Basically there are 2 techniques of cutting fabric like portable cutting,stationary cutting.With the advancement in technology there have been imporvements in fabric techniques also like Automated, Numerically Controlled cutting systems, which has Automatic blade cutting, Laser cutting,Water jet cutting,Die cutting etc.

In this page

  1. Types of Cutting
  2. What are the various Cutting techniques?
  3. Automated, Numerically Controlled cutting systems

Types of Cutting

manually cutting layered fabric

Fully manual:

  • Hand operated scissor

Manually operated power knife:

  • Straight knife
  • Band knife
  • Round knife
  • Die cutting
  • Notcher
  • Drill

Computerized methods of fabric cutting:

  • Computer controlled knife cutting
  • Cutting by Laser beam
  • Cutting by Water jet
  • Cutting by Plasma torch

What are the various Cutting techniques?

The marker is put on the layers of fabric with the conventional method, a skilled cutter follows the pattern outlined on the marker, using a strait–knife machine with a long, thin blade that vibrates vertically as it is pushed through many layers of fabric. A vertical knife can cut to a depth of 9 inches. For only a few layers, a cutting machine with a rotating circular knife may be used. The cutter must select the correct speed and blade for each type of fabric .For example, a coarse blade edge is used for tightly woven fabrics and a smooth edge for softer fabrics.The cutting tools (cutters) can be classified in to

  1. Portable cutters
    • Powered scissors- these are used for cutting one or two piles and are oftenused in the sample room.
    • Round knife- this is very fast machine, excellent for cutting straight linesor gradual curves. Blade sizes range from 4cm to 20cm in diameter andthe effective cutting height is about 40 percent of the blade diameter.
    • Straight knife-the work house of most cutting rooms, the straight knifes, if correctly used, is versatile and accurate enough for most purposes.
  2. Stationary cutters
    • Band knife – the narrow blade of this machine allows the finest of shapes to be cut very accurately.
    • Press cutting- this process involves the use of a hydraulic presswhich forces a shaped metal cutting die through a pile of material and ismostly used when large quantities of small components have to be cutvery accurately. Press cutting is also often used for cutting many of thecomponents for leather and suede garments.

Automated, Numerically Controlled cutting systems

There are  four types of automated cutting systems, they are blade cutting ,water jet cutting, and plasma jet cutting .Electronic microchips control the cutting device , travel pattern, and speed. Computer-generated markers are stored and used to guide the operation of the cutting head. The input for this operation comes from the markers generated on computerized marker planning systems. The marker date is transferred to the cutting unit by means of tapes, floppy disks, streamers or directly from the marker planning system itself. Computerized cutting is six to eight times faster than any manual method and products cut components with a consistent level of accuracy although a computerized cutting system requires a substantial initial investment, it is considered to be the most effective investment for large scale cutting production.

Machine type Description
Automatic blade cutting
Automated Blade cutting machine

Automated blade cutting machine is the most highly developed and widely used computerized cutting system. Numerically controlled knives cut multiple plies with great accuracy and speed. Paper markers are not needed for numerically controlled cutters.Operators communicate directly with the main control unit through a command console micro processing unit with a keyboard.

Laser cutting
Laser cutting machine

Laser cutting focuses a powerful beam of light projected on to a minute area to cut fabric by vaporization. Lasers cut with incredible speed (twice that of automatic knives cutting), accuracy and multidirectional ability, but with some heat emission.

Lesser-beam cutting
Laser Beam Cutting

Lesser-beam cutting machine is sometimes used for men's suits, which are cut a single layer at a time. The laser, a concentrated light beam is also directed by a computer.

Water jet cutting
Waterjet cutting machine

Water jet cutting machine is another computer-operated, multi directional method that has limited usage at this time. Water jet cutting is performed by propelling a tiny jet of water (0.001-0.0015 inch) through the fabric at very high pressure (70,000 psi). Water-jet cutting is being used for some fabrics and leathers, especially in the shoe industry.

Die cutting
Die cutting machine

Die cutting machine may be used for garments or parts of garments that do not change from season to season, such as a jeans pocket and leather belts.A die, a device that operates much like a cookie cutter, is made for each piece to be cut.The sharp edges of the die are pressed against the layers of fabric to cut them. A gang diecan be made by connected several dies together.