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Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

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What is a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker?

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

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Responsibilities

  • Draw details on outlined parts to indicate where parts are to be joined, as well as the positions of pleats, pockets, buttonholes, and other features, using computers or drafting instruments.
  • 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.
  • Test patterns by making and fitting sample garments.
  • Create design specifications to provide instructions on garment sewing and assembly.
  • Mark samples and finished patterns with information, such as garment size, section, style, identification, and sewing instructions.
  • Trace outlines of specified patterns onto material, and cut fabric using scissors.

Qualities of a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Types of Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

  • Shoe Patternmaker
  • Pattern Grader
  • Patternator
  • Production Pattern Maker
  • Fashion Patternmaker

Is There Job Demand for Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers?

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. 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.

How Much Does a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Make?

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 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

Becoming a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker

Education needed to be a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker:


How many years of work experience do I need?


Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Sector


Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers work in the following industries:


Those interested in being a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker may also be interested in:

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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