In apparel production, a marker is a flat arrangement of all pattern pieces within the area of
the fabric to be cut and sewn. A good marker optimizes the layout of the pattern
pieces to minimize fabric wastage while maintaining the desired grainline direction for each
Markers must take into account cutting restrictions, such as the width of the fabric or length of the cutting table. For example, if a cutting table is 10 yards long, the marker cannot be 12 yards long because 2 yards would hang over the edge of the table.
Markers also take into account fabric specifications. For example, if the fabric has a print direction or texture nap (like corduroy), the pieces must be arranged so the finished garment appears "right-side-up." Fabric specifications may also include how the fabric will be spread over the cutting table. If there are multiple layers or plies to be cut, they might be laid either in a "zig-zag" manner or all plies face up.
Finally, markers for commercial production often include multiple size sets or bundles for a pattern. The ratio of these bundles typically reflects the popularity of each size. A common ratio in an X-small to X-large size set might be: one (1) X-Small, two (2) Small, three (3) Medium, two (2) Large, one (1) X-Large, or (1,2,3,2,1).
Depending on the number of bundles in an order, the cutting restrictions may limit number of bundles in a single marker. In this case, it would be necessary to create a cut plan for multiple markers. For example, if cutting restrictions limit a single marker to five (5) bundles, the previous ratio (1,2,3,2,1) might be broken into two (2) markers: the first containing two (2) Small and three (3) Medium, the second containing one (1) X-Small, two (2) Large, and one (1) X-Large.
Automtatic marker-making using digital pattern data is the best way to ensure an optimized arrangement within all given parameters. TUKAweb offers automatic marker-making services using SMARTmark, the most efficient automatic marker-making system in the apparel industry.
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