7 Checkpoints Cutting Department Should Follow Before Starting Bulk Cutting

Cutting department's checkpoints

As a standard operating procedure, one must follow and refer to the checklist before they start layering fabrics on the cutting table.  

Do you have the checklist for bulk cutting? 

If you don’t have one, you can follow this checklist.

The garment manufacturing process from sourcing of fabric to fabric testing, fabric quality inspection, and audit to the cutting of fabric are performed by different teams. All changes and update requirements must be communicated to the right person on time. If there is a gap in communication between the two departments, there might be chances of making mistakes and the consequences might result in a big loss of revenue.

To avoid delay in production, and quality issues you must look at the following 7 checklists prior to starting bulk cutting. You can say these are requirements for starting cutting.

1. Bulk fabric approval

Approval of fabric quality in terms of fabric weight (GSM), its shade, shade band, lot variations (if any) and there are many other fabric quality parameters. All parameters must be matched with the buyer's requirement. You don't need to know everything about fabric parameters - you just need the written approval of the fabric you are going to cut for the specific order. Also, ensure that you have taken the correct fabric from the fabric store.

2. Approval of bulk pattern

Fitting and correction of the pattern. In export orders, garment patterns are modified and corrected at various stages and sometimes multiple corrections and modifications are done on patterns prior to bulk cutting. 

Though you take care of receiving the right pattern for bulk cutting, there might be chances of getting the wrong patterns from pattern making department (when there are many versions of the pattern for the same style). So you must check whether the pattern is signed for the bulk cutting. 

In case there is lot-wise shrinkage variation in fabrics, you must have multiple patterns marked with shrinkage allowance.

3. Fabric relaxation 

If required fabric relaxation must be done prior to the layering of fabrics. Fabric comes in rolls from the mills. In the fabric roll, normally fabric got stretched and if the fabric is cut without relaxing it, shrinkage may happen on garment components after cutting. 

The best way is to relax the fabric before laying the fabric on the cutting table to avoid fitting and measurement issues. If possible you can relax the fabric after layering it on the cutting table. What method to follow and how many hours fabric need to be relaxed? Take an expert's advice for these.

4. Fabric shrinkage report and shrinkage approval

Don’t ignore the fabric shrinkage report and approval on the shrinkage report. 

Having approval on fabrics confirms the fabric shrinkage too. But in many cases lot wise different shrinkages are found. You have to check the shrinkage report of different lots and plan your cutting rolls accordingly (assumed that the fabric store will segregate fabric based on shrinkage percentage).

Read how to calculate fabric shrinkage.

5. Cut planning

You might have a detailed size and color-wise quantity breakup for an order. Do you know what is the best way to lay fabrics and cut all quantities by layering the least number of lays? 

Plan it in advance by looking at the size ratio and color combination in the order sheet. You can take the help of the technology solution for the cut planning. 

Also see: Why do you need cut planning and roll planning? 

6. Follow the approved marker plan

Marker plan plays a big role in fabric consumption and fabric utilization. You can reduce fabric wastage by following a better marker without compromising the average consumption of fabric. 

Always follow the approved marker in bulk cutting. In case your factory has a CAD system, you can take marker approval on the mini-marker.

7. Verify the Fabric consumption

Fabric cost incurred about 65% of the total garment cost. FOB of the garment is prepared based on fabric consumption. In case actual fabric consumption in bulk cutting comes higher than the estimated consumption (that one is used in costing), you might not save enough money from that order. 

Therefore it is better to cross-check the actual fabric consumption in the final marker. If there is not much difference you can proceed with bulk cutting otherwise wait and take approval from the concerned authority.

Add all these checkpoints into the cutting room standard operating procedure. Following these, you can improve cutting room performance and cutting quality.

If you want to learn more about the cutting process in garment manufacturing download this free eBook

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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