From Design To Small Production Runs.
A One Stop Fashion Startup Solution.
Face To Face And Internet Based Services.
Clothing Manufacture For Startups.
The London Pattern Cutter is unique within the UK clothing industry. We are a small collective of highly experienced fashion business experts, providing an amazing range of services and advice to small fashion brands and startups.
We specialise in helping complete beginners, with no fashion business experience, and no idea where to start. We can guide you every step of the way, or just provide the services you need.
We like to think of ourselves as a small fashion business laboratory, where new brands can develop and try out their ideas on a small scale, with total confidence that they are in safe hands.
In order to keeps costs as low as possible for our clients, we enable you to do as much of the work yourself as is practical, while supporting you with our advice and practical skills where needed.
When our clients are ready to take their brand to the next level, we can make sure that they are totally prepared, and expertly advised.
Let Us Do The Heavy Lifting.
Between us, we have worked for many big fashion brands, and thousands of startups just like you. We love helping small fashion brands. We dont guarantee success – But we do give you a safe place to bring your ideas to life, using experienced but affordable professionals.
Whether you have a functional clothing product that requires extensive sample development, or an entire collection of fashion designs, we can provide the expertise to bring your ideas to life. We are experts in all aspects of apparel development.
Formed In 1984.
The London Pattern Cutter was formed in 1984 – Specifically to help small UK fashion brands and new designers on a limited budget. Their requirements have always been :
- A comprehensive range of clothing industry services under one umbrella.
- High Quality UK Production.
- Professional fashion business services and advice at an affordable cost.
- Small orders with no minimum order quantities ( MOQ`s ).
- Expert help, advice and useful tips for new fashion entrepreneurs.
- A real enthusiasm for small clothing businesses.
Just Some Of Our Services.
For anyone starting a fashion business, but with no experience. This is by far our most popular workshop, and an important step to learning how to start and run your own fashion business. A short but intense workshop for beginners. Available either face to face, or online.
Mainly for those who are new to the fashion business. If you have your design ideas, feel that you know what you want, but dont know how to get those ideas across, then bring what you have to us. We will discuss them with you, give you our expert feedback, suggest possible improvements to design and construction. If you want a critique of your existing designs, we will be happy to provide that. Available either face to face, or online.
One-to-one pattern cutting classes, custom made for your own unique requirements. Flexible learning. Learn how to cut patterns with our experienced tutors. Most classes available either face to face, or online. We also run very popular computer pattern cutting classes using Gerber.
Our high quality sampling service from our sampling studios in Greenwich.
Receive one off or regular mentoring from fashion business professionals.
If you are unable to attend for face to face mentoring, then we offer a Zoom alternative.
Our highly experienced tech pack designers can provide your tech packs, or teach you how to design your own.
There is no need to do a degree course to become a fashion designer. Learn how and Just do it.
A Laboratory For Your Fashion Brand.
Our focus has always been on helping the small businessman or woman who has a dream to start a clothing business, but no one to help, support or advise them.
There are plenty of places to go if you have lots of money and are willing to submit to the establishment corporatist rules. The London Pattern Cutter is not that place.
Sound advice and great Pattern cutting are the vital keys to success for any small fashion brand. That is what we do best.
Clothing Manufacture For Startups.
Please check our page on small quantity manufacture for fashion startups.
Small Fashion Business.
The corporates have gradually taken over where once small brands ruled. We want to re-introduce the idea that small businesses can achieve success by giving their customers what they really want.
Despite Covid, we are on the cusp of a new and exciting era in which the small businesses can take on the corporates again. All it needs is you to stop dreaming, and start doing.
Apart from the usual fashion industry services like manufacturing, cut and sew, designing, pattern cutting, grading, sampling, and tech pack design, we try to provide you with the knowledge and expertise to succeed – One to one fashion courses, workshops, and mentoring are all provided for you.
Pattern Making For Small Designer Brands.
Just look at any designer brand outside the very top luxury labels. You will find well made, high quality garments, using the best fabrics. But the pattern making tends to be really poor – especially with the more technically challenging designs, and specialist areas of apparel.
This is basically down to cost. The small designer brand cannot afford to employ the best pattern cutters, so they often use more affordable generic freelancers who are not sufficiently experienced. Or they may use the factory pattern cutters, who are often not really pattern cutters at all.
Poor quality patterns and poor fitting garments are disastrous for any fashion label. This can really hits sales dramatically, inviting returns, and discouraging brand loyalty.
The aim for any new brand should be to increase sales, avoid returns, and build brand loyalty through the highest affordable quality. And that starts with the pattern making.
Smaller brands cannot afford to make multiple samples as the big brands do. To keep costs to a minimum, each style needs to be right at the first attempt where possible. Otherwise costs can soar.
Do You Own Your Patterns ?
This is a very important point you need to be aware of – Many factories do not charge specifically for patterns and samples. They give you an overall price that may include the sample development, but the patterns remain their property – Not yours.
They recover the pattern costs through higher production prices, and consequently keep ownership of the patterns. This is a false economy for you the client. If you decide to go elsewhere for production, you will have to start from scratch.
Once a pattern is made, as long as you own the pattern, it becomes part of your library of patterns, available to be used as is, or adapted to other styles for years to come. It contains a template for the size and shape that your customers become familiar with, and trust.
Here at The London Pattern Cutter we separate the sample development costs from the other costs, so the patterns are your property to do with as you wish.
High Quality Patterns.
The London Pattern Cutter uses only the very best pattern cutters, highly specialised in their own genres, whether swimwear, lingerie, sportswear, tailoring, or streetwear. Great pattern cutting is central to our philosophy.
Bill has been a freelance pattern cutter for forty years and is a specialist in multiple fields of pattern cutting. After forty years he has earned the title of a Master Pattern Cutter.
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Support For Your New Business.
When you start a new clothing line, it is important to realise that you cant go it alone if you want to be successful. You need an affordable mentor you can call on, who you can trust to guide you every step of the way.
Your mentor can take many different forms, but needs to have immense experience in the fashion business. This could be your clothing designer, pattern cutter, factory owner, or a fashion business consultant.
The pattern cutter provides a pivotal role, with the unique ability to bring all the elements of the fashion industry together. The best and most experienced pattern cutters understand the workings of the clothing industry inside out.
Whoever you choose, your mentor can be your project manager, your adviser, and your go-to guy for all your queries. They will help and advise you, and at the same time, help make your vision a reality.
Just a link to a great motivational speech by Denzel Washington. Please remember to come back here though.
How do small clothing brands know who to trust in the notoriously amateur clothing industry, full of the confidently incompetent ?
Look at any fashion industry website and you are confronted with a veneer of sophistication – A wall of impressive images and design.
You have no idea who is behind this wall, but you just feel that they are professionals because of the impressive looking images.
It is important to know who is behind the wall in order to trust them with your new fashion business.
Just Do It.
We at The London Pattern Cutter, really thought our tagline should be “Just Do It”. But that was already taken, and nothing else seems to quite express what we stand for.
We believe that the best way to learn how to start and run a fashion business is to forget all the endless expert advice concerning endless research – And just do it.
We dont mean that you should be reckless, and we certainly dont encourage borrowing, outside of family and friends who know you. If you can convince people to invest in your dream through crowd funding and the like, that is fine, because if you can convince people to gamble with their hard earned money, that is an ability that will stand you well in the clothing industry.
The thing is that while the success rate for fashion startups is not high, it does not cost a fortune to start a fashion business. With good guidance, you are limiting any potential risks dramatically.
But use a little caution. Start slowly, with a small collection, and small runs. Test the market and at the same time, learn how the fashion industry works.
If there are hiccups on the way, then the downside is limited. Next time round you can adjust the way that you work so that the same mistakes wont happen again.
One To One Workshops.
We provide a series of one-to-one fashion industry workshops that run in tandem with our services. We have a workshop for each stage of the process from design through to manufacture. You can choose to take any workshop as and when you need it.
One To One Courses.
In addition to our workshops, we also run a number of one-to-one fashion courses . We have a workshop for every stage of the sampling and production process. And courses on pattern cutting, grading and designing.
Live Pattern Cutting Tuition.
Uniquely, we run a live pattern cutting course that students can participate in from the comfort of their own home. There are no more than six students in each class, so students are guaranteed attention from the tutor.
Range Of Services.
We offer a full range of services, expert advice, mentoring, fashion courses and workshops, from the very best clothing industry professionals.
Our designers, pattern makers, graders and sample machinists are available to work closely with you to provide the best service possible. Each service is available to be used either individually, or as a complete service.
Our high quality sampling services operate in tandem with our fashion business classes and workshops. So, you can learn how to run your new clothing business every step of the way.
Our team consists of a select few highly experienced specialists, providing services within their own genres within ladieswear, menswear or childrenswear.
Fashion Business Consultancy.
Most fashion designers only really want to design. But when they start their own brand, they suddenly realise that there is a lot more to building a brand than just designing.
They cant afford to learn through trial and error. They must learn fast – And they need to learn from experienced professionals, rather than through their mistakes.
Our team offers a professional fashion business consultancy service to clients who want to start their own brand, but dont have the time or knowledge to do so.
It is virtually impossible for a start-up to succeed without some mentoring and guidance.
We have devoted a considerable amount of time researching such things as specialist factories and fabric suppliers so that you dont have to.
Most new fashion businesses need affordable professional help and advice. Most small businesses lack the finances to get the help they need, and will almost certainly fail without.
There are other services that offer support for new fashion businesses in London, but they tend to be aimed at established businesses with considerable financial backing.
These services can be prohibitively expensive for small startups. The services and advice they offer fail to meet the requirements of the small fashion businesses we love to work with.
The London Pattern Cutter specialises in assisting and mentoring small to medium sized clothing businesses and startups on limited budgets.
Many of these startups are run by people who are passionate about the clothing business and designing, but who may have little or no experience of the clothing industry at all.
They often have no idea where to start, or are wary of making costly mistakes. Sometimes they have already had bad experiences with the clothing industry.
They desperately need good patterns, good processes and good advice. Our affordable mentoring services are extremely popular, and easy to access.
Thirty Minute Phone Mentor.
Our thirty minute phone mentoring service provides blocks of phone mentoring that can be divided up into fifteen minute slots. This is very useful for small businesses and startups on a limited budget. The cost for this service starts at £40.
The clothing industry is notoriously poorly run at the independent level – Just try to get a bank loan for a fashion startup!
If you have access to good advice it is not necessary to have any experience or specific skills in fashion designing or sketching. All you need are your ideas and some common sense.
If you would like to discuss your project with us, with absolutely no obligation, just give us a ring, or send us an email.
Our fashion design services are provided by our team of clothing designers. We can either design your range from scratch, according to your brief.
Or we can sit down with you to advise on your own designs, and provide finished technical flats.
“If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur” RED ADAIR
At The London Pattern Cutter we provide a manual grading service and have access to CAD computer grading facilities.
If you intend to manufacture in the UK, and have only a few sizes to grade, then manual grading is fine, although you would have no backup computer file.
If you intend to manufacture abroad, or you have a lot of sizes, then computer grading is the better option.
If you have a lot of sizes, and / or you need a special grade, then it is advisable for us to provide you with a grading chart. Often the graders will ask you for a grading chart anyway.
If you are using a foreign factory to provide your grades, you need to be extremely careful, as they may not be using professional graders. Or they may not understand UK sizing.
Childrenswear grading in particular requires specialist knowledge to do correctly. Very few graders are familiar with grading childrenswear.
Product development is the pre-production process, starting from the design and ending with the approved sample.
We try to ensure that this stage is as easy and straight forward as possible, by ensuring that you understand exactly what we need in order to get it right first time.
Our clients can choose to use each of our services individually. Or together. But we can also give you the help and knowledge to enable you to pursue the areas that you would prefer to do yourself.
For this purpose our workshops provide you with the skills and the knowledge you need. You may for instance be bursting with great design ideas. But you feel unable to convey those ideas confidently.
If you are interested in some more information on our product development service check our
We have a fully equipped sampling unit , using highly specialised machinery for all types of clothing, including swimwear, sportswear, and lingerie.
Tech Pack Design.
Our tech pack design service is provided by highly experienced fashion industry experts. Tech packs need to be completed by very experienced experts, otherwise they are a waste of time and money. Although we never insist on a tech pack ourselves for sampling, most factories do. A Tech pack is essential for offshore production.
Although each of our services is available individually, we also provide a full project management service. From design, through to final production, and beyond.
The London Pattern Cutter is a one stop shop, offering tons of services, advice and mentoring for startups who dont know where to start.
We help new fashion business owners who have little knowledge of the fashion industry, cant draw and dont know how to source fabrics, trims, or factories.
Sportswear And Swimwear.
In recent years we have had a great many sportswear and swimwear brands requiring our sampling services,
specialist swimwear production, and mentoring.
Swimwear is a specialist genre of clothing that requires a great deal of experience and knowledge to ensure professional results.Not to mention, specialist swimwear machinery.
Pattern cutting for swimwear requires knowledge of stretch fabrics and garment construction.
“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it” JOHN C. MAXWELL
Services We Offer Include :
- Clothing product development
- Pattern cutting
- Fashion design
- Pattern grading
- Fashion workshops
- Video workshops
- Tech packs
- Fabric and trim sourcing
- Critical path management
- Cost analysis
- Spec sheets
- Size charts
- Quality control
- Small production runs
- Distribution and logistic
If you are interested in clothing production we can assist you with small production runs through our various associate specialist UK factories. We believe strongly in supporting British manufacturing, and recommend very strongly that our clients use UK factories, even if they appear more expensive at first sight.
Sometimes it is necessary to manufacture overseas, either because you need large volumes at low prices , or because special skills or machinery are needed that the UK does not have. On the occasions when offshore manufacture is required, dont even think of doing this without expert help and advice.
We can work with you to help everything go smoothly. Foreign factories may have great prices, but they can prove disastrous, without expert knowledge.
We have access to manufacturing facilities for all types of stretch garments, such as sportswear and swimwear. We may well be the only swimwear factory in London.
“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but with regard to their own interest.” ADAM SMITH
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