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Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

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All About Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Definition Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.

What Do Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Do On a Daily Basis?

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Create a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.
  • Position and cut out master or sample patterns, using scissors and knives, or print out copies of patterns, using computers.
  • Compute dimensions of patterns according to sizes, considering stretching of material.

Skills Needed to be a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker

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

  • Assistant Designer
  • Pattern Grader
  • Computer Patternmaker
  • Pattern Grader Cutter
  • Draper

Job Outlook for Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 5,500 jobs in the United States for Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker. The BLS estimates 500 yearly job openings in this field.


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.

Average Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Salary

The average yearly salary of a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker ranges between $23,360 and $87,820.


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 each U.S. state?

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?

Learn what Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker education requirements there are.


How Long Does it Take to Become a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker?


Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Sector


Below are examples of industries where Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers work:


You May Also 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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