How to Make a Lay Planning in Cutting Room

Lay planning is the most essential managing process of cutting room, table space and labor. To do accurate fabric spreading and cutting, reduce manufacturing cost with schedule time, minimize the fabric wastage manufacturer make a lay plan for garment manufacturing. The cutting templates representing all of the individual components of a garment have to be laid out together in such a way that they fit within the confines of the fabric width as closely and efficiently as possible, in order to minimize waste. This is the lay plan.
Lay planning
Fig: Lay planning
Lay planning in apparel manufacturing industry:

Guidelines for the lay plan:
The templates have to be laid in way that takes account of the directional properties of the fabric, such as thread directions, pattern direction, and grain of nap or pile. It may also be necessary to allow for matching of stripes, checks, or designs.

Orientation and direction of lay plan:
The orientation of the pattern templates will depends on the construction of the textile material and its pattern design features.

There are three basic types of orientation. These are in below:

  1. Non-woven
  2. Cretonne
  3. Corduroy 
1. Non-woven:
In non-woven fabrics for which neither the orientation nor the direction is important e.g. random laid nonwoven fabrics.

2. Cretonne:
Fabrics for which the orientation is important but the templates may be laid in either direction e.g. lining and laminated fabrics.

3. Corduroy:
Fabrics in which orientation and the direction are both important e.g. pile fabrics, fabric with a directional pattern or pile, knitted fabrics.

Pattern matching:
The quality of a product is affected significantly by the accuracy of pattern matching. A flawless execution, especially with checks and stripes, demands a high consumption of fabric and takes a great deal of time. The coloring, the repeat size, and the prominence of the pattern, as well as the degree of matching required between individual garment pieces are crucial in determining the cost and difficulty in making the lay plan, in spreading the clothes, and in cutting.

During spreading, it is necessary to match the pattern exactly at each end of the lay and in every ply.

Cutting may have to be carried out in two stages, with a preliminary rough cut being followed by more precise second cutting together with pattern matching.

In making the lay plan, the pattern markers cannot be laid in such a way as to minimize cutting wastage. They have to be disposed according to the requirements of the pattern.

Features of accurate pattern matching:

The pattern must be symmetrical about the central axis. Examples: left and right front panels, collars, and backs.

Lengthwise continuity:
The pattern must not be interrupted or displace at horizontal seams. Examples: pockets.

Horizontal continuity:
The pattern must not be interrupted or displace at vertical seams or across adjacent parts. Example: arm and front panel.

Overall continuity:
The form and the repeat of the pattern must be maintained across all seams, facings, trimmings, patches etc. examples: patch pockets, flaps, darts, and facings.

Procedures for making a lay plan:
There are three different methods are used for making a lay plan. They are:

  1. Manual methods
  2. Miniaturization (pantograph) methods
  3. Computerized methods
1. Manual methods:
The simplest method of making a lay plan is to arrange the cutting templates manually. The outlines of the templates are then traces either directly onto the fabric or onto a special marker paper. The detailed arrangement of the templates is decided either by experience and know-how, or by following a small scale printed diagram.

2. Miniaturization (pantograph) methods:
To make a lay plan, use a pantograph, the full size cutting templates are reduced in a scale of 1:5. This simplifies the task of manual arrangement of the pieces and makes it easier to arrive at a lay which optimizes material use and minimizes cutting wastage.

The miniature lay plan will be photographed or photocopied for archiving, and then enlarged to full scale to provide the actual cutting marker in the apparel industry.

3. Computerized methods:
In garment industry, after grading, the computer can be used to produce the lay plan and the cutting marker. User-friendly systems allow the recall and arrangement of the patterns on the monitor screen, according to given technological requirements. Individual pieces can be moved around the screen using a light pen to produce an optimized layout. The more sophisticated programs will make the lay automatically according to predetermined criteria.

These advanced systems will calculated material utilization and cutting waste, and make the lay accordingly.

The finished lay plan is stored in the computer. It can be recalled and drawn out as a miniature plan at any time. When required the cutting marker can be drawn at a plotter in full scale.

With the most modern technology, it is not necessary to make a physical cutting marker. The cutting instructions are sent direct (on-line) to the fully automatic cutting machine.

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