Why a Career in Apparel Pattern Making?

Career in Apparel Pattern Making

Dr. Roopak Vasishtha

Dr. Roopak VasishthaDo 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.

What is Pattern making?

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.

What a Patternmaker does?

Apparel pattern maker plays an important role in the clothing industry. Individuals in this position are responsible for taking fashion designer’s 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. 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.

Career growth driver for student

  • Apparel demand at $ 78 Bn, dominating the domestic market with a share close to 4 percent of the total textile and apparel market in India.
  • Garments have continued to be the largest commodity exported out of India to EU with a share of 63 percent of India’s total exports. Some of the leading apparel brands are sourcing from India making India a promising sourcing destination.
  • India has core strengths in cotton t-shirts, dresses, baby garments, underpants and briefs, synthetic dresses and tops for women which can be leveraged further.
  • India has presence of complete value chain from fiber to fabric and hence the ability to execute even small order quantities.
    5. Rising per capita income, higher disposable incomes and preferences for brands.
  • Organized retail landscape & e-Commerce.
  • Increased focus on technical textiles due to growth of end-user industries such as automotive, healthcare, infrastructure and oil and petroleum.
  • Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme in Man-made fiber and technical textiles with financial outlay of INR 10,683 cr under Atmanirbhar Bharat package.
    Today, the textile and apparel industry in India is marked by radical innovation, shifting markets, evolving supply chains and distribution channels and is gradually drifting towards responsible and sustainable manufacturing. With the expansion of the industry, a lot of opportunities will be available for skilled people.

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 (AMH SSC), which is an apex body for skill development and certification in the apparel domain, under the aegis of the 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 AMH SSC for the Patternmaker job role are as follows:

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

AMH SSC 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 Prospects

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.

Top employment areas would be

    • Apparel production house (export houses)
    • Buying house
    • Retail
    • Design house
    • Textile mills
    • Overseas jobs on above areas
    • Starting own business

Salary and Career Progression

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 the 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.


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