Deciding factors for number of garments on a marker

Fabric consumption depends greatly on the number of garments on a marker because the more the number of garment patterns on a marker the better is the marker efficiency. So a 6 way marker will have better marker efficiency than a 4 way marker which means that fabric consumption will be lesser for higher way markers. Therefore, standardizing the number of ways is very important because only then we will be able to control the fabric consumption.

note: Number of ways is an ambiguous term it’s right usage refers to the direction of fabric but in marker making it has been referred as number of garments. Though I don’t like this ambiguity and instead like to call 4 way as 4G but I have used “way” in this post for simplicity.

Deciding the number of ways is generally left to the experience of the cutting or CAD department in-charge and higher management have no means to identify if the markers are made with the best number of garments on it.

Though deciding the number of garments on a marker require technical expertise it can be standardized with a little bit of research. In this post we will be discussing about the deciding factors for maximum number of garments on a markers or deciding factors for number of ways on marker.

Number of ways on a Marker:

The number of ways on a marker are decided based on the following factors:

  1. Order Quantity and Size ratio
  2. Fabric’s yarn Composition
  3. Type of Fabric(Solid/Stripes/Checks)
  4. Center to selvedge  variation grade
  5. fabric Defects(Bowing/Skewing)

All this factors has to be considered in conjunction with each other to conclude the number of garments to be placed on the marker.

1. Order Quantity and Size ratio

It is important to strike the balance between the number of plies and the number of garments in marker. If we are not able to utilize the maximum number of plies we should not be making higher way markers.

For a small order Quantity we will not be able to lay the maximum number of plies that can be laid if the number of garments on the marker is more. For example: 100 plies of 2 way marker(S,M)  will become 50 plies of 4 way marker(2S,2M) if we increase the number of ways. Which will increase the number of cuts in that marker and increase the work in cutting.It is therefore clear that if the order qty is less the number of ways on marker will also be less.

How to standardize number of garments on  a marker as per order Quantity?

It can be done by testing on some sample cut plans. I did this testing and the results were this:

Assuming that the sizes in the order are in the following ratio

1 2 3 2 1


The maximum number of garments in a marker as per the order quantity will be:

Order Quantity Less than 1000 1001-2000 Greater than 2000
Max. No. of Gmts in a marker 4 6 8-10

Note: It is highly unlikely to spread more than 10 way marker because it will require a very long cutting table.

2. Fabric’s yarn Composition:

The composition of fabric define characteristics like feel,stretch, grain etc but the only thing that concerns us is the disoriented grain line. Linen fabrics have disoriented grain line so longer lays can’t be laid for these type of fabrics.

3. Fabric type(Solid/Stripes/Checks):

Solid, stripes and checks fabric comes with different requirements during marker making. For instance,

A. Solid:

Solid Fabrics does not require matching  and bowing and skewing is a lesser problem ,Therefore it is possible to lay the maximum number of garments on markers for cutting solid fabric if other criterion does not create any problem.

B. Checks: 

Checks fabric shows bowing and skewing evidently, requires matching and possesses repeat variation. If repeat variation is 1 mm it will get added up at the end of the marker and we would most likely be not able to cut if longer lays are laid. Therefore number of garments on the marker for checks fabric cannot be more.

C. Stripes: 

Just like checks stripes also shows bowing and skewing evidently but requires limited matching and also possesses repeat variation. So the number of garments on stripes marker cannot be higher. But It can be higher than checks depending upon the type of stripe( horizontal or vertical) and the matching requirements.

4. Center to selvedge variation grade (CSV grade):

CSV shade variation dictates the number of garments on a marker as per the below table:

1 4 No shade variation Can be placed anywhere on marker Maximum possible
2 3 to 4 Slight variation between centre and selvedge shade Garments are arranged in symmetrical combination Maximum possible
3 3 Higher  variation between centre and selvedge’s shade All pieces of one garment  are placed either at centre or selvedge to match the shade 3 , one garment at center, two at each selvedge
4 2 Too much variation between centre and selvedge’s shade Fabric Roll can’t be used Fabric Roll can’t be used

5. Fabric defects:

There is no defined scale for identifying these characteristics however they can be judged by visual observation and can be weighed against the criteria of more and less. If bowing /Skewing is more the number of ways will be minimum.

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