Cutting Room

The cutting room has a greater effect on excessive manufacturing costs than any other department concerned with the actual production of garments. 

Internal costs ± those incurred in the cutting room itself. External costs ± those incurred by other departments as a result of the malfunctions of the cutting room. 

Internal costs 

Labour : Effective utilisation Material : 50% to 70% of the cost price of most of the mass produced clothing and largest cost component of a garment Efficiency  

The factors influencing materials utilization

Pattern accuracy

Marker waste

Spreading waste

External costs
Coordination  Defects  Matching  Accuracy  Sewing  Shading  Quality 

Production Process in the Cutting Room 

Planning Spreading Cutting Preparation for sewing

Production process in the Cutting Room
Spreads Planning Markers Production Manual Spreading Machine Machine Cutting Die Press Computer Shade marking/ticketing Bundles

Preparation for sewing

Cut order planning 

It translates customer orders into cutting orders coordinate customer orders with all the variables of marker making, spreading, and cutting 


minimize total production costs meet deadlines seek most effective use of labor, equipment, fabric and space

Responsibilities of Cut Order Planning 

Examining incoming orders and piece goods width and availability 

Determining volume, size ratios, and sectioning procedures for marker making 

Determining whether file markers are available or new ones are needed 

Developing specifications for optimum marker making and fabric utilization

Most common considerations
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12)

Number of sizes in order Number of colors in order Max/min number of sizes allowed in marker Maximum spread length Maximum ply height Percentage of overcut or undercut units Fabric cost per yard Usable cloth width Width variation Common lines among pattern pieces Costs of marking markers, spreading, cutting, bundling Fabric roll change time

Results of Cut Order Planning

Cutting Orders Leads to

Marker planning

Lay planning

Marker planning  is to determine the most efficient combination of sizes and shades for each order and to produce the best fabric yield and equipment utilization Lay  is a stack of fabric plies that have been prepared for cutting Lay planning  is the basis of managing cutting room labor and table space

Marker Making
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 (requires time, skill and concentration)

Marker Making

Manually produced

Computerized marker making

Dimensions of marker
Markers are made to fit the cuttable widths of fabrics.  Blocked or sectioned markers contain all of the pattern pieces for one style in one or two sizes.  Continuous markers contain all the pattern pieces for all sizes included in a single cutting. Splice marks are points in marker where fabric can be cut and the next piece overlapped to maintain a continuous spread. They are planned in continuous marker. 

a. Sectioned or Blocked Marker


plies of varied length, spread at different heights used to adjust the quantity of piece goods to the number of garments to be cut from each section of the marker Sections may be joined to form multi-size marker. Pattern parts of one size in close proximity. Advantageous when there is end-to-end shade variations.

b. Continuous Marker 

Contain all pattern pieces for all sizes included in a

single cutting. 
Pattern pieces are grouped by size and shape of the

pieces rather than by garment size. 
Better utilization because more flexibility in grouping

and manoeuvring large pieces and small pieces.

SPLICE MARKER Splice marks are points in a marker where fabrics can be cut and the next piece overlapped to maintain a continuous spread. Maybe 1 inch or more. Splices are needed when flaws are removed, a roll change is made, or a short length of fabric is used.

SPLICE MARKER Splice marks are inherent when markers are planned in blocks. Splice marks are used to avoid excessive fabric waste and incomplete pieces.

Types of Markers
Open marker ± Marker made with full pattern pieces Closed Marker ± Marker made with half garment parts pieces for laying along the folds of the tube (tubular knit)

Open marker

Closed Marker

Marker Modes
Is determined by the symmetry and directionality of fabric. 

Nap either way (N/E/W) Nap one way (N/O/W) Nap up and down (N/U/D)

The term Nap is used to indicate the fabric is directional. N/E/W ±with symmetric, non directional fabrics, pattern pieces can be placed on a marker with only consideration for grain line N/O/W ± all the pattern pieces be placed on a marker in only one direction, horse print N/U/D ± all pattern pieces of one size to be placed in one direction and another size placed in opposite direction. eg. corduroy


Requirements of Marker Planning
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 The design characteristic of the finished garment

2. The requirements of cutting quality 3. The requirements of production planning

Marker Efficiency
Area of patterns in the marker plan X 100% Total area of the marker plan 

It is determined for fabric utilization Minimum waste 

Factors effecting Marker Efficiency 

Fabric characteristics Characteristics of Pattern pieces, splitting pattern pieces and creating a seam , reducing seam allowances, hemwidth, adjusting and modifying grainline, etc 

Difference in face and back ² print, velvet, corduroy Lengthwise directionality - NAP Crosswise symmetry ² Border print Need for matching the fabric design ² mitering Length of design repeat ² small/big checks Fabric width. 

Markers containing large and small pcs The shape of pattern pcs. Large pcs less flexibility

Patterns are sometimes modified to increase efficiency 

Splitting pattern pcs. and creating a seam Rounding or slanting corners Reducing seam allowance and/or hem width 

Adjusting pattern dimensions without noticeable change to fit & style. Adjusting grain lines for hidden garment parts. Modifying grain lines specified by the designer

The process of drawing or printing pattern pieces or markers on paper so they can be reviewed or cut.

Spreading processes of superimposing lengths of fabric on a spreading table cutting table or specially designed surface in preparation for the cutting process Spread or lay-up total amount of fabric prepared for a single marker.

Spreading mode
Spreading mode is the manner in which fabric plies are laid out for cutting

Direction of the fabric:  it may be positioned in two ways face-toface (F/F) or with all plies facing-one-way (F/O/W) Direction of the Fabric Nap:  it may be positioned nap-one-way (N/O/W) or nap-up-down

Spreading modes


Requirements of Spreading process 

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

Setup for spreading 

Verifying cutting orders Positioning materials Preparing cutting tables Preparing machines Loading machine

Reloading and delay time may use up to 70% of the time required for the entire spreading operation.

Methods of spreading 

Spreading by hand Spreading using a travelling machine (100 to 150 yards per minute)

Fabric control devices 

Tensioning involves synchronizing the rate of spreading with the rate fabric is unrolled 

Positioning devices and sensors monitor position and control fabric placement during spreading. (to improve quality in spreading)

Fabric control devices 

Width indicators may sound an alarm to alert the operator when fabric becomes narrower than the established width 

End treatment device are used with spreaders but are separate and placed at the end of the spread (end catcher and folding blade)

The nature of fabric packages
Open fabric ± rolled  Tubular knitted fabric ± rolled  Folded fabric ± rolled  Folded fabric ± cuttled  Velvet - hanging 

Open fabric ± rolled

Folded fabric ± rolled

Tubular knitted fabric ± rolled

Spreading costs 

cost  Fabric Waste
Splicing loss occurs with excessive overlap at splice marks End loss occurs when the spreader reaches the end of the marker and fabric must be cut from the roll or folded back for the return lap Width loss occurs when the fabric is wider than the marker and the extra fabric is not used 



Cut order plan 

Cutting room manager issues lays to satisfy two requirements:
The targets given in the cutting schedule The most economic batch size (economic cut quantity)

Overview of economic cut quantity factors
Number of sizes Width of fabric Marker Type Contract details Essential laying losses ECONOMIC CUT QUANTITIES Sewing room needs Production rates Disruptions CUSTOMER REQUIREMENTS Delivery deadlines Labour costs Material availability MARKER UTILISATION Fabric Properties Quality constraints Equipment constraints

Cutting plan example 1 

The contract details are as follows
Size 10 12 14 16 18 Quantity 40 90 80 25 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 

It is useful to determine the theoretical minimum number of lays required to cut the contract:

Max no of gmts per lay is 4X50=200gmts  The no. of gmts required = 40+90+80+25+25 =260 gmts There fore the theoretical minimum no. of lays = 260/200 = 1.3 This gives a practical minimum of two lays to cut the contract ± the best that is possible 

Lay 1 Lay 2 The contract details Size Quantity 10 40 12 90 14 80 16 25 18 25

The worked solution is: 16 10 18 14 12 14 12 12 Lay 1 ± 25 plies Lay 2 ± 40 plies

Cutting plan example 2 

The contract details are follows
Size 12 14 16 18 Quantity 100 160 120 60 the constraints on lay dimensions are: Maximum lay height = 60 plies Maximum lay length = 4 garments marked 

Theoretical minimum no. of lays required are:

Max no of garments per lay is 4X60=240 gmts The no. of garments required = 100+160+120+60 = 440 garments There fore the theoretical minimum no. of lays = 440/240 = 1.83 This gives a practical minimum of two lays to cut the contract.
Lay 1 Lay 2 16 12 16 12 18 14 18 14 Lay 1- 60 plies Lay 2 ± 50 plies

Cutting plan example 3
The contract details are as follows: Size Quantity S M L 300 600 400

The constraints on lay dimensions are: Maximum lay height = 75 plies Maximum lay length = 5 garments marked

Theoretical minimum no. of lays required are: Max no of garments per lay is 5X75 = 375 gmts The no. of garments required = 300+600+400 = 1300 garments There fore the theoretical minimum no. of lays = 1300/375 = 3.47 This gives a practical minimum of four lays to cut the contract.
S M M M S M M M S M M M S L L L S L L L Lay 1- 60 plies Lay 2 - 75 plies Lay 3 - 75 plies Lay 4 - 50 plies


You have received the following contract:
1200 A 1 2.0 B 2 2.2 C 4 2.4 D 2 2.5 E 1 2.6

Quantity Size Quantity Single gmt marker lengths (m) :

Other relevant information: End allowance 3 cm per ply Maximum number of plies 100 Maximum lay length 10 meters Cost of the fabric is 3$ Cloth saving on multi-size or multi-garment marker is 5%

1. Determine targets: Theoretical minimum no. of lays is a little more complicated as the maximum no. of garments must be inferred. Since the average length is about 2.3 m per garment, the maximum number marked will be 4 Theoretical minimum no. of lays = 1200/4X100 =3 Since quantities are not in multiples of 100, three lays is an impossibility consequently, the target must be four lays 2. Consider options 3. Make decision





Lay 1- 60 plies Lay 2- 80 plies Lay 3 - 80 plies Lay 4 - 80 plies

4. Calculation of material Marker for lay 1 Marker for lays 2-4 Ply lengths Ply length for lay 1 Ply length for lays 2-4 Lay lengths Lay length for lay 1 Lay length for lays 2-4 Material costs Total length Total cost (2.0+2.0+2.6+2.6) X 95/100 = 8.740 m (2.2+2.4+2.4+2.5) X 95/100 = 9.025 m

8.740 + 0.030 = 8.770 m 9.025 + 0.030 = 9.055 m

8.770 X 60 = 526.20 m 9.055 X 80= 724.40 m

526.20 + (724.40 X3) = 2699.40 m 2699.40 X 3.00 = 8098.20 $

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