay, the cloth clamp will permit the cutter to keep the
cut bundle intact to facilitate notching the inside edge of the bundle.
g) Mylar plastic and vacuum: Servo cutting and computerized cutting
requires a more secure way of holding fabric to the table. By using
vacuum technology and mylar plastic to trap the air in the lay, the entire
lay can be secured to the table. Removing the air from between the plies
can also increase cutting productivity permitting taller spreading heights
(more plies) under the cutting machine. Vacuum does, however increase
the density of the lay, so increased friction and heat buildup must be
considered.

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4.6. Fabric/Garment Marker & Spreading Matrix


This matrix is a quick reference guide to marking and spreading modes. In
general, the lesser quality modes are faster, and therefore less costly than the
higher quality modes.
Fabric/Garment Marker & Spreading Quality Matrix
Fabric

Symmetric

Symmetric

Garment

Symmetric

Asymmetric

Type of Marker
for High Quality

Open or
Mixed
N/E/W

Type of Marker
for Lesser
Quality

Closed
N/E/W

Type of
Spreading for
High
Quality

F/O/W
N/U/D

Type of
Spreading for
Lesser Quality

F/F N/U/D or
Closed
Goods
F/FN/U/D

Open N/E/W

F/O/W
N/U/D

Asymmetric Asymmetric
Symmetric

Asymmetric

Open or
Mixed
N/O/W

Open N/O/W

Mixed or
Closed
N/U/D

Open N/U/D

F/F N/O/W

F/O/W
N/O/W

Closed
Goods
F/FN/O/W

F/F N/O/W

To choose the optimal marker type and spreading mode, first identify the
symmetry characteristics of the fabric and garment. Then Select the marker type
and Spreading mode for either High Quality, or for Lesser Quality.

- 54 -

4.7. Some common terms and definitions


a) Spreading: The process of repetitively unrolling one layer of cloth on top
of another. Each layer is oriented so that one of the selvedges is
superimposed one on top of the next. Care is given to ensure that the
fabric is wrinkle free, and that there is a minimum of tension (stretch) in
the fabric while spreading.
b) Ply: refers to each layer of fabric in the spreading process. Even if fabric is
folded in half, and placed on the table, it would be considered as two plies
(made from one technical layer). This is clearer to understand if you
consider that when cutting straight through the entire spread of cloth from
top to bottom, each ply is counted separately.
c) Spreading mode: The orientation of the face of the fabric, and the nap
direction as fabric is being spread on the cutting table.
d) Face: The side of the fabric that is intended to be the outside (side visible
to the consumer) of the fabric. Although some fabrics look the same from
the face to the back, there is always a technical face. Under most
circumstances, when fabric is rolled at the mill, the face is closest to the
tube, putting the back of the cloth to the outside of the roll. This minimizes
the potential for getting dirt or dust on the face of the outermost part of the
fabric.
e) Cutting order: A document which identifies the garment style, fabric,
width, colors and quantities by size which need to be spread. The marker
to be used will be identified as well.
f) Cutting ticket: A document used as a report of what was cut against the
Cutting order. In addition to the ACTUAL number of garments cut by size
and color, the Cutting ticket identifies yardages of each piece of ends and
damaged fabric as a result of the spread. Roll identification tickets
consumed will be attached to the cutting ticket. Often in the industry, the
Cutting order and Cutting ticket are combined on one document.
g) Short knife: Hand held knife with a blade that passes through the handle.
A short amount of the blade is kept razor sharp for cutting fabrics without
snagging.
h) Shade Separation: Each roll of fabric may potentially be a slightly
different shade of the same color. Each shade is bundled separately so
garments will be assembled of the same shade. Shades are separated
after cutting, to prevent mixing the shades when the bundles go to the
sewing room.
i) Tissue paper: is a very lightweight paper spread across the width of the
fabric and down the length of the spread to separate shades of fabric.
- 55 -

j) Wax paper: Like household wax paper, in the spreading process, wax
paper the width of the fabric and the length of the spread is used for shade
separation, or just to lubricate the cutting machine blade during cutting.
Depending on how much lubrication is needed will determine how many
layers of fabric are separated by a layer of wax paper.
k) Seconds: Garments which contain a flaw, but are completely
manufactured, are known as Seconds. This denotes that the fabric or
construction is not top (first) quality which commands the full wholesale
price. Seconds have a reduced value as completed garments, capable of
being sold at flea markets, discounters, etc.

- 56 -

5.0. Cutting
Cutting is the process of separating the garment parts from the body of the fabric
lay. Accurate production cutting is essential to producing garments that fit the
same as the approved sample garment. When cutting multiple layers of fabric,
several issues of accuracy and quality must be addressed. During the cutting
process, the accuracy of the cut parts in relation to the original pattern is subject
to the stability of the fabric, the movement of the fabric during cutting, the vertical
accuracy of the cutting edge as it cuts through the cloth, the quality of the cut
edge (clean cut without fraying, flagging or singing), and the accurate inclusion of
sewing marks such as notches in the cut edge, and drill holes.
5.1. Hand Shears
Hand Shears are used when cutting samples and limited quantities of garments.
The cutter must control the shears keeping the cut edge layer adds to the
difficulty of accurate cutting, the patterns are often traced in tailors chalk on the
top layer of fabric. Hand shears are limited to the cutters physical strength, but
usually no more than two layers of fabric due to the loss of accuracy as the
shears lifts the fabric off the cutting table. This method is slow and unproductive.
5.2. The Short Knife
The Short knife is an alternate method to hand shears. The short knife is still in
use in sloping and cutting leather apparel. The short knife slices through the
fabric, scoring the table in the process much the same way as slicing vegetables
on a cutting board in the kitchen. Fabrics cut this way must be heavily weighted,
as the short knife pushes as it cuts through the fabric, distorting multiple layers of
fabric. Ten to twelve layers of fabric may be accurately cut this way. Since
leather must be cut singly (one layer at a time to facilitate cutting around the
natural flaws in each skin), the short knife is used. Either the patterns are traced
on each skin before cutting, or a hard template (metal edged- wooden form) is
used for each pattern and the cutter will place the template down on the leather
between the flaws, and slice through the leather with the short knife. The short
knife is one way that round knife cutters can accurately cut notches in the edge
of a taller lay of fabric.
The short knife is also used for sloping on dress shirts and other customized
apparel where only a few layers of fabric are being cut at one time.
5.3. Electric Powered Cutting Machines
Electric powered cutting machines are used most often in mass production of
fashion apparel. Capable of cutting through many plies of fabric, these machines
are used throughout the world. Cutting machines all have inherent advantages
and disadvantages, and the correct choice of machine for the application (use)
will yield the best cutting quality. All electric powered cutting machines have
some common components. The electric motor is located above the cutting
blade. The cutting blade is mounted in a standard which supports the blade and
- 57 -

the weight of the motor. The base plate holds up the standard, and usually has
ball bearing rollers that make it easier for the cutter to move the machine about
on the cutting table. The large base plate passes below the lay as the cutting
machine is operated. To minimize distortion of the lay during cutting, the base
plate is made as thin as possible.
5.3.1. The Straight Knife or Up and Down
The Straight Knife or Up and Down (Vertical Knife) is a machine with a straight
vertical blade. Straight knives are available from 3 to 14 tall, capable of cutting
lays from 2 to 13 in height. Depending on the density of the fabric, this
may represent a wide range of plies. When encountering notches, the straight
knife may be used to cut notches by pushing the blade into the notch mark on the
patterns above each bundle.
5.3.2. The Round Knife
The round knife utilizes a circular blade that cuts cleanly through fabric much the
same way that a circular wood saw cuts through wood. The blade at the cutting
edge rotates down toward the table continuously providing a cleaner cut close to
the table surface. The straight knife chops the fabric down close to the table
surface. Additional advantages of the round knife are that it can cut without
pushing the lay as it cuts, facilitating cutting on slippery fabrics. Continuously
slicing downward, it also makes cutting very dense fabrics easier. The
disadvantage of the round knife is that at the cutting edge, the blade is not
vertical. Therefore, cutting accuracy is sacrificed as the lay get higher.
Both round knife and up and down knives are on-table cutting methods.
Ultimately, cutting accuracy is dependent upon the control that the cutter exerts
on the machine to cut vertically, and to split the line of the marker while cutting.
To achieve greater accuracy, more advanced technology is required on the
cutting table, or the fabric may be spread with blocks for all or certain parts
designated to be cut off the cutting table.
5.4. Die Cutting
Die Cutting is an off-table cutting method that provides cutting quality close to
perfection. Steel rule dies used most often in fashion manufacturing, are made
with a wooden form wrapped by a sharpened steel cutting edge. These are less
expensive than cast-steel dies. A die is required for every part in every size that
must be cut. This represents a large investment at over $100.00 per die. In this
process, Fabric blocks are included in the marker for the parts to be cut by die.
The blocks are shifted off the cutting table. At the cutting machine (known as a
clicker), the dies are placed (by size, etc. as needed.) down on the cloth, and
the machine head presses the dies down through the fabric lay. Every part
comes out the same exact shape and size when die cut correctly. A limitation is
the height of the cutting die. The tallest cutting die can only cut approximately 2
- 58 -

inches in height. Taller blocks of fabric need to be separated and cut several
times.
5.5. Band Knife
Band Knife Cutting is another off-table cutting method. The block of fabric is
moved to the band knife cutting machine. The Band knife is similar to the butcher
or wood working band saw. A continuous blade passes down through a table top
cutting surface. The operator guides the block of fabric to the blade. Cutting
accuracy is achieved by using thin wooden forms the shape of each pattern to be
cut. The band knife is particularly useful for high pile fabrics like terry, or velvet,
as well as soft knits.
5.6. Auxiliary Devices
5.6.1. Notchers
Notchers are either manual or electric machines used to make notches in the
edge of a cut bundle. Unless cutting notches while cutting with the up and down
knife, notchers are necessary for creating notches.
a) Cold Notcher. The Cold notcher is a manually operated, spring-loaded
device with a short blade mounted on a plunger. Placed at the edge of the
bundle, the cutter lines the blade up with the notch. In a single stroke
downward, the notch is cut into the edge of all of the fabric plies.
b) Hot Notcher. When the fabric is a soft weave or knit, the cut notch will be
lost in the edge fraying during handling each part. To create a more lasting
notch, a hot notcher is used. The hot notch utilizes a vertical heated edge
which burns a notch into the edge of the bundle. The temperature is
controlled, so as to leave a brown burn mark without melting or doing
excessive damage to the fibers.
c) Ink Notcher. The ink notcher is similar to the hot notcher Instead of
burning a notch into the edge of the fabric; this device leaves a trace of
UV marking ink on the edge of the fabric. This ink is visible under UV
lights at the sewing station.
5.6.2. Cloth Drills
Cloth Drills are used when a mark is needed inside the body of a part to indicate
the point of a dart, location of a pocket slash, or position of an interior component
such as a patch pocket, or appliqu. Drill holes are a more productive alternative
to chalk marking parts individually.

- 59 -

a) The Cold drill works in a similar manner to a punch cutting a small circle
of material as it bores down through the layers of fabric. The shaft rotates
like a wood drill, cutting the hole as it moved vertically downward.
b) The Hot drill uses a solid shaft that is electrically heated. The drill leaves
a burn mark to leave a lasting mark on loose weaves and knits.
c) The String marking is a device that uses a needle that penetrates all the
plies of the lay. The needle carries a thin cord which is left in the fabric
marking a drill hole location. This is used on very loosely knit or woven
fabrics where a not notch would damage the fabric. The sewing operator
pinches each ply at the string, holding the point as a reference for sewing.
5.6.3. Inside Slasher:
The Inside Slasher is a device used to cut the inside slash for interior slash
pockets. The cut is entirely internal on the part, so cutting from the edge is not
possible. The Inside Slasher has a double edge blade that reciprocates, and is
inserted from above the part bundle, where the part bundle is moved under the
knife
5.7. ADVANCED CUTTING SYSTEMS.
Advanced Cutting systems are labor saving, time saving systems that either
increase the cutters efficiency, or can eliminate the cutter entirely. Most control
the process mechanically, improving quality by improving the consistency of the
process over what (human) hand guided cutting can produce.
a. The Servo Cutting System utilizes a spreading table with vacuum, and a
swing-arm mounted cutting machine. As the cutting machine is mounted from
above, the standard and base plate can be significantly smaller. This results in
less disturbance of the lay during cutting. With the swing arm servo motor
activated, the cutter can cut through more dense fabrics than the same cutter can
do in one sitting.
b. Computerized Spreading/ Cutting Systems Keeping pace with computer
system development, computerized grading, marking, spreading and cutting
systems are continuously evolving through technology. Three technologies exist
for the cutting process, automatic knife cutting, laser cutting and waterjet cutting.
The two latter technologies, laser and waterjet cutting are limited to one or two
layers of fabric, or one layer of leather. Computerized knife cutting is now
capable of 2 (compressed by vacuum) in cutting height. For lower density
fabrics such as knits, this translates to almost 5 of fabric uncompressed. These
systems utilize the computer made marker to directly drive the cutting head.
Therefore, no paper marker is needed. In place of the marker, either an unlined
overlay paper will be placed over the lay to identify the cut parts, or self stick
labels would be applied to the top layer of fabric over each cut part. Computer
- 60 -

cutters have a cloth drill mounted on the cutting head, to facilitate inserting drill
holes whenever needed. The newest systems are tailored to the average cutting
height.
c. Leather cutting - traditionally cut by short knife, Leather is today cut by laser
cutting systems. These systems contain scanners that are so sensitive that they
scan each skin, and identify every flaw in the skin. The system then plots the
optimal placement of patterns on the skin, then drive the laser cutter to cut the
patterns out automatically.
5.8. Some common terms and definitions
a) Sloping: To make custom fit shirts from standard sizes, individual plies
(up to 6 at a time) are placed on a hard cutting surface. The parts are
remarked with the fit for an individual consumer. The cutter then slopes
the parts, re-cutting to the new measurements. The newly shaped parts
become a custom fitted garment.
b) Off-Table cutting: cutting methods requiring that the fabric block be
moved from the cutting table to the cutting system.
c) Cloth Drill: Electric device that bores a small hole through all the layers of
fabric. The cloth drill has a bubble level to indicate that the shaft is
perfectly vertical.
d) Computerized knife cutting systems: Utilizing a bare, double-edged
knife that penetrates all the fabric into a bristle block table surface. These
systems are directed by the computerized marker. The cutting surface
supports the fabric, but permits the blade to penetrate the surface, allows
vacuum to be used to hold the fabric to the table. Clear thin Mylar holds
the vacuum in, creating large amounts of holding force. The cutting head
is mounted on an automatic servo arm that spans across the table. The
fabric is either advanced automatically, or the cutter moves down the
table.
e) Laser Cutting Systems: Computer guided Laser that is used to cut one
ply at a time. Usually coupled with a continuous feed system, this is an
accurate method of cutting. The laser vaporizes the fabric in its path. The
laser never requires sharpening as the knife cutting system does.
f) Spreading quality is achieved by spreading fabric with the control
selvedge aligned, the warp and weft on grain, and every ply flat and
smooth. Spreading quality is further achieved by spreading the fabric with
a minimum of tension, and by removing all damages from the cut parts
before they reach the sewing process. Fabric width is maintained to be
wider than the spreadable width of the marker.
- 61 -

6.0. Cutting parameters/requirements


Block Cutting for Stripes, Checks, Printing, Engineered stripes etc.
Introduction
One of the last manually intensive practices in the cutting room is the cutting of
the striped and checked fabric. Placing pattern pieces accurately on the fabric
imposes numerous problems on cutting room personal which, despite many
years of endeavor, automation has failed to solve.
6.1. Contribution to alignment difficulties
There are three main difficulties which affect the marker making and spreading
process.
1. Fabric dimensions show variations
2. Superimposed plies must be matched
3. Garment pieces must be positioned accurately in relation to the fabric
pattern.
It is necessary to know about BOW and SKEWNESS to understand the above
mentioned difficulties.
6.1.1. BOW
It is resulted when the weft yarns are displaced from a line perpendicular to the
selvedge and form one or more arcs across the width of the fabric.

D
Bowed Yarn

Width ( W)

L
e
n
g
t
h

Bow % = D/W * 100

- 62 -

6.1.2. Skewness (Bias)


It is resulted when weft yarns are angularly displaced from a line perpendicular to
the fabric edge.

D
B Width (W)

Skewness (Bias) % = AB or BD / BC * 100


6.1.3. Fabric Dimensions show variations
Problems associated with the bowing and skewing will lead to the matching
problems during the spreading, cutting and stitching. Width ways striped fabrics
and checked fabrics are very good in showing these distortions.
They also show dimensional variations along the length of the fabric, and single
ply exhibiting these effects is shown in the figure. The distances between the
pattern repeats can be measured easily to determine the magnitude of the
problem. The differences arise wherever the fabric can be distorted during its
formation and finishing.
6.1.4. Superimposed plies must be matched
In order to lay up these patterned fabrics, it is essential that the ply length be
determined by the pattern and not by the absolute length. Consequently, to
superimpose successive plies, areas of fullness and tightness must be
accommodated within the lay.
6.1.5. Garment Pieces must be positioned accurately in relation to the
fabric pattern
Having layed up the fabric, a marker must be placed over the top ply. However,
the marker is made to fit fabric with the specification pattern repeat dimensions,
and exact match may not occur. This means adjustments must be made
manually during cutting.

- 63 -

6.2. The Constraints of the Garment Design


Garments are designed with the variety of matching positions. Some garments
may need matching only in the neck and shoulder area; others may have
matching side seams; yet others may be required to match wherever possible.
Each additional matching position adds to the complexity of the processing and
in some cases the fabric may be so distorted that the garment has to be
downgraded.
It is sensible to scrutinize carefully all specified matching positions. There should
be the minimum number necessary to achieve the desired quality.
6.3. Spreading Techniques for Striped and Checked materials
All procedures for handling striped and checked materials are time consuming
and manually-intensive. In some cases cutting individual plies may be best
method. However, spreading is generally practicable and makes better use of
labour. A short overview is given here, to identify the constraints on the marker
planner.
All techniques are based on locating particular stripes or checks and
superimposing plies in a controlled manner. Lays are generally short.
6.3.1. Check Spikes
Spikes have a base about 2.5 cm in diameter, and a number of different lengths
are available. Important matching points are located on the spikes to ensure that
they are superimposed during spreading. These alignment aids are inexpensive
and ensure that critical points are matched, but they can produce localized
distortions in the fabric during spreading. In addition, the exposed points can
constitute a safety hazard, and the technique is time consuming.
6.3.2. Pinning Table
Pinning tables are a development of the check spike principle, and are designed
to overcome some of the drawbacks. The spreading table contains many holes
through which pins can pass. The operator moves the pins as necessary,
beginning with the points just above the surface of the table. Each successive ply
is positioned on the table with the matching points on the pins. The operator
ensures that the pins always protrude just above the top ply.
Spreading is generally by hand but machines may also be used. Pinning tables
can reduce spreading times.
6.3.4. Folding
A method for processing relatively simple striped knitwear involves cutting and
folding panels of fabric. The panel lengths are governed by the body and sleeve
dimensions. The fabric is folded to match the stripes and compensate for any
bow or skew that is present. From the folded lengths a small lay is built up, which
may be then cut. Circular knives have been successfully used with the shallow
- 64 -

lays, and good results have been obtained with low ply die press cutters. The
technique is very effective at minimizing problems of bow, but it is not so
convenient for styles requiring more complex marker plans.
6.3.5. Blocking out and relaying
The marker is planned with a relaying allowance around all pieces that must be
matched. The fabric is spread as through it were plain, and cut up into blocks.
The blocks requiring matching are then relayed, often using a small pinning table,
so that all the superimposed plies are correctly positioned. The relayed blocks
can be then cut in the normal way. This method is useful if there are relatively
few pieces requiring matching, as it can reduce spreading times considerably
and permit longer markers. However, material costs must be carefully watched,
especially as pattern repeat lengths gets longer.
These different spreading and cutting techniques must be integrated with the
marker planning. Technique Check Spikes and pinning table require the planner
to produce a marker superimposed on the specification striped and checked
pattern, with matching positions clearly marked; technique Folding does not use
a paper marker, but the planner will state how many folds must be made in order
to cut the various components of the garment; technique Blocking out and
relaying requires the planner to introduce a pattern repeat allowance to selected
pieces marked.
6.4. Marker planning with striped and checked fabrics:
There is a great potential for patterned fabric to reduce marker utilization and it is
important that every aspect of manufacture is scrutinized carefully.
The first opportunity for examination is at product development stage. The
product design may be assessed for its manufacturability. Questions can be
asked about possible wasteful incompatibilities
The second opportunity to consider marker utilization is at the stage when the
production marker is prepared. The planner should minimize constraints imposed
by matching by assessing critically all the requirements for matching, and should
also increase the number of options in planning by increasing the number of
sizes to be marked.
The following points to note when planning a checked shirt marker.
- Fronts are best placed side by side so that the horizontal stripes in the
garment are exactly matched.
- Pockets and top cuffs are aligned with both horizontal and vertical
stripes, but it is not necessary to match the bottom cuffs at all.
- Some flexibility may be introduced here by limiting matching only to
vertical stripe.

- 65 -

It is particularly important to achieve a well- balanced appearance with


the collar, and it may be necessary to block cut and relay the top collar.
The bottom collar is hidden and does not require matching.

6.5. Potential for automation of cutting stripes and checked fabrics.


The variability in fabric dimensions is largely responsible for the limited
penetration of automation into the area of patterned fabrics. However, after many
years of development work by machinery manufacturers, a route can be
identified which offers the possibility of an automated solution. This is to lay and
cut single ply fabric, with visual sensing of the fabric pattern and adaptive control
of the positioning of the cutting head to ensure matching.

- 66 -

7.0. Cut Order Planning


7.1. Introduction
Planning is an essential function of management. The work in each department
in a production unit must be coordinated if work is to flow smoothly, and the
master schedule provides the means to do this. A brief review of planning
concepts is given here so that the constraints on cutting room activities can be
identified.
Load and capacity planning require the planner to quantify two variables the
load and the capacity and from them to determine the time requirements for
manufacture. The time required and the delivery dates required by the customer
must be satisfied.
The load is the quantity of the work the factory is required to do, measured in
standard minutes or standard hours (although in some cases other units have
been employed). The load is determined using two sources of data; contracts
that have been placed with the company (or, in some cases from forecasts of
demand) and the costed work content of the garments.
Thus:
Load =

(Contracts Size X work Content)contract 1


+ (contract size X work Content)Contract 2
+ (contract size X work content)contract 3
+ (etc. for all contracts).

The capacity is the amount of work the factory is capable of doing, measured in
standard minutes or standard hours per week. The capacity is often determined
form factory records of previous performance, but this may be accompanied by
algorithmic approaches. In the latter case:
Weekly capacity

Number of operators X absenteeism factor


X clock minutes per week
X average factory efficiency factor.

The equation computes the actual number of operations available to produce


work, determine the clock minutes worked per week, and finally uses an average
factory efficiency figure to convert clock minutes to standard minutes.
Time scales are determined by using the following equation:
Load = Weekly Capacity X number of weeks.
Once the number of weeks is known, the manufacturing resources can then be
organized to produce the contracted garments; i.e. a production schedule is
prepared which balances the load and the capacity. Since the bulk of the labour
- 67 -

force in a clothing factory is in the sewing room, the sewing schedule must be the
master schedule and the reference point for all other schedules.
Production planning personnel are then able to determine the targets for sewing,
cutting and fabric delivery.
7.1.1. Sewing schedule
The sewing schedule is designed to satisfy the contracts placed by the customer.
7.1.2. Cutting schedule
The cutting schedule gives the input necessary to achieve the sewing schedule.
The cutting room exists to satisfy the needs of the sewing room, so the cutting
schedule must be derived from the sewing schedule. It is not based on the
cutting room capacity but on the sewing room needs.
Manufacturers often plan to have a little spare capacity in the cutting room, but if
the cutting schedule reveals that the resources are insufficient, some
management decisions on capacity are necessary.
7.1.3. Fabric delivery schedule
The fabric delivery schedule provides the input necessary to achieve the cutting
schedule. It takes into account the constraints of lead times, the stock level
required to buffer against unsatisfactory quality or late delivery problems, and
aims to minimize the costs of acquisition and storage
Consequently scheduling in the cutting room cannot be isolated from the
scheduling of work through the whole factory. Further more, disruptions to the
cutting schedule are likely to affect subsequent stages of production. Cut order
planning takes the targets established by the cutting schedule and translates
them to a loading plan of successive batches to the cutting room, so that cutting
proceeds in the most efficient and cost effective way.
7.2. The issue of the cutting instructions
The cutting instructions controls the issuing, spreading, cutting and work
preparation of each batch processed in the cutting room. Decisions about the
batch sizes are made after considering a number of factors, as illustrated in this
worked example.
Worked example
The sewing room is scheduled to produce 200 garments per day. The marker is
9m long, with six garments marked. A figure of 2% is included in the costing to
cover laying loses. The maximum lay depth is 60 plies.

- 68 -

Prepare a cutting schedule to keep the sewing room in work giving:


- Costed length of fabric per lay;
- Number of lays per week.
Solution
The first step is to determine the rating of the fabric usage, which is the marker
length per garment plus an allowance for essential laying losses.
Rating of fabric usage

9.00/6 X 102/100 = 1.53 m/garment.

We now consider some options that are open to management:


Plan A
Plan to cut 1 lay /day, to supply the sewing room on a daily basis.
Length of the fabric required to produce 200 garments:
200 X 1.53m of fabric = 306m
Number of plies is 200/6 = 33.33.
Length of the fabric per lay = 306 m
Number of lays per week = 5.
However, after noticing that the lays are shallow and wasteful in cutting labour,
we go onto consider ways of increasing the depths of the lays.
Plan B
Plan to cut all lays 60 plies deep.
Number of garments per lay = 60 X 6 = 360 garments
360 garments require 360 X 1.53 m of fabric = 550.8m
Length of fabric per lay = approximately 550 m
Number of lays per week = 3.
However, we now notice that this will produce 1080 garments instead of 1000 in
a week. Some modification to this cutting plan will be needed in future weeks and
there may be problems holding cut work in temporary storage. Consequently, we
consider a third alternative, which is to cut as nearly possible the weekly target.
Plan C
Plan to cut 1000 garments / week approx. from 3 lays.
Number of garments per lay = 1000 /3 = 333.33
Number of plies per lay = 333.33 /6 = 55.56.
It is not possible to cut exactly 1000 garments per week. The number of plies
must be an integer. If the number of plies is 56, the number of garments / lay is
336. If the number of plies is 55, then the number of garments/lay is 330. Let us
consider cutting lays with 56 plies.
- 69 -

Length of the fabric required to lay 336 garments = 336 X 1.53= 514.08m
Length of fabric per lay = 514m
Number of lays per week = 3
We note that this plan gives a total of 1008 garments/week, a small difference
from a target. A decision may now be made about which option to select; a
choice will be between the Plan B and Plan C depending upon the local situation.
This worked example shows that there are several ways of achieving a target,
and that is the function of the management to weigh the merits of different
options and to make decisions which promote efficiency of action. The optimum
batch size is called the economic cut quantity. The function of cut order planning
is to authorize the issuing and processing of economic cut quantities.
A general procedure for issuing cutting instructions is as follows.
(1). what is the target to be cut?
- Analyze Data.
(2). How can the target be achieved at maximum cost?
- Consider alterations
(3). Make a decision
- Issue instructions for economic cut quantities
7.3. Economic cut quantities
The economic cut quantity will
(1). Make the best use of the fabric
(2). Make the best use of labour
(3). Make the best use of machinery and available spaces
(4). Maintain a smooth flow of work to the sewing room.
Some of these goals considered in isolation may conflict, so the economic cut
quantity must be seen as an optimum which satisfies the overall goal. The
following analysis of factors affecting lay dimensions explores these conflicts and
explains how optimum decisions can be made.
7.3.1. Fabric waste at lay ends
It is inevitable that some fabric is wasted at the ends of every ply that is spread.
This essential laying loss is included in the rating of the fabric usage, because it
is acknowledged that spreaders cannot lay up to exactly to the ends of the
marker. A realistic target for ends waste is 2cm per end or 4cm per ply. The
following worked example demonstrates the importance of controlling this area of
waste.

- 70 -

Worked example (Part 1): the cost of lay ends waste.


A single garment marker 1.5m long has been prepared. By copying the marker
and joining the copies together, longer markers are made. This exercise
considers the end waste when laying and cutting a fabric roll 200m long.
Remnants are laid aside and not used in the waste calculations.
Table shows waste calculations for four different lays, all having 4 cm
waste per lay.
The number of plies (column 3) is determined very simply by
multiplying the number of plies by the ends waste per ply. When this
figure is multiplied by the fabric cost (column 6), the cost of the ends
waste per lay is found.
The percentage ends waste per ply (column 5) is calculated by dividing
the length of the ends per ply by the length of the ply and multiplying
the result by 100.
Columns 5 & 6 in the table should now be studied to determine trends.
The main conclusion is simple and clear; short lays are inherently
wasteful in fabric, while longer lays significantly reduce ends waste.
(Table: 7.1. Analysis of waste due to ply ends)
Marker
Ends/
No of plies for Ends/lay
Length
Ply
200 m plus (Mts)
(Mts)
(Mts)
remnants

1.5
3.0
6.0
12.0

0.04
0.04
0.04
0.04

129 + (0.9 ply)


65 + (0.8 ply)
33 + (0.1 ply)
16 + (0.6 ply)

5.16
2.60
1.32
0.64

%
ends Cost
waste per ends
ply
lay
Rs.50
m
2.60
258
1.32
130
0.66
66
0.33
32

of
per
at
per

7.3.2. Labour Costs


It is customary to analyze labour costs in four categories:
i.
Marker Making
ii.
Spreading
iii.
Cutting
iv.
Work Preparation
One might predict that there are economics of scale as lays get larger, and so
labour productivity might be expected to improve. While this is generally the
case, the situation is really quite complex and it is often difficult to predict the
effect of changes in batch size in labour productivity. In the worked example
which follows, labour costs for cutting only are considered.
Single longer lays reduce ends waste, the question must be asked; why are all
lays not as long as possible? There will be many factors constraining the length
- 71 -

of a lay, but let it be assumed here that there is a limit on the quantities of
garments required; in which case, lays will not necessarily be as long as possible
because of the greater cutting costs.
Worked Example
Using the lay details in the table given below, carry out some additional
calculations to determine cutting costs. It is known that the cutting time for a 6m
marker is one hour, and the cutter is paid Rs.35 per hour.
The 6 m marker has four garments marked and the cutting time is known to be
one hour. Consequently, the cutting time for the 3m marker (two garments) will
be half an hour, and the other cases are pro rata.
The ends wastes per lay figures are copied across from the table (previous table)
and the final column has combined ends waste costs and cutting costs.
In this worked example, only cutting costs are calculated. Marker making costs
are unchanged because the same marker is used each time (copied and joined
together). Spreading costs are assumed to be little changed, although there may
be small savings as the ply length increases. Work preparation costs are
considered to be unchanged.
The final column in the table has some very interesting figures; there is now a
minimum cost when using the 6m marker. The trends of reducing ends waste
and increasing cutting costs conflict, so an optimum length must be selected.
This brings us again to the theme of this chapter; the objective of the cutting
room manager is to minimize the total costs by issuing economic cut quantities.
(Table 7.2: Analysis of cutting costs for four lays )
Marker length Cutting time Cutting
cost
(M)
(Hour)
(Rs.35/hour)
1.5
0.25
Rs.8.75/3.0
0.50
Rs.17.5/6.0
1.00
Rs.35/12.0
2.00
Rs.70/-

Ends waste Cutting cost +


per lay
ends cost
258
Rs.266.75
130
Rs.147.50
66
Rs.101.00
32
Rs.102.00

Note the following qualifying comments and observations;


(1) This example is for fabric with a fixed length of 200m. With different length
the most economic lay size will change.
(2) If longer lay lengths allow a better marker plan with a better marker
utilization, then further savings will be gained.
(3) Building costs may need to be considered. They may be greater with
longer lay lengths, particularly where there is a need for shade control.
(4) Remnant lengths get longer with longer lays and it is important for
management to control the way they are processed.

- 72 -

7.3.3. Marker Utilization


It is widely recognized that short markers have low utilizations and that improved
plans are possible by increasing the number of garments marked. Because of the
larger number of pieces are available, longer markers with a higher utilization can
generally be planned? This is especially the case with multi-size lays. However,
there is diminishing rate of improvement in marker efficiency as the length
increases.
As general principle, longer lays allow greater scope for marker planning and the
achievement of the higher marker utilization. An extension of the previous
worked examples illustrates the principles involved.
Worked Example (Improvements in marker utilization)
In parts 1 & 2 single garment markers were simply joined together to make
longer lays. However, by re-planning the markers savings in material are
expected. In this particular case, the following information is known.
-

2% for a 2 garment markers;


4% for a 3-4 garment markers;
5% for a 5-8 garment markers.

The single-garment marker is 1.5 m long, and from the roll of 200m
approximately 130 garments are cut. (You can check this by calculating the
number of garments cut on each four lays, excluding remnants). The figure of
130 garments is used in the table below, to allow a comparison of savings.
The fabric cost is Rs.125/-meter.
Column 3 has the new marker lengths, based on the estimated improvements in
marker utilization. From the savings per garments are determined, and
consequently the cost savings for 130 garments.
(Table 7.3 Estimated fabric savings from improved marker planning)
No of
% of Savings
Replanned
Savings/garment Savings for
Garments / (Marker
Marker
130 Garments
M
Rs.
Marked
Utilization)
Length (M)
(Rs)
1
0
1.50
0
0
0
2
2
2.94
0.03
3.75
468.75
4
4
5.76
0.06
7.5
975.00
8
5
11.40
0.075
9.375
1218.75

- 73 -

7.3.4. Fabric Properties


Fabrics vary in thickness and hardness. Fifty plies of a worsted suiting may be
thicker than 150 plies of cotton poplin, with direct implications for the number of
plies that can be put down in a lay.
Differences in their resistance to cutting may also be apparent, and high
resistances to the movement of a cutting knife can also limit the depth of the lay.
In some cases fabrics with high resistance to cutting produce considerable heat
energy, which increases the temperature of the cutting blade. In extreme cases,
thermoplastic materials can fuse and join neighboring plies together. Reducing
the lay depth will certainly reduce the problems.
Ten plies of a foam-backed quilt may be thicker than 50 or 100 plies of other
fabrics, but cutting difficulties will not be because the lay is hard, but because it is
compressible.
7.3.5. Cloth Availability
Cloth supply may be limited for several reasons. Obviously, if there is a limit on
the quantities available there must be a limit on the batch size that can be issued.
Or the contract size may be small, and the materials are purchased specifically to
satisfy the contract.
Some fabric may have been rejected after inspection because it is faulty. This
reduces the usable stock. A delivery of materials may be delayed and if buffer
stock levels are low, available materials are limited.
7.3.6. Machinery Dimensions
Laying up machines provide a practical limit on the lay depth because the feed
rollers can be raised only a predetermined height above the table. All the cutting
room managers should be aware of the limits of their spreading machinery.
Straight knives are used for cutting out larger pieces and for blocking off units of
the lay for transportation to the band knife. The length of the blade limits the
depth of the lay that can be cut. This constraint is not as significant as that of the
laying machine, as longer blade cutting knives can be purchased at relatively low
cost.
7.3.7. Quality Constraints
With deep lays, blocks can get very heavy and more difficult to control during
band-knife cutting. This can result in poor quality workmanship. The problem is
reduced by spreading shallower lays. A longer term alternative is to equip band
knives with air floatation, so the cutter does not have to use force to move to the
blocks.
- 74 -

Smaller pieces cut from deep lays may be distorted. Consider the case of
shoulder inserts cut from 2 X 2 rib knitted fabric. The block is compressible and
the inserts are only 2.5 cm wide. Slight tendencies for the block to lean, result in
the bottom plies being cut a different size from the top ply. This is of critical
importance in the garment because the shoulder inserts are a feature which
catches the eye of the customer. Inserts of variable width result in substandard
products.
There are ways of overcoming the problem: the cutter should split the lay and
reduce the number of plies being cut, and should use a template to improve
control.
As a general rule a close watch should be kept on all fabrics which are easily
distorted: fabrics which are brushed, have a pile, are laminated, etc.
7.3.8. Table Length
A table should be long enough to carry the largest lays likely to be required.
When working out the appropriate length, it should be remembered that the
space is needed for spreading machinery, for fabric awaiting laying-up and for
blocks of work awaiting band knife cutting.
7.3.9. Sewing Room Needs
We have previously noted that the activities of the cutting room are planned so
that the sewing room can be adequately supplied with work. The cutting room
exists to satisfy the requirements of the sewing room. The sewing room needs
must necessarily constrain the way work is processed through cutting, and this
may affect economic cut quantities.
7.3.9.1. Regular supply of work

The cutting schedule aims to provide a regular supply of work as the sewing
room needs a continuous supply of cut work, whereas the cutting room produces
in large batches at discrete intervals. Consequently a degree of coordination is
needed to ensure that the sewing room operators do not run out of work.
If the sewing room needs one bundle of cut work every 15 minutes, a cut work
buffer must be provided between the sewing room and the cutting room. The
cutting room can then cut one lay per day and produce a batch of 32 bundles to
feed into temporary storage area
Some practical implications for economic cut quantities may result from this
constraint, for although the manager may argue that deeper and larger lays may
be more efficient, the time it takes to complete the lay (the throughput time in the
cutting room) may make it impractical and disruptive.

- 75 -

Cutting room: Batch Input

32 Bundles /Day
Up to 1 days work in temporary storage

1 bundle / 15 minutes.

Sewing room : Flow input


In such a situation, larger lays can be cut only if the quantities of cut work in
temporary storage between cutting and sewing are proportionately large. This
requires more space for work in progress and close supervision to ensure that
sewing room needs are being met.
7.3.9.2. Short term modifications

Cutting should be able to respond to short term modifications to the sewing


schedule. The actual needs of the production unit are governed by the customer
requirements. Consequently short term changes to the sewing schedule must
lead to short term changes in cutting schedule. There is little point in sticking
rigidly to a cutting schedule if it is out of date with what the sewing room actually
needs.
The sewing room activities may be influenced by internal needs. For example, a
bottleneck has arisen on style A because of a faulty machine, and six operatives
are transferred from Style A and Style B. The cutting room must arrange a higher
rate of cutting of Style B and a reduced rate of Style A, until the bottleneck clears.
The point to note is that the short term revised needs may require a modified cut
quantity that is less than economic.
There are numerous hidden dangers here: some production units have many
priority orders, which are effectively short term deviations from the master
schedule. These do hinder the operation of cut order planning because there are
fewer options of putting orders together for greater efficiency.

- 76 -

7.4. Overview of factors affecting economic cut quantities


The figure below provides a concise summary of the factors discussed above.
The marker utilization is given prominence because of its importance in the
control of the material costs.
Width of Fabric

Marke
r Type

Number
of Sizes

Contract
details

MARKER UTILIZATION

Fabric Properties

Quality
constraints

Essential Laying Losses


ECONOMIC CUT QUANTITIES
Labor Costs

Material
Availability

Equipment
constraints
Sewing Room Needs

Production
Rates

Delivery
Deadlin

Disruption
CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS

- 77 -

7.5. The Cut Order Plan


The cutting room manager issues lays to satisfy two requirements.
(1). the targets given in the cutting schedule
(2). the most economic batch size (Economic cut quantity).
In this section we will formulate cut order plans for small-medium volume styled
production, where the complex contract can be cut in relatively few lays.
In the following worked examples information is supplied on the contract details
and the construction affecting the lay dimensions. The aim of the exercises is to
identify a cutting plan, as this step requires the most thought and in many cases
demands some creative thinking from the planner.
Cutting plan example 1
The contract details are as follows
SIZE
Quantity

10 12 14
40 90 80

16
25

18
25

The constraints on lay dimensions are


Maximum lay height
=
50 plies
Maximum lay length
=
4 garments marked
The limit of four garments marked may seem rather contrived, but it allows the
concepts to be explained more easily. In practice, lay lengths limits would be
specified in meters.
It is useful to determine the theoretical minimum number of lays required to cut
the contract:
The maximum number of garments per lay is 4 X 50 = 200 garments
The number of garments required = 40 + 90 + 80 + 25 + 25 = 260 garments
Therefore the theoretical minimum number of lays = 260/200 = 1.3 lays.
This gives a practical minimum of two lays to cut the contract the best that is
possible. However, it may be in some cases that the numbers required do not
permit a simple solution, so additional lays may be needed.
If the contract is to be cut at lowest cost the lays need to be as long and deep as
possible. This reduces the number of plies and ends waste, permits more options
for obtaining marker plans with high utilizations, and makes the best use of the
labour. Consequently, a target can be identified as follows:

- 78 -

Lay 1

Lay 2
Each lay has four garments marked. It is now necessary to determine what
garments are marked and how many plies there will be on each lay.
The worked solution is:
16

18

12

12

10

14

14

12

Lay 1- 25 plies
Lay 2 - 40 plies

An exact solution is possible. The reasoning was as follows.


Attention was first given on the sizes requiring the smallest number of garments,
as there is only one way to cut them.
Lay 1 must be 25 plies deep and the marker must contain one garment of size 16
and one garment of size 18. Attention was then directed to the remainder. The
next smallest number is 40 (for size 10), with double that number, required for
size 14. This suggested that the second lay requires 40 plies, and that the
marker has one garment of size 10 and two garments of size 14.
The final step was to consider the size 12 garments, and the contracted numbers
could be achieved exactly if marker 1 had two garments marked and marker 2
had one garment marked.
Obviously these figures have been selected to give an exact solution. If the
number of size 18 garments were 30, the cut order plan would not look as neat.
This exercise demonstrates three important principles which can be used to
determine the cutting plan:
(1). Aim to maintain total costs (giving priority to material cost)
(2). Start with lowest figures in the contract (fewer options)
(3). Exploit simple multiples between contracted quantities

- 79 -

7.6. Costing the cut order plan


Having established a cut order plan, it may be useful to quantify the costs. In
some cases the cost of different options may be required in order to make a
decision.
7.6.1. Material Costs
Worked Example
The contract received is as follows
Quantity
Sizes
Contract Ratio
Single garment marker length (m)

1200 Garments
A
B
C
1
2
4
2.0
2.2 2.4

D
2
2.5

E
1
2.6

Other relevant information:


Ends allowance 3 cm per ply
Maximum number of plies 100
Maximum lay length 10 meters
Cost of fabric Rs.100 / meter
Cloth saving on a multi-size or multi-garment marker is 5%
Cost an economical way of cutting this order.
Solution
1. The contract quantities are given in ratio, which has to be converted to
absolute figures.
2. Single garment marker lengths are given. The thinking behind this is that
designs costing have been made on each size, so this data is available.
The production markers have to yet to made, but when they are produced
savings of 5% are anticipated.
3. The maximum lay length is given in meters rather than in numbers of
garments marked.
Step 1: Determine targets
Size
Quantity

A
120

B
240

C
480

D
240

E
120

The theoretical minimum number of lays is a little more complicated as the


maximum number of garments must be inferred. Since the average length is
about 2.3m per garment, the maximum number marked will be four.
Theoretical minimum number of lays

=
=

1200 / 4 X 100
3

- 80 -

Since quantities are not in multiple of 100, three lays is impossibility.


Consequently, the target must be four lays.
Step 2: Consider options
Step 3: Make a decision
The marker plan selected is as follows:
A

Lay 1 60 Plies

Lay 2 80 plies

Lay 3 80 plies

Lay 4 80 plies

This plan has utilized the simple ratio between B, C and D and so that only
marker need to be prepared for lays 2 4.
Step 4 Calculate material costs
It is recommended that a systematic procedure be adopted to determine costs:
calculate the maker lengths, add on the ends waste to obtain the ply lengths,
multiply by the number of plies to obtain the lay lengths, and finally express this
as a cost:
Marker lengths
Marker for lay 1 (2.0 + 2.0 + 2.6 + 2.6) X 95/100
=
8.740 m.
Marker for lay 2 4 (2.2 + 2.4 + 2.4 + 2.5) X 95/100 =
9.025 m.
Ply lengths
Ply length for lay 1
=
8.740 + 0.030 = 8.770m
Ply length for lays 2 4
=
9.025 + 0.030 = 9.055m
Lay lengths
Lay length for lay 1
=
8.770 X 60 = 526.20m
Lay length for lay 2 4
=
9.025 X 80 = 724.40m
Material costs
Total length =
526.20 + (724.40 X 3) = 2699.40m.
Total cost
=
2699.40 X 100
= Rs. 269940.00.
If these calculations are carried out systematically it would be found that the
complexities are not in the calculations themselves, but in establishing the cutting
plan to be costed.

- 81 -

7.6.2. Labor Costs


We now turn our attention to labor costs, with again a worked example.
Worked example
You are required to cut the following contract:
Size
Quantity
Single garment marker length (m)

36
100
2.0

38
150
2.1

40
200
2.2

42
175
2.3

44
75
2.4

Information relevant to costs and possible savings is given below.


All times are in standard minutes.
1 Garment
lays
Spreading time/ply (mins) 0.75
Fabric savings
0
Marker Preparation time 0.5
(hours)

2 Garment
lays
0.80
2
0.75

3 Garment
lays
0.85
3
0.90

4 Garment
lays
0.90
6
1.0

Fabric costs Rs.125 per meter


Cutting time per garment marked 15 minutes
Maximum cutting height 100 plies
Maximum number of garments per marker 4
Labour costs Rs.50 per hour
Ends allowance 4 cm per ply.
1. Compare, with reference to size 44, the economics of cutting:
a. A shallow lay using multi-garment marker
b. A deeper lay using a single-garment marker.
2. Calculate the total cutting room cost using an economical lay plan.
Solution
(1a). A shallow lay using a multi-garment marker.
The cutting plan makes use of a three-garment marker
44

44

25 plies.

44

We are able to determine material costs with systematic procedure as follows.


Marker length
Ply Length
Lay Length
Material cost

=
=
=
=

(3 X 2.4) X 97 /100
6.984 + 0.040
7.024 X 25
175.60 X 125

=
=
=
=

6.984m
7.024m
175.60m
Rs. 21950.00

- 82 -

We now turn to labour costs. The approach should be systematic, as before. We


assume operatives work at standard performance unless informed otherwise.
The times are determined in minutes using the supplied information, and
converted to hours when necessary to establish the cost.
Time for marker making 0.90 X 60
Time for spreading 0.85 X 25
Time for cutting 15.0 X 3
Total time requirements
Labor costs: (120.25/60) X 50

=
=
=
=
=

54.00 minutes
21.25 minutes
45.00 minutes
120.25 minutes
Rs.100.20

(1b). A deeper lay using a single garment marker


The cutting plan has been decided for us:
44

75 plies

As before, we first determine material costs:


Marker length 2.4m
Ply length 2.4 + 0.04
Lay length 2.44 X 75
Material cost 183.00 X 125

=
=
=

2.44m
183.00m
Rs.22875.00

Secondly, we consider labour costs:


Time for marker making 30.00 X 1
Time for spreading 0.75 X 75
Time for cutting 15.0 X 1
Total time requirements
Labor costs (101.25/60) X 50

=
=
=
=
=

30.00 minutes
56.25 minutes
15.00 minutes
101.25 minutes
Rs.84.38.

Some observations on the results are in order. Consider the magnitudes of the
labour costs in relation to those of the material costs. In this case, the labor costs
are approximately 0.5% of material costs. Consider the magnitude of the material
saving (Rs.925.00) in relation to the additional labour cost (Rs.15.82). These
figures are significant and they underline the need to give priority to material
economy in cut order planning.
2. Total Cutting room cost using an economical lay plan
(1). Analyze contract
In this case, all relevant information is available in the question

- 83 -

(2). Consider options


(3). Make a decision
The marker plan selected is as follows.
44
36

38
40

38
40

Lay 1 75 plies
Lay 2 100 plies

42
42

(4). Determine costs


(a). Material costs
Marker length (lay 1) (2.4 + 2.1 + 2.1 + 2.3) X 94 /100
Marker length (lay 2) (2.0 + 2.2 + 2.2 + 2.3) X 94 /100
Ply length (lay 1) 8.366 + 0.040
Ply length (lay 2) 8.178 + 0.040

=
=

8.406 m
8.218 m

Lay length (lay 1) 8.406 X 75


Lay length (lay 2) 8.218 X 100

=
=

630.45m
821.80m

Material cost (lay 1) 630.45 X 125 =


Material cost (lay 2) 821.80 X 125 =

=
=

8.366m
8.178m

Rs.78806.25
Rs.102726.25.

(b). Labor costs


Time for marker making (lays 1 2 ) 1.00 X 60 =

60.00 minutes

Time for spreading (lay 1) : 0.90 X 75


Time for spreading (lay 2) : 0.90 X 100

=
=

67.50 minutes
90.00 minutes

Time for cutting (lays 1-2) 15.0 X 4

60.00 minutes

Total labour costs (lay 1) 127.50 / 60 X 50


Total labour costs (lay 2) 150.00 / 60 X 50

=
=

Rs.106.25
Rs.125.00

Total cost of the cutting the contract

Rs.181763.75

Total time requirements (lay 1) 127.50 minutes


Total time requirements (lay 2) 150.00 minutes

- 84 -

7.7. Computerized Cut order planning


The worked examples in this chapter have been solved relatively easily using the
manual methods. The number of variables considered has been limited. As the
situation goes more complex it becomes progressively more difficult to obtain
solutions which can be recognized optimum. It becomes more important to cost
our different alternatives, and this may lead to the time-consuming processing of
data.
This is the area where the computerization has been introduced to assist the
manufacturer, and where existing databases can be assessed to promote
integration within the planning function.
Figure shown below in the overview of computerized cut order planning.

Contacts File

Step 1
Input

Step 2
Marker Selection

Piece goods file

Input File Generation

Marker Selection Algorithm


Marker File

Step 3
Marker Prediction

Step 4
Table Allocation

Marker Enquiry Program

Table Allocation

Cutting Table File

Printout of marker/table allocation

(Simplified flow chart for computerized cut order planning)

- 85 -

In figure the input file merely takes relevant data from other parts of the
management information system and makes it assessable to the cut order
planning program. The marker selection algorithm identifies appropriate markers
to cut the contracts and explores the options by looking at the cost implications.
The situation is complicated by the fact that a number of markers are already in
existence, and some of these will be relevant to making a decision.
The marker inquiry program ranks markers according to their utilization so that
some sort of priority scheme can be operated. Interactive control is permitted,
because production pressures may dictate that existing markers must be used
whenever possible to release capacity in the marker planning section. If new
markers have to be planned, a marker request document is produced which
records the details. Step 4 determines the optimum way of proceeding with
cutting by considering the available resources in the cutting room. Finally, cutting
instructions are issued which give full details of the markers, the number of plies
to be layed, the mode of the spreading and the table allocated to do the work.
The knowledge base on computerized cut order planning is rather limited and is
dominated by general descriptions of commercial systems. None of the
descriptions of commercial systems reveal how their marker selection algorithm
actually works. As indicated earlier, the selection of a cutting plan does require
some creative thinking and the algorithmic approach may not be appropriate. A
more suitable strategy for software development might be based on expert
systems, but this would require detailed studies by a research team. This area
provides considerable scope for innovative thinking by knowledge engineers and
software developers.

- 86 -

8.0. Documentation Procedures and Control


(Documentation Procedures and Control such as Cutting Instruction issue, fabric
control charts etc.)
8.1. Introduction
The techniques for material control are initiated at the product development stage
and continue to be applied through the different processes until all piece goods
have been converted into garment panels. The focus of the documentation and
control in cutting department is employed by the cutting room manager to
instruct, monitor, and control the processing of fabric by cutting room personnel.
Documentation during and after cutting is designed to authorize the issuing of the
materials from the store, control the spreading, cutting and bundling activities,
facilitate the analysis of losses and quantify losses against costed values.
Garment manufacturers are probably more sophisticated and accurate in
analyzing direct labour costs and production than in evaluating fabric utilization
performance. It is therefore important to identify all factors affecting fabric
utilization and to apply techniques and controls consistently and systematically.
8.2. Fabric usage control: issue of materials
The details of these individual batches are entered on a cutting instruction, which
authorizes the issue of the fabric and provides essential information for spreading
and cutting. While the cutting instruction accompanies the material during its
passage through the cutting room, the situation is monitored by entering the data
on the cutting instruction record.
Management must control both the output of the cutting room, to achieve
production targets, and also the various processes to ensure that the materials
are efficiently used. The fabric reconciliation record provides a comparison of
actual usage and costed usage, and reports variances. This forms the link
between the cutting room activities and financial control projections and, as
materials comprise approximately 40% of the manufacturing costs, should be
regarded as vitally important.
8.2.1. Cutting Instruction
The cutting instruction is the main documentary output of the cut order planning
process. It is known by a variety of names in the industry; the cutting order, the
cutting sheet, the lay sheet, and so on. The document appears in a variety of
formats depending on local needs. However, as a minimum requirement the
cutting instruction must have the following information:
(1). the fabric to be processed.
(2). the marker to be used.
(3). the number of plies authorized (or equivalent).
- 87 -

CUTTING INSTRUCTION
Style No:
Marker Length
Fabric to be cut
Fabric
Quality
Width
Color
Lay Checked by:

Lot
No.

Piece
No

Marker No:
Cutting Instruction
Measured lay length
Date issued
Garments to be cut
Total
Sizes
Marker Quantity
Required
Layed
Cut
Bundled
Details of Purchased materials
Rack
Length Knitted Weight
No of
No.
Issued
issued (KG)
Plies
(M)

Remnant
Length

Signed

Faulty
fabric
Length

Totals
Total Fabric issued =

No of Faults Allowed :

Returned Fabric = (For reissue or for a claim against


supplier)

Length credited for faults :

Example format for the cutting instruction.


Date issued: The cutting schedule governs the authorization of lays. The
progress of the batches in the cutting room may be monitored by reference to the
issue date.
Marker length: Information on the marker length is transferred to the cutting
instruction. By adding on the ends allowance, the spreader can determine the lay
length.
Measured lay length: This figure is entered by the spreader on completion of the
lay. It provides direct feedback on ends of ply losses and can be used to assist
the analysis of low yield.
- 88 -

Fabric to be cut: The fabric to be cut details informs the store man and spreader
of the planners intentions. A qualitative description of the fabric is given so that
they can check that the correct fabric is issued.
Garments to be cut: Details of the garments to be cut are based on the cut order
plan. The marker quantities are entered against each size, and the number of
garments is calculated by multiplying the marker quantity by the number of plies.
At each stage of processing in the cutting room, the operator responsible for
handling the materials enters the relevant quantities in the spaces provided and
signs the document.
The lower half of the figure (example format of the cutting instruction) is
concerned with the specific pieces of the fabric issued foe cutting. The dye lot
number is identified, as it is normal to keep pieces from the same dye lot together
to minimize the variations in shade. Individual piece numbers are specified, so
the document permits managers to batch widths or shades when issuing work.
To assist the store man, the rack number is transferred from the stock book to
the sheet. Either the purchased length or the knitted weight is recorded, so the
cutting instruction can be used with all the fabrics, whether is recorded, so the
same cutting instruction can be used with all fabrics, whether purchased by
length or by weight.
The number of plies obtained from each piece is noted by the spreader, and can
later be used to determine the total number of plies and therefore the number of
garments of each size. If remnants (part-plies) are placed aside for subsequent
processing, the lengths are recorded. Similarly, if faulty fabric is cut out during
spreading, the lengths are accounted for on the sheet.
If the number of garments required is not achieved because there is an
insufficient number of plies, the reasons must be determined. The lay must not
be cut until it has been checked by the cutting room supervisor or manager. A
space is provided on the cutting instruction for signature of the person
authorizing the cutter to proceed. This procedure is referred to as the spreading
audit.
The lower part of the figure (example format of the cutting instruction) is
completed either at the spreading audit stage or by the manager at the fabric
reconciliation stage. Each column is totaled. In the case of fabric purchased by
length, the total fabric issued is the total of the purchased length issued column.
The returned fabric figure is the total of the remnant length column, where fabric
has not been layed up (part ply lengths, partly used rolls lengths, and fabrics
deemed unsuitable for spreading and which will be subject of the claim). The
number of faults allowed is the number of supplier-strung faults, from which the
length is credited for faults, can be calculated. This length can be compared with
the total of the faulty fabric column, to check whether the allowance is realistic.
- 89 -

8.2.2. Cutting Instruction Record.


In a manual management information system, the issue and the progress of the
cutting instructions are recorded in a cutting instruction record. The general
procedure for entering details on this document is shown in figure A. A typical
format for cutting instruction record is shown in figure B.
Figure B presupposes that the garments are cut in the correct ratio of the sizes.
This is justified where ratio markers are employed, and where there are few
garments cut from the remnant lays. In other cases to avoid loss of control,
information concerning sizes must be included in the document.
The cutting instruction record is designed to assist control. It enables the
manager to know:
(1). What work is in progress in the cutting room?
(2). What work is overdue and needs progressing. Comparison between issue
dates and completion dates are provide information on throughput times.
(3). Weekly production data for updating other documents (notably the weekly
cutting summary and the work in progress in the sewing room).
Issue Cutting Instruction

Enter Details in cutting


instruction record

Issue Fabric from Store

Lay

Cut

Bundle

Return cutting instruction to


cutting room manager

Update cutting instruction record

Figure A

- 90 -

Cutting Instruction Record


Production Unit
Lay No. Date Issued
Operator

Week Number
Style

Doz to Cut

05/04

100

05/04

150

05/04

100

05/04

200

Doz Cut

Date Completed

Figure B.
Computerized management information system will print out cutting instructions
following cut order planning. There are some variations as to what happens when
the work is completed. Some systems will allow the number of garments cut to
be entered directly to the database, making these systems comparable to the
manual system described above. Other systems work on the basis that if the
cutting instruction is issued, the garments cut will be as specified, so that updates
of information are only necessary if the specific quantities are not achieved.
8.3. Fabric usage control: spreading audit
If the material usage is to be controlled, it will be through the vigilance of the
personal not the comprehensiveness of documents. The cutting instruction
provides information to assist control, but it is no substitute for skilled
craftsmanship and effective supervision. The spreading audit investigates all
aspects of the material usage and assesses the control being exercised in the
various processes.
8.3.1. Lay Details
The cutting instruction specified the fabric, the marker and the number of plies in
the lay. The first check is to ensure that everything is happening as was
intended.
8.3.2. End Losses.
Since ends waste has a tendency to increase with time, this is an obvious area to
review. The cutting instruction if figure 1 has a space for recording the measured
lay length and marker length, to facilitate the comparison

- 91 -

8.3.3. Edge allowance


The usable width of the fabric should be established by comparing the lay width
and the marker width. Discrepancies warrant careful investigation: unless sound
reasons can be given to justify them, the marker width should be changed. The
potential for width batching can also be explored if this is not already
implemented.
8.3.4. Splice allowance
Splice allowance resulting from the ends of pieces or from the cutting out of faults
should be examined. There should be evidence of control, shown be clearly
marked slice lines and consistent allowances to specification.
8.3.5. Remnant lengths
The practices of cutting room should be considered in the light of all the
constraints, but evidence should be present that remnant lengths are processed
efficiently with the objective of minimizing waste.
8.3.6. Faults processed.
Again different practices in the cutting room can be justified, but the evidence
should be seen of cost-effectiveness. Comparison between the number of strung
faults and the number of faults cut out during spreading (or recut after spreading)
provide an indication of the suppliers standards of inspection.
8.3.7 Accounting for purchased length issued.
It is possible to assess whether the purchased length are realistic, or whether
there is a case for further, more rigorous investigations using a fabric inspection
machine. The ply length multiplied by the number of plies provides the starting
point for the calculation. To this should be added lengths of all remnants and any
unused fabric. This total length may be then compared with the purchased length
issued. If the agreement is good, the situation is satisfactory.
If there is a discrepancy further measurements are necessary, as there may be a
problem in the losses due to fabric faults. Data is required on:
(1). the length of faulty fabric cut during spreading
(2). the lengths involved in splicing allowances.
(3). the gross length of the fabric pieces.
The gross length must be obtained from the tickets supplied with the pieces, and
is the purchased length plus allowances made for strung faults. The lengths (1)
and (2) are added together and compared with the difference between (3) and
the measured lay length. If there is no discrepancy, an inadequate compensation
is being made for the method the company is using to process faults. Further
investigations are therefore warranted: changes might be needed in the way
- 92 -

faults are processed, but if efficient practices are already in use negotiations
should be opened with the supplier, either to provide greater allowances or to
reduce the fault rate of the purchased materials.
If the calculations show the purchased length is not a realistic measure of the
piece length, the spreading technique must be checked to ensure that the fabric
is layed up without overfeed. Checks should also be made to see if the fabric
shrinkage is occurring during spreading, effectively reducing the length of the
fabric. If correct spreading is confirmed, the inference is that the company is
being over changed for the fabric supplied, and that are more systematic
measurements of the length of pieces are warranted.
8.3.8. Deviations from the costed marker plan.
It is possible that the marker used with specific lays is not the same as the
production marker used to determine the rating of fabric usage. This could be for
several reasons:
(1). The fabric received was narrower than the specification, and a decision was
made to made to cut rather than return the fabric. To avoid problems of
misshapen panels at the selvedge edges, a new marker was made but with the
reduced utilization.
(2). Pattern changes had occurred since the production costing was determined.
These changes were done at the customers request but they led to an increased
rating of fabric usage (RFU). (The RFU should be checked as a matter of course,
as mistakes are sometimes made).
(3). Production pressures required that a small lay be prepared so that work
could be issued to the sewing unit within few hours. A short marker was prepared
with reduced utilization.
(4). Customer feedback meant that a marker with a different ratio was prepared,
with a higher RFU.
8.4. Fabric Usage Control: fabric reconciliation
The essence of fabric reconciliation is that, for each lay, a comparison is made
between costed and actual usage of fabric, and the variance is reported. As with
the cutting instruction, there is variety in the format of fabric reconciliation records
and several alternative names are in use: the gains and losses report, the fabric
variance report, and so on. Whatever name is used, the document plays an
important role within the management as it ties together what management
planned to do (the costed usage) with what they have achieved (the actual
usage).

- 93 -

Fabric reconciliation takes place after the fabric has been cut. The two worked
examples below demonstrate the principles. In both there is some common data:
Rating of fabric usage
Fabric Cost

=
=

1.53m/garment
Rs. 100 / meter.

Example 1 Lay 1,
The following data is obtained from the cutting instruction after the completion of
the lay:
Actual Usage
Number of garments cut
Costed usage
Gain in fabric
Saving

=
=
=
=

545 m
360.
360 X 1.53
550.8 545.0

=
=
=

550.8m
5.8m
Rs.580/-

Example 2, Lay 2.
The following data is obtained from the cutting instruction after the completion of
the lay:
Actual Usage
Number of garments cut
Costed usage
Gain in fabric
Loss

=
=
=
=

463 m
300
300 X 1.53
459 463

=
=
=

459m
-4.0m
Rs.400/-

Both examples show that a costed usage figure can be calculated from the
number of garments cut from the lay. By subtracting the actual usage from the
costed usage, the variance can be established and expressed in monetary terms.
The greatest benefit is obtained when each style is monitored separately, as this
is the way trends can be detected at an early stage.
8.5. Fabric faults and claims for poor quality
The conditions of sale of many fabric suppliers may disclaim any responsibility
for the quality of the goods once the fabric has been cut. This is because the
knife removes the opportunity for the situation to be rectified. Consequently all
significant lengths of substandard fabric should be returned to store from
spreading. These lengths must be deleted with the total issued figure and a claim
placed with the supplier. Similarly, the fabric fault rate must be monitored
carefully. The number of faults cut out during spreading or recut after spreading,
should correlate with the number of strung faults. Variances here are serious and
the supplier should be informed that claim is likely. The outcome may be any of
the following:

- 94 -

(1). The supplier receives the unsatisfactory goods and refunds the purchase
price.
(2). The supplier replaces the faulty goods at no charge.
(3). Additional allowances are made to compensate for unstrung faults
(4). Compensation is paid to the manufacturer who makes up the substandard
materials but cannot obtain the normal price from the market.
8.6. Documentation and the management function
Managers need to use documents, but documents are no substitute for
management. A manager who enters data on documents is not doing the work of
a manager but it is better described as a clerk. As someone has said:
Management is a function of leadership, not statistics. Documents are useful
only when they help the managers make informed the decisions which change
the way activities are undertaken.
It is believed that performance of cutting rooms should be measured, not in terms
of labour productivity but in terms of material utilization. It is only when
accounting rules are brought into line with production realities that the message
about the importance of material costs will be understood and acted on.

- 95 -