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What is pattern development?

Question: What is pattern development?
Answer: Pattern development is a crucial step in the garment manufacturing process. It involves creating a template or blueprint for a garment, which serves as a guide for cutting the fabric and assembling the pieces to form the final product.

An image showing a pattern maker at work, drafting a garment pattern on a large table with fabric pieces, rulers, and sewing tools, symbolizing the meticulous process of pattern development.
JF Apparel's Sample Development Office

Key Aspects of Pattern Development:

  1. Design Translation: The designer’s sketch or concept is translated into a technical drawing. This drawing includes all the necessary details such as measurements, seams, and style lines.
  2. Pattern Drafting: A skilled pattern maker drafts the initial pattern based on the technical drawing. This involves creating the basic shapes and outlines of the garment pieces.
  3. Sample Creation: A sample garment is created using the drafted pattern to check the fit, drape, and overall look. Adjustments are made to refine the pattern.
  4. Grading: Once the sample is approved, the pattern is graded to create different sizes. This ensures that the garment fits properly across a range of sizes.
  5. Digitization: The final pattern is often digitized for precision and ease of use in modern manufacturing processes. Digital patterns can be easily modified and shared.
  6. Marker Making: The digitized patterns are used to create markers, which are layouts of pattern pieces optimized for fabric cutting to minimize waste.


A new sample made according to the pattern description.
A new sample made according to the pattern description.

Importance of Pattern Development:

  • Accuracy: Ensures that each piece of the garment is cut and sewn accurately, leading to a high-quality final product.
  • Consistency: Allows for consistent production of garments in different sizes and styles.
  • Efficiency: Streamlines the manufacturing process, reducing errors and saving time and resources.

Pattern development is essential for turning a design concept into a wearable garment, ensuring that the final product meets the desired fit, style, and quality standards.

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