Spreading – laying the fabrics for cutting

Layering the fabrics for cutting for garment production

Spreading or Laying

Spreading is the process of unwinding large rolls of fabric into long, wide tables in preparation for cutting each piece of a garment. The number of layers of fabric is dictated by the number of garments desired and the fabric thickness. Spreading can be done by hand or machine. Depending upon the fabric and cutting technology, up to 200 layers of fabric may be cut at one time. Fabrics that are more difficult to handle are generally cut in thinner stacks.

Spreading and cutting is smooth laying out of fabric in superimposed layers or piles of specified length. The cutting marker is laid on the topmost layer. The maximum cutting width is the usable fabric width minus selvedge or needle marks caused by stencil marks. Fabric utilization is the amount of fabric actually utilized in the marker as the percentage of the total fabric area.

Types of Lay Plan

  • Half Garment Lay includes only half of the garment pieces, for example, one side left or right. Generally used for tubular fabrics.
  • Whole Garment Lay includes garment pieces, left and right sides. Generally used for Open width fabrics.
  • Single Size Lay is used using all garment pieces of one single size. Disadvantageous as the consumption of fabric is higher.

Types of Lay

  • Single Ply is a single layer of fabric generally to make samples
  • A multiple Ply is a number of fabric layers stacked on one top of other
  • Stepped Lay is multiple lays in which groups of layers have different lengths generally used for getting best utilization and consumption of fabric.

Forms of Spreading

  • One Way Cutting is when the fabric is laid the same way up with grain or print pattern running in the same direction. The fabric has to be cut at the end of each ply.
  • The fact to Face Cutting is when the plies are laid in pairs face to face. The grain or pattern runs in the same direction.
  • Two Way Cutting is when plies are laid continuously from left to right and right to left without cutting at the end. Most Efficient method of spreading. Cannot be used with grain restrictions or one-directional printed fabric.

Presentation of Fabrics

Presentation depends on the type of materials, their application. Generally, fabrics are the Open width (rolled), Doubled (wound) and Tubular (plaited)

Ideal Layheight for cutting

Fabric weightWovenKnits
Heavy Weight4-5″5-4″
Med Weight3-4″3-3.5″
Light Weight2.5-3″2-2.25″
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