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y The first stage in the manufacture of garments is the

cutting of the materials into the necessary pattern shapes. These are then joined together by means of seams to create three-dimensional garments. y When large quantities of a garment style must be cut, a lay is created which consists of many plies of fabric spread one above the other. y Depending on the method of cutting that is used, a marker plan must be made in which the pattern pieces are closely interlocked to achieve minimum fabric usage.

Steps involved in Cutting

y A) Planning, Drawing and Reproduction of the Marker y B) Spreading of the fabric to form a lay y C) Cutting of the Fabric

Planning, Drawing and Reproduction of the Marker

y Requirements of marker planning y Efficiency of the marker y Methods of marker planning and marker use

Requirements of marker planning

y The industry has always paid great

attention to marker planning, because when the cutting room cuts cloth it spends around half the company s turnover. Any reduction in the amount of cloth used per garment leads to increased profit. positioning the larger pattern pieces and then fitting the smaller pieces into the gaps. pattern placements, selecting the one which gives the shortest marker

y The planner proceeds by first

y The planner will then try a number of

The work of the marker planner is subject to a number of constraints, such as:Nature of the fabric and the desired result in the finished garment a) Pattern alignment in relation to the grain of the fabric b) Symmetry and asymmetry c) Design characteristic of the finished garment 2. Requirements of quality in cutting 3. Requirements of production planning

Efficiency of the marker :The marker planner measures his success by the efficiency of the marker plan created.

FORMULA: Area of patterns in the marker plan X 100% Total area of the marker plan

Marker efficiency can be increased by suggesting alterations to patterns and cloth such as:y Pattern engineering-examination of seam location to ensure best possible placement of patterns in the marker y Piece a pattern-dividing a large, awkwardly shaped pattern into two pieces to accommodate it in the marker y Selection of fabric widths where a choice is available. The best width depends among other factors on the costs of various widths per square meter, the typical number of sizes in a marker, the potential pattern engineering changes t0 various widths and the marker efficiency of a series of test markers.

Methods of marker planning and marker use :1.

Manual Marker planning with full size patterns in a full size markerThe planner works by moving around the full size patterns until a satisfactory plan is obtained. Patterns are usually made from card and it is important that the edges do not become worn and that the patterns held firmly while drawing takes place. This method takes considerable skill and time, but it is economical for single garments and checked fabric as it can be easily manipulated

Multiple copies of the paper marker are normally needed. These copies can either be made when the marker plan is first drawn, or the master marker can be reproduced as needed by a variety of methods, such as:a) Carbon duplicating b) Spirit duplicating or hectograph carbon system c) Diazo photographic method

2. Computerized marker planningComputer system for pattern development, grading, marker planning and marker plotting

It is part of an integrated system which includes digitising or scanning of full-size patterns into the computer, facilities for pattern adaptation, and , by inputting appropriate grade rules , the means to generate all the sizes required. The planner uses a visual display unit with keyboard, tablet and data pen, puck or mouse.

y After selecting the most economical marker plan devised in the time available, the computer will provide an accurate piece count, calculate a marker plan efficiency percentage and total the length of the pattern peripheries. y After planning the marker on the computer, the marker planner instructs the computer to plot the marker automatically onto paper. Granted a well-maintained plotter, this provides the most accurate marker.

Spreading of the fabric to form a lay

The objective of spreading is to place the number of plies of fabric that the production planning process has dictated, to the length of the marker plan, in the colours required, correctly aligned as to length and width, and without tension.

An understanding of spreading must include the following considerations:a)Requirements of the spreading process
b)Methods of spreading c)Nature of fabric packages

a)Requirements of the spreading process :1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Shade sorting of cloth pieces Correct ply direction and adequate lay stability Alignment of plies Correct ply tension Elimination of fabric faults Elimination of static electricity Avoidance of distortion in the spread Avoidance of fusion of plies during cutting

b) Methods of spreading :1. Spreading by hand Time consuming method requiring an operator at each side of the table Typical fabrics which must be spread by hand are checks, crosswise stripes and other regularly repeating patterns 2. Spreading using a travelling machine It carries the piece of fabric from end to end of the spread, dispensing on ply at a time onto the spread Basic elements consist of a frame or carriage, wheels travelling in guide rails at the edge of the table, a fabric support, and guide collars to aid the correct unrolling of the fabric

c) Nature of fabric packages :y Fabric packages vary in length, width, and make-up. y The choice of package to be delivered to a cutting

room relates to the characteristics of the fabric and the method of spreading employed such as :-

 Open fabric- rolled  Tubular knitted fabric- rolled  Folded fabric- rolled  Folded fabric- cuttled  Velvet- hanging

Open fabric- rolled

Tubular knitted fabric- rolled

Folded fabric- rolled

Folded fabric- cuttled

Cutting of the Fabric

y The term is used in the sense of cutting room, an area

which normally includes the activities of marker planning, spreading and preparation for sewing, as well as being used to refer to the actual cutting out of garment parts from the lay

Objective of cutting :y The objective of cutting is to separate fabric parts as replicas of the pattern pieces in the marker plan. In achieving this objective , certain requirements must be fulfilled : Precision of cut  Clean edges  Unscorched, unfused edges  Support of the lay  Consistent cutting

Methods of cutting :1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.

Hand Shears Straight Knife Round Knife Band Knife Notchers Drills and Thread Markers Computer controlled Cutting Knives Die Cutting Laser Cutting Plasma Cutting Water Jet Cutting Ultrasonic Cutting

1. Hand Shears Used when cutting only single or double plies.  Flexible enough to accommodate any pattern construction and pattern shape  Time consuming leading to high labour cost per garment

2. Straight Knife

Versatile , portable, cheaper than band knife, more accurate on curves than a round knife, relatively reliable and easy to maintain Elements consist of a base plate, usually on rollers for easy movement, an upright or standard carrying a straight, vertical blade with varying edge characteristics and an electric motor above it, a handle for the cutter to direct the blade, and a sharpening device

3. Round knife

Elements of a round knife are a baseplate, above which is mounted an electric motor, a handle for the cutter to direct the blade, and a circular blade rotating so that the leading edge cuts downwards into the fabric Used only straight lines or lower lays of relatively few piles Not suitable for cutting curved lines

4. Band knife Comprises a series of three or more

pulleys, powered by an electric motor, with a continuously rotating steel blade mounted on them. One edge of the blade is sharpened
 Used when higher standard of

cutting accuracy is required than can be obtained with a straight knife

5. Notchers

Specialised notching equipment provides greater accuracy because a guide lines up the notcher with the cut edge to give consistent depth of notch at a consistent right angle to the edge The hot notcher incorporates a heating element in order that the blade my slightly scorch the fibres adjacent to the notch in order to prevent it fraying and disappearing

6. Drills and Thread


Used to mark position of pockets, darts and similar features

Drill mounting includes a motor, a base plate with hole to allow the drill to pass through, and a spirit level to ensure that the base is horizontal and hence the drill vertical. If it is important that no mark remains on the fabric, a long thread may be passed through the lay which is then cut with scissors between each ply, leaving a few centimeters visible on each garment

7. Computer controlled Cutting Knives  

Provides most accurate possible cutting, at high speed Made up of a table with a cutting surface consisting of nylon bristles The carriage supporting the cutting head has two synchronised servo-motors. A third servo motor positions the cutting head on a beam across the width of this carriage. The cutting head contains knife, automatic sharpner and a further servo-motor which rotates the knife to position it at a tangent to the line of cut on curves

8. Die Cutting

Process involves pressing a rigid blade through the lay of the fabric The die is a knife in the shape of a pattern periphery, including notches Provides a high standard of accuracy of cutting but, because of the cost of dies, they are appropriate in situations where large quantities of the same pattern shape will be cut

9. Laser Cutting

A laser produces a beam of light which can be focused into a very small spot (0.25mm), producing a very high energy density Cutting takes place by vaporisation. Charring is prevented by the use of a jet of inert gas which also removes debris and smoke from the cutting area If several plies are cut, the accuracy is not perfect as it is a V cut rather than a straight line. There is also risk that the edges may fuse together

10. Plasma Cutting

Originally developed to satisfy a demand for high quality cutting on stainless steels and aluminium but it can also be used to cut textile materials Cutting is achieved by means of a high velocity jet of high temperature ionised gas (argon)

11. Water Jet Cutting

A very high velocity, small diameter stream of water is created by applying high pressure water to a nozzle The high pressure jet acts as a solid tool when it encounters the material to be cut, tearing the fibres on impact Here the jet of water is normally caught and drained away

12. Ultrasonic Cutting

Uses an ultrasonically driven knife blade Disposable knife blades save sharpening time and for 10-14 days Upto 10 plies can be cut and low vacuum only is needed

Bibliography:y The Technology of Clothing Manufacture, Harold Carr and Barbara Latham y y y y y