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Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

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What Do Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker Do?

Position Description Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

Life As a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker: What Do They Do?

  • Create a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.
  • Examine sketches, sample articles, and design specifications to determine quantities, shapes, and sizes of pattern parts, and to determine the amount of material or fabric required to make a product.
  • Mark samples and finished patterns with information, such as garment size, section, style, identification, and sewing instructions.
  • Discuss design specifications with designers, and convert their original models of garments into patterns of separate parts that can be laid out on a length of fabric.
  • Input specifications into computers to assist with pattern design and pattern cutting.
  • Position and cut out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or print out copies of patterns, using computers.

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Required Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers say are important on the job.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Other Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Job Titles

  • Garment Patternmaker
  • Draper
  • Pattern Designer
  • Pattern Maker
  • Patternmaker

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Employment Estimates

There were about 5,500 jobs for Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker. There will be an estimated 500 positions for Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker per year.


The states with the most job growth for Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker are Colorado, Indiana, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Missouri, or Oregon. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Average Salary

The salary for Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers ranges between about $23,360 and $87,820 a year.


Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers who work in New York, California, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

How much do Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
California $54,490
Florida $32,460
Indiana $35,340
Maryland $44,040
Massachusetts $52,210
Michigan $40,120
Mississippi $36,230
Missouri $33,600
New Jersey $29,090
New York $71,110
North Carolina $44,030
Ohio $29,210
Oregon $37,820
Pennsylvania $41,200
South Carolina $30,000
Tennessee $32,650
Utah $27,480
Washington $49,670

What Tools do Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator

How do I Become a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker?

What education is needed to be a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker?


What work experience do I need to become a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker?


Where do Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Work?


The table below shows the approximate number of Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Elisa.rolle via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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