Industrial Tailoring Paper Patterns Development

Hoplites » Industrial Tailoring Paper Patterns Development

The creation of the pattern is the phase in which the idea and sketch of the designer begin to take shape; hence, it is an indispensable step for the creation of a collection.

What is a Paper Pattern?

The Paper Pattern is a track, printed on paper, which indicates the profile of all the pieces that must be obtained, by cutting, from the fabric. The pieces will then be assembled to create the garment.

How a Paper Pattern was made in the past

In the past, the pattern was manually created by the pattern maker who, thanks to the help of rulers and set squares, directly drew the shape of the various pieces for the transposition of the garment on paper or cardboard, based on standard measures tables for industrial productions or on specific measures of a person, in the case of a tailored garment.

With that first pattern, a prototype was manufactured to analyze several aspects, among which, the correct fit by wearing it to a mannequin or rather to a person with measures and proportions compatible with the size and fit of the garment made

The subsequent step for the pattern maker was to carry out the size grading of the pattern, in the various sizes to be produced (generally from Small to Large, but there are also extra small and extra large), a long and painstaking job that could take several hours or working days

The last step was to take all the pieces of the paper pattern, in the various sizes, and place them on a sheet of thermo -adhesive paper in order to create the “placement” which consisted in framing each other all the pieces, in order to be able to optimize at most the fabric consumption having as little waste as possible.

In practice, it was equivalent to creating a kind of “puzzle” but much more complex: only to give an example, a jacket can also be composed of more than 50 pieces among fabric, lining and interlining; if you multiply this for at least 4 sizes, the pattern maker found himself having to frame a huge amount of pieces!

After having also completed this last step, finally the “placement” or “track” was given to the cutter who was responsible for positioning it over the “mattress” (various overlapping layers of fabric) in order to finally proceed with the cutting

How to make a Paper Pattern to the present day

Nowadays, the technology has greatly speeded up the various phases of creating the clothing industrial pattern; in fact, thanks to special softwares for the creation of Patterns, system called CAD (Computer Aided Design) it is possible what follows:

  1. The creation of virtual patterns following the measures, or the indications about the type of wearability, provided by the designer through his technical sketches
  2. If paper patterns are already present, the digitization, control and industrialization of the various pieces are carried out
  3. After the phases A or B, we move on to the automatic placement in which the computer deals with various placement simulations in order to achieve the greatest possible efficiency; It often happens that the pattern maker intervenes by giving manual inputs in order to further increase efficiency and reduce the waste of fabric to the maximum.
  4. With the CAD system it is also possible to modify the pieces that make up the pattern on the screen, add seam margins, texts and all the information that will be necessary during the assembly and seam of the garment, all thanks to a series of information that the pattern maker inserts into the program.
  5. When the placement is ready, it is printed with a large printing machine, called plotter, and at this point what was a virtual model becomes in all respects a pattern to be supplied to the cutting laboratory for cutting the fabric.

What are the formats of the files generated with CAD?

With the CAD system, various files can be generated for different uses:

  • The DXF (Drawing Exchange Format) file is used as a solution to exchange data among various AutoCAD programs. For example, the pattern maker creates the pattern and then sends it via email to another operator in another Company that can import it and modify it at will without limitations
  • An ISO file is a single file that reproduces entirely and perfectly the content of a sent file, it is used when using automatic cutting to cut the fabric
  • The HPGL format file is the main control languge for printers used by Hewlett-Packard plotters. The name is the initials of “Hewlett-Packard Graphics Language”. Subsequently, it became a standard for most plotters.

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