How Many Meters of Cloth Do I Need for a Shirt?

If you just want to know the average length of fabric for the custom made shirts, you can use the following data.
  • 1.6 meters for 58 - 60 inches wide fabric
  • 2.25 meters for 36 - 44 inches wide fabric
Remember, woven fabric (shirt fabric) is available in the market in different widths. The common widths are 36 inches, 44 inches, and 58-60 inches.

In the shop and online stores, the cut piece fabric for shirting (unstitched fabric) is available in 2.25 meters (width 36-44") and 1.6 meters (58-60")

If you want to know cloth length in yards, then just multiply the meters by 1.09361.

If you want to calculate actual fabric consumption for a woven shirt from the measurement sheet use this online calculator

Real Example: 
A shirt manufacturing unit (domestic brands) use to the following chart for fabric requirement in different types of shirt designs. You may find this useful.

Shirt type
Fabric consumption  when fabric width  is 60 inch  
Fabric consumption  when fabric width is 44 inch
Formal Full Sleeve
1.6 meters
2.10 meters
Formal Half Sleeve
1.4 meters
1.90 meters
Short Shirt Full sleeve
1.45 meters
1.90 meters
Short Shirt Half Sleeve
1.3 meters
1.75 meters

Note: The factory used to cut multiple shirts in a single layer and makes shirts in 4 sizes (S, M, L, XL) in a ratio of 1:2:2:1

Also note for large check and stripes pattern repeat, if the tailor needs to match the stripes and check, fabric requirement will increase.

Advanced knowledge:
The average fabric requirement in length is different in mass shirt production compared to the custom-made shirt. As in the mass-production, a garment factory use to cut multiple shirts in one layer and reduce the fabric wastage in two ends of the cloth. 

Also for different shirt sizes (Small, Medium, Large, Extra-large), a different length of fabric is required depending on the shirt length. They use pattern nesting software (marker making) to maximize the fabric utilization. Thus they reduce the fabric consumption per shirt. 

At the end, the cost of a shirt depends on the fabric consumption. 
There are many other ways of saving fabric and optimize the shirt cost.

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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