9 Tips to Save Fabric in The Cutting Room

Fabric saving in cutting room

Are you in mass garment manufacturing business? If so, read these fabric saving tips which will help you increasing your bottom line.

The fabric is the primary component for apparel products. Fabric incurred more than 60% of total garment cost. So, if you can save at least 1% fabric from the total order you can save huge money per year.

First, let me clarify what do we mean by fabric saving? Fabric saving can be measured by a reduction in actual fabric consumption than your current consumption - in turn, you need need to purchase less fabric. It can be defined as a reduction in total cost incurred in fabric purchasing for the given order.

Fabric saving can be also related to fabric utilization%. Let's say your fabric utilization is 100%. So, there is zero fabric waste in cutting and you save maximum.

Yes, 100% fabric utilization is not practical. So what are the possible causes that reduce fabric utilization percentage? You need to find the root causes of fabric waste.

If you improve fabric utilization in the current order, the excess fabric can be used in your future orders (provided same fabric can be used in the future orders). Even if you need to source a different fabric, in the next order you can plan to purchase less fabric to complete the same order quantity, because you have improved fabric utilization in the cutting room. This reduces the actual fabric consumption per garment and results in a reduced cost in fabric.

Following tips will help you understand different parameters causing fabric wastage and low fabric utilization. These tips will help you in improving fabric saving in your factory.

1. Utilize End bits

End bits are the end fabric off the roll that is less than your current marker length. End bits come in different length. Some end bits can be utilized on the current marker by splicing method. You can lay the end bit on the running lay as splicing if it covers at least one marker. Where splicing is not possible, keep the end bits aside and later lay a separate marker with the end bit.

2. Marker planning 

Follow the rule of max marker length and maximum lay height. By increasing maker length you can reduce fabric waste in end loss. Plan a size ratio in the marker to reduce the number of total markers for a given order and reduce fabric waste.

3. Sort your fabric rolls width wise and shade wise

You have to accept that you will get fabric rolls in different widths. If the finished fabrics are dyed and printed fabrics, you will receive fabrics with shade variation from one lot to another. By sorting fabric shade wise and cutting the cutting fabric rolls of same shade band in a marker, eliminate the chance shade variation issue in the stitched garments.

Once you sort the fabric according to the fabric width, you can prepare multiple markers depending on the fabric width. This way you can improve fabric utilization by reducing edge loss that normally happened when we follow the same marker for different fabric widths.

4. Inspect fabric before spreading

Fabrics must be inspected prior to cutting. Instead of cutting defective fabric and later doing part changes in garments send defective fabrics back to your supplier. Reprocess the defective fabrics, if the reprocess can fix the defects. Cutting the defective fabric knowingly is increasing the fabric waste.

5. Embrace latest cutting room technology

There are many technology solutions that would help you in improving fabric utilization and ultimately help you saving fabric in the cutting room.
  • CAD system: Auto nesting 
  • Cut order planning: Software solution providers claim that by using cut order planning you can save fabric in the cutting room. 
  • Intellocut –A material saving software

6. Reduction of fabric wastes 

When you cut fabric following traditional method - spreading manually, do marker making manually using paper pattern, and don't follow the cut-order-planning you may waste fabric as end bits, end loss, width loss (edge loss).

7. Cutting fixed pattern 

Sometimes we need to cut fabric in the block as per next process requirement line embroidery, hand work, and printing. If possible and you can manage it by fix cutting of garment components, you can reduce waste generation in fabrics and can save a lot of fabrics.

8. Purchasing fabric of low shrinkage

Fabric shrinkage is an important parameter for calculating fabric consumption. If the fabric shrinkage is more than the acceptable tolerance, consumption of the fabric will increase. Control the fabric shrinkage or purchase fabric from good suppliers who ensure the fabric shrinkage to wash and shrinkage to other environment remain within the allowance level.

9. Keep a record for each meter of fabric

You should keep record of fabric usage at every stages. How much fabric was purchase? How much fabric is utilized? And how much fabric remain in the stock?

Prepare fabric reconciliation report after order completion. Do data analysis and prepare the fact sheet on various parameters, like fabric utilization%, fabric waste%, left over fabric%, and different reasons for fabric waste. The numbers in the fact sheet will motivate you improving fabric handling, and saving fabric by applying above methods.


You have just read a number of ways you can save your valuable fabrics and stop wasting your money in purchasing excess fabrics. Reduce fabric waste generation in cutting. By following these methods you can surely save fabrics in your factory.

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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