Garment Marker | Marker Efficiency | Factors of Marker Efficiency

Marker is a thin paper on which all pattern pieces for all sizes for a particular style of garments are drawn in such way that maximum fabrics will be used and fabric wastage will be minimum.

Marker Efficiency:
The ratio of area for pattern pieces that are placed on the marker to the total area of the marker expressed as percentage is called marker efficiency.

Marker efficiency is the important part of garments manufacturing. Direct cost of garments could be utilized by marker efficiency. Salary of a marker planner truly depends upon the capability to increase the marker efficiency.

Marker efficiency is determined by fabric utilization, the percentage of the total fabric that is actually used in garment parts. The area not used in garment parts is waste. Marker efficiency depends on how tightly the pattern pieces fit together within the marker. The total surface area of the pattern pieces is compared to the total area of the marker to calculate the percentage of fabric that is used. This is determined automatically by marker-planning software. If marker-making and marker planning technology is not available, the area of each pattern piece may be determined by a perimeter – a mechanical device that calculates the surface area as the outline of the pattern is traced. Factors that affect marker efficiency are fabric characteristics, shape of the pattern pieces, and grain requirements.

Objectives of Marker Efficiency:
-Examine how fabric utilization affects marker efficiency
-Enumerate the factors affecting material utilization

Factors of Marker Efficiency
  1. Fabric Characteristics
  2. Characteristics of Pattern Pieces
  3. Grain Line Orientation
  4. Standards of Fabric Utilization
Factors of Marker Efficiency are described briefly:

Fabric Characteristics:
Fabric characteristics that affect utilization include differences in face and back, lengthwise directionality, crosswise symmetry, need for matching the fabric design, length of design repeat, and fabric width. These fabric characteristics frequently limit the arrangement of pattern pieces. Matching fabric designs requires special marker preparation and extra piece goods. Stripe or plaid lines must be indicated on pattern pieces and markers for accurate alignment and matching to corresponding pieces. The greater the length between repeats increases the potential for fabric waste.

Characteristics of Pattern Pieces:
Characteristics of pattern pieces may limit fabric utilization. Generally the fabric utilization percentage increases when a variety of garment sizes are used in the same marker and when the marker contains both large and small pieces. Smaller pieces can often be nested with larger pieces. The shape of the pattern pieces determine hoe close they can be fit together (interlock). Irregular shaped pieces are difficult to fit together with other pieces. Large pattern pieces are less flexible and often dictate the placement of other pieces.

Grain Line Orientation:
Grain line markings determine the placement of the pattern relative to the warp yarns in wovens or wales in knit fabrics. Pattern pieces with a similar grain orientation, if grouped together on the marker, generally produce better utilization. Combining several bias pieces and straight grain pieces may not fit together as well and create more fabric waste. Markers usually have good utilization when all pattern pieces are on the bias or all pieces are cut on straight grain.

The firm's standards for grain tolerance may also affect marker efficiency. Tilting specific pattern pieces 1 or 2 percent may not be noticeable, and it may increase fabric utilization noticeably. This practice can impact the fit and drape of he finished garment but it may not be noticeable to the untrained eye. Computer marker-making programs will lock in the grain orientation of each piece unless an override function is used to adjust them. This can be done on a piece-by-piece basis.

Standards of Fabric Utilization:
Firms often establish fabric utilization standards. Firms producing basics may strive for 90 to 97 percent utilization, while fashion-firms may be able to achieve only 80 to 85 percent. It is important for firms to document material utilization and variances from the standards to monitor improvements or factors that impact the utilization. Better utilization is normally developed for basic styles because optimum fabric widths are used consistently and more time invested in cut planning and manipulating pattern pieces in the markers to reduce waste of materials. Markers for basic styles are used to cut large volumes of piece goods and may be kept on file and used repeatedly; thus, the time invested in improving utilization results in greater savings.

Markers for fashion styles and Quick Response strategies may be used only once or for a limited number of spreads and few ply. Fashion garments are subject to constant changes in styling and materials and tight deadlines that limit the time available to develop efficient markers. 

Author of This Article:
Noor Ahmed Raaz
B.Sc. in Fashion & Design
University of Chittagong

Mobile: +8801722797194
Facebook: Raaz Noor


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