Pattern cutters act as a link between the design and manufacturing stages, translating the 2D sketch into the 3D plan for the garment. This plan is called a pattern , and it is what is used to cut the cloth in the correct shapes in order to make up the garment.
It is the process of working from a fashion designer’s sketches and research to make the paper/card templates used for cutting the cloth. It is commonly confused with creating textile patterns for garments; however, a pattern cutter is concerned only with silhouette not print. When starting a fashion brand pattern cutting is an integral step, that can’t be skipped as you cannot approach manufacturers with just a sketch.
Patterns can be produced in three different ways:
– Manual pattern cutting – draped
Draped pattern cutting is done by placing pieces of material over a mannequin and pinning them till they fit, then transferring and adapting them on paper.
– Manual pattern cutting – flat
Flat pattern cutting is done by adapting a paper block or “sloper” pattern using measurements.
– Digital pattern cutting
Digital pattern making follows a similar process to flat pattern cutting but it is done by inputting a physical block into the system using a digitizer and then amending it using software such as Gerber / Lectra / Investronica.
In the case of new designers we can produce custom made blocks to work from as a foundation for all future patterns, so that the base size measurements are always consistent. For already established brands we can adapt blocks or patterns from existing collections to create new styles.