6 Checklists for Bulk Fabric Cutting

Meeting the planned cut date (PCD) is hard. And you always get an urgent note to start bulk cutting.

If you are in a hurry to start the cutting order and start cutting without checking pre-requisites for the cutting process, you might fall into the trap. Having the fabric in a store is not enough to go for bulk cutting. You must have approvals on few important things prior to layering the fabric on the cutting table and cutting the lay. If you cut fabric without approvals and unfortunately if something goes wrong in production (or shipment) due to cutting mistakes you will be responsible for that. Other than that if the fabric is not approved or if you use incorrect patterns for the bulk cutting, cuttings can’t be used for stitching quality garment. PP sample approval and PP meeting are must be done prior to bulk cutting.

cutting table

To avoid the risk of making mistakes in bulk production you must consider checking the following things.

1. Approved production pattern

A pattern that is made for a proto sample is gone through multiple modifications in the sample development process and finally, the pattern is set after size set sample approval. Pattern master may need to modify the pattern further if there is shrinkage in fabrics. Shrinkage is added to the production pattern so that you get washed garment with right measurement. Normally pattern master sealed the production pattern with comments.

So always use sealed and approved patterns.

2. Approved Fabric Consumption

Is the fabric consumption for bulk cutting approved? Normally garment manufacturer recalculate fabric consumption based on production marker. Sometimes variation is found in consumption value between actual production consumption and sampling consumption (based on what fabrics are purchased). If consumption is higher, there might be shortage of the fabric, and short quantity can be produced than the order quantity. There are other consequences of producing short quantity and you might be questionable for cutting short quantity. Later nobody will believe you that it happened due to fabric consumption variation.

So, be safe and take approval if you find variation in bulk fabric consumption. 

3. Approved Fabric Quality

Are all shade bands approved? Are the fabric qualities like - GSM, Shrinkage%, Width of the fabric, FPT report okay for bulk cutting? Take approval from merchant or production head or fabric store (whoever is responsible for giving approval on fabric quality). If you cut the fabric and found fabric quality does not match with the buyer requirement then it is all wastage of fabrics. 

4. Approved marker planning

Saving fabric is saving money. There are many combination of marker planning. You should try your best to prepare best marker plan. Thus you can improve fabric utilization. If you are in dilemma, just take approval from authorized person about the fabric utilization based on your best marker planning. 

5. Approval on pilot run with report 

There is a practice of Pilot run prior to bulk production. In pilot run, about 100-200 garments are cut, stitched and finished. This is the final check of production patterns with other reasons for conducting the pilot production. If the factory gets the right measurement in the pilot run piece after processing, bulk cutting is approved. Don’t miss to check or ask for a pilot run result and if there is any points that is related to the cutting process.

6. Preshrink of the process

This is not required for all types of fabrics. But for knits with high shrinkage to wash is essential to pre-shrink the fabric by washing fabric panels. In case there is low shrinkage to wash factory might not go for pre-shrink but add the shrinkage into the pattern. Also check if you need to relax the fabric before layering and if the lay needs to be relaxed for certain hours prior to cutting.

That’s all. Be safe and give the best quality in cutting. You will Rock.

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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