Marking refers to the process of placing pattern pieces to maximize the number of patterns that can be cut out of a given piece of fabric in order to make garments.Pattern making is a highly skilled technique which calls for technical ability, sensitivity for design interpretation and a practical understanding of the process technology used by the factory. Industrial pattern making has two basic type


In this page

  1. Pattern Markings
  2. Pre-Layout Markings
  3. Making the marker
  4. General information on the Pattern marking

Pattern Markings

Pattern MarkingOnce the pattern is graded, the fabric must be prepared for cutting. In order to spread the fabric properly, the spreader must know how the pattern pieces will be placed on the fabric. "Marking" refers to the process of placing pattern pieces to maximize the number of patterns that can be cut out of a given piece of fabric. Firms strive for "tight" markers largely because fabric is one of a manufacturer's most significant business costs, often exceeding the cost of labor. Although markers can be made by hand or using CAD software, the computerized method is up to eight times faster. Once a marker is completed, a CAD system can use a plotter to print a full size layout on a long sheet of paper. This layout becomes the guide for the cutter.

Computer software helps the technicians create the optimum fabric layout to suggest so fabric can be used efficiently. Markers, made in accordance to the patterns are attached to the fabric with the help of adhesive stripping or staples. Markers are laid in such a way so that minimum possible fabric gets wasted during cutting operation. After marking the garment manufacturer will get the idea of how much fabric he has to order in advance for the construction of garments. Therefore careful execution is important in this step.

Computer marking is done on speciallized softwares. In computerized marking there is no need of large paper sheets for calculating the yardage, in fact, mathematical calculations are made instead to know how much fabric is required.

Not every marking is on every pattern because some are specific to a certain style or construction technique. Layout and cutting markings don't need to be transferred to the fabric. Construction markings, on the other hand, are very helpful during the sewing process and transferring them to the fabric is a good idea.



Pre-Layout Markings

Pattern Adjustment Lines: Two parallel lines that indicate where you can lengthen or shorten a pattern piece to maintain the original shaping. This should be done before layout.

Waistline Marking: A short solid line that indicates the natural waistline of the wearer. During tissue-fitting, if the waistline is not in the same position as the pattern marking, adjustment may be needed on the Pattern Adjustment Lines.

Making the marker

Marking ToolsMarker making is the creation of cutting temples for the various parts of a garment. This may be done on the card board or paper, the former being more durable. In some cases markers are made on continuous rolls of paper for efficiency.Form all the pattern pieces of varying size, a master marker is made. The marker is the cutting guide or pattern. Lay out made on a sheet or light weight paper the same width asthe fabric. The purpose of the marker is three fold:

  • To make a lay out for the cutter to allow
  • To place pattern pieces close together to avoid fabric waste
  • To accommodate the cutting order (ensuring that the correct quantities of each size are cut).

The desire economical use of space is called a tight marker, which utilizes the highest percentage of fabric possible to avoid waste. Patterns are laid out so that each size andcolour is cut as needed (popular sizes are repeated on the marker). Grain direction, one-way prints, plaids, strips, and naps are considered in making the marker.Computerized marker making. Most manufacturers now make their marker on a CAD system or have it made by an outside service. Miniatures of the graded pattern pieces are displayed graphically on the computer screen. The operator can electronically position the pattern pieces in to the most efficient arrangement. Once the marker is completed, a full-scale marker is printed by the plotter on a long sheet of paper.

General information on the Pattern marking

Not every marking is on every pattern because some are specific to a certain style or construction technique. Layout and cutting markings don't need to be transferred to the fabric. Construction markings, on the other hand, are very helpful during the sewing process and transferring them to the fabric is a good idea.

Every pattern piece has general information printed in the center. Each piece is numbered and the number indicates the order in which the pieces are sewn together.

For example:
Skirt Front 1 is joined to Skirt Back 2.

Other helpful information includes:

  • Pattern brand and style number
  • View letter (if there is more than one view)
  • Size
  • Name of the piece (skirt front, sleeve, pleat underlay, etc.) and its number
  • Cutting information (cut one on fold, cut two, etc.)
  • Lining/interfacing information (if applicable)