How to build a Career in Apparel Pattern Maker in Garment Industry

Dr. Roopak Vasishtha

Dr. Roopak Vashistha

Do you wish to be in a career that will always be in demand? Then you should consider becoming a Pattern maker, as the pattern maker plays a vital role in the fashion and Apparel manufacturing industry, and every apparel house hires several people for this job role.

In some companies, the job title for a pattern maker might be apparel pattern maker or fabric pattern maker. It is the job of the pattern maker to create a pattern either free-hand or with computer-aided drafting software. Pattern making is the fundamental step towards designing a beautiful and perfect piece of garment.

In this article, we have elaborated about the importance of pattern making in the fashion and apparel Industry. The prerequisite skills involved in pattern making and career opportunities.

Importance of pattern making in fashion and apparel Industry

The apparel design is not only sketching beautiful styles on paper, but there is also a lot more to it. The garment manufacturing comprises of numerous stages such as: product development, cutting, sewing, embellishments, finishing, and packaging. The appearance and fit of a garment are highly dependent on each process. Today’s customers have become more demanding and constantly lookout for new styles and designs. If you know the possibility of designs that can be created through various pattern development, a lot of opportunities can be encountered to design. Pattern construction is the base for the development of enormous garment designs.

A pattern is a template from which part of a garment is traced onto the fabric before being cut out and assembled; patterns are usually made of paper. Pattern Making is a blueprint for the garment, on the basis of which the fabric is cut. It is the technical drawing or drafting of a garment. Standard size charts, dress forms or figures are measured, these measurements are then converted into patterns and then garments are made from them.

Understanding the Role of Pattern makers

Apparel pattern maker plays an important role in the clothing industry. Individuals in this position are responsible for taking fashion designers ideas and creating a workable pattern that will ultimately become an article of clothing. Pattern makers often are required to more accurately define initial fashion designs and work closely with designers to achieve the desired look.  Patternmakers use their knowledge of fabrics, sewing skills and ability to alter garments to draft a pattern that replicates a design concept.

Fit approval is crucial for any apparel company. If things go wrong at pattern making stage  the fit will be spoiled and you will not achieve what is required, but with the effective knowledge of pattern making, you can always reduce errors which saves time and cost to the company, and  is required to succeed in today’s competitive environment.

Education and Skills Requirements

There are technical and vocational institutions that offer degree or certificate programs in pattern making. In addition, the Apparel Made-Ups and Home Furnishing Sector Skill Council (AMHSSC), which is an apex body for skill development and certification in the apparel domain, under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneur, has developed ‘Qualification Packs’ (QPs) aligning to International standards for pattern making job role. The council has aligned its skilling competencies with the industry requirements and is making an all-out effort in meeting the industry requirements for skilled and certified pattern makers with relevant technical capabilities, thus giving a boost to the growth of the sector along with creating employment opportunities for the youth of the country.

The Qualification Packs developed by the AMHSSC for Pattern maker job role are as follows:

    1. Pattern Master (NSQF Level – 5)
    2. Advance Pattern Maker (CAD – CAM) (NSQF Level -5)

AMHSSC has curated a variety of job-oriented industry-led QPs. According to the need of the hour, these programs are designed to generate employment for the youth and in addition retail segment is also bringing in new opportunities wherein these courses have great potential.

Key skills and interests

To become a clothing pattern maker, you would require:

  • A good knowledge of various types and properties of fabrics
  • To be able to interpret a design concept and put it on paper
  • Excellent sewing skills
  • Good analytical skills
  • Ability to draw freehand
  • Awareness of current fashion trends

Career and Economic Outcome

A good way to begin your pattern-making career is to acquire a position that is just below that of a pattern maker. For instance, include grader or fabric cutter. These positions will provide work experience and knowledge that is applicable for the pattern maker position. In addition, you will be in a position to move directly into an available pattern maker opening, once you are ready. At this stage, a skilled person can earn around Rs 15,000 monthly. With the experience and expertise, one’s income can potentially increase.

With formal education and experience, patternmakers can pursue careers as fashion designers, manufacturing managers and fit designers. Pattern makers are employed by apparel industry, fashion designers, and fashion consultants. It is an extremely rewarding, and challenging career that teaches great life as well as technical skills, and provides comfortable means of living. It’s a challenging and rewarding job profile.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here