Pattern Cutting Methods and Techniques for Garments Industry


What is Pattern Cutting:

In the garments industry, it refers to the process of turning a design into a piece of fabric. However, before a design is made into a three-dimensional (3D) fabric, it is usually made on two-dimensional (2D) paper. In simple words, just imagine what you are wearing right now and think of it as a design that was first made on paper and, later, turned into a fabric. Thus, this is what pattern cutting is all about. Pattern cutting refers to creating basic patterns, with your specific measurements, which you can adapt to make different designs. Since the final product is based on your measurements, the fitting is much better as compared to the ready-made patterns you buy.

What is the purpose of Pattern Cutting?

Once a pattern has been made, it can be used for an infinite period. The purpose is that it allows you to use the composition, i.e. your design, over and over again for eternity. Moreover, it allows designers to analyze a design and interpret it technically.

Pattern Cutting Methods and Techniques:


The origins of draping, also known as 3D pattern cutting, go back to 3500BCE; which was a process used to convert a flat clothing design into a 3D form. Draping means designing any fabric into a three-dimensional structure. It is a playful method that helps designers to display their creativity by twisting, turning, and folding the fabric.

Flat Pattern Cutting:

Flat pattern cutting is also referred to as creative pattern cutting. This method involves creating a two-dimensional pattern on a flat surface, using paper to create a pattern. A pattern cutter applying this method uses pattern blocks most often, which consist of a standard pattern with specific measurements to draw the pattern. Although this method gives a less technical cut, it is more accurate and faster as compared to draping. It is, however, also possible to combine both pattern-cutting methods to produce one garment.

Computerized pattern cutting:

This sometimes referred to as CAD or Gerber techniques. The process is really comparable to the creative technique. Based on a certain design, a series of measurements is made and then fed into the computer. A computer-aided design (CAD) system is used to create the patterns.

Subtraction pattern cutting:

Subtraction pattern cutting is an innovative technique developed by fashion designer Julian Roberts with interesting results. This freestyle method, or hollow construction, is the opposite of traditional pattern cutting in that the pattern does not represent the shape of the garment, instead, it represents the negative space within the garment. By using the basic shape of a piece of material, slices and holes are cut into it and then material is fed through the spaces created by cutting. The silhouette can be changed by adding pieces of fabric.

Zero waste pattern cutting:

One strategy towards sustainable fashion is zero waste pattern cutting. There is ‘zero waste’ left since every square inch of a cloth is used to make a garment. Given that fabric comes in rectangular shapes, boxy silhouettes are ideal for many zero waste designs. In many ways, this technique is akin to subtraction pattern cutting because of how the geometry of flat fabric affects the final design. The limits of what patterns may be created using the zero waste method are continually being pushed because it is a relatively new way of cutting patterns. This zero waste community is an excellent location to start learning and exploring.

Equipment needed:

Following is the basic equipment that you will need:

  1. Tape measure
  2. Pattern paper
  3. Ruler
  4. Calculator
  5. Scissor
  6. Rubber
  7. Pencils/colour pencils
  8. French curve


One of the most vibrant industries in international trade is ready-made garments. From a worldwide viewpoint, the industry is predicted to produce a sizable quantity of income and jobs. The production of clothing is one of the most in-demand industries worldwide. Methods for creating as well as cutting patterns and how they are processed are essential steps for the business. The sophistication and fine tuning of pattern-making and cutting software programmers has increased with technical advancement and innovation in order to better serve the needs of the clothes producer.

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