What is a fabric cut order plan and how it is made ?

Guide to the art of making a fabric saving cut plan !

Industrial fabric cutting using Straight knife

Cut order plan is an logical division of an order quantity into individual lays (spread) of fabric such that desired number of garment pieces can be cut. Cut order plan should be made to minimize time and effort in cutting as well as to utilizing fabric efficiently.

An effective fabric cut order plan can be made by following these tested techniques . The Information needed for  cut order planning is:
1. No of garments to cut (order quantity).
2.Size wise breakup , Like S:M:L:XL = 100:200:200:100
Now we know that to cut the order quantity in the size ratio specified we will lay the fabric and then cut it using a marker (patterns printed on paper).
Consider that we have to cut 6 garments in the ratio S1:M2:L2:XL1. We will make a marker in the required size ratio, lay 1 ply and cut. So we will easily cut 6 garments, which is what we required (see the table below)

Lay Number Of PliesGarments On MarkerNo Of Garments Cut
11XS1:S2:M2:L1XS1:S2:M2:L1

This was easy but in real world we will not cut just 6 garments, we will cut hundreds and even thousands, so as the order quantity will increase number of plies will increase too. What if instead of 6 garments we had to cut 12 in the same ratio. Answer is, we would simply lay 2 plies and cut instead of a single lay (refer to table below).

Lay Number Of PliesGarments On MarkerNo of Garments Cut
12XS1:S2:M2:L1XS2:S4:M4:L2

It is very clear from the above example that number of plies will change depending on the order quantity but lay height can’t be increased beyond a certain point because the knife height is fixed, therefore we have lay maximum number of plies as the first constraint:

Constraint 1 – Maximum Number of Plies in a lay (height of the lay)

Not only lay height the length of the lay is also a constraint, which will depend on the number of garments on a marker. The maximum number of garments which can be laid on  a marker is fixed by the cutting manager after considering various parameters like order qty, length of the table, type of fabric, CSV grade etc. To read more on how maximum number of garments on a marker is fixed ,  read this post

Constraint 2 – Maximum Number of garments on a marker (length of the lay)

These two constraints calls for planning the cutting process to get the right order quantity cut for each size. This logical planning for cutting the total order quantity based on constraints is called a fabric cut order plan or cut order planning.

To make things clearer let us make a cut order plan with constraints. Consider that we have to cut 9 garments in the ratio XS1:S2:M3:L2:XL1 where knife can only cut max of 4 plies at a time  and max no. of garments that can be put on a marker is 2.
This is how we can plan to cut the given order.

Lay No.Number of pliesSizes on markerPieces cut in the layTotal pieces cut
Lay 111XS & 1 XLXS1:XL1XS1:XL1
Lay 221S & 1 LS2:L2XS1:S2:L2:XL1
Lay 331M3MXS1:S2:M3:L2:XL1

In the above example we were able to cut the required number of garments without exceeding the max number of garments on a marker and max number of plies in a lay. Till this point it must be clear that what is cut plan and what factors affect it. Moving on to how a fabric cut plan is used

How is a Fabric Cut order plan used ?

  • Cut order plan is used by the marker maker to make the marker.
  • Cut order plan is used by the spreader to lay the fabric.

How is a Fabric Cut order Plan made ?

There can be hundreds of combination for a cut order plan therefore making a good plan can be quite a task.
If any specialised software is not used, cut order plan is generally made on an excel sheet where number of plies and the sizes on each lay is specified. Formulae ensures that the required number of pieces in every size keeps updating after every entered value in plies and sizes.
Excel sheet should give clear indication on how many pieces more are required for all the sizes by subtracting number of pieces planned from total pieces required. Required number of pieces will be used for planning number of plies and size ratio for the next lay
The objective is to make the required number of pieces (ie = planned pieces – ordered quantity) either to be zero or near to zero.

Please read this post to learn about how to make a fabric cut order plan which will save fabric .

2 thoughts on “What is a fabric cut order plan and how it is made ?”

    1. Hi Pulkita,
      Since the number of lays depends on the maximum Number of plies and size breakup of the order it cannot be predicted. However Maximum no. of plies can be predicted. It doesn’t depend on the number of colors. It depends on type of fabric(solids, checks)/method of cutting (block cutting or not) and the GSM(thickness) of the fabric. Maximum number of plies should be calculated keeping all this factors in consideration.

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