Pattern Paper And Card
Many shop bought patterns are printed on very thin tissue paper, which is ideal to reduce bulk, but a very poor choice for making durable patterns to be used more than once.
Plain Pattern Paper.
Pattern cutting paper needs to be thin but strong and robust. Paper patterns need to be compact enough to fold into an A4 envelope for compact storage, and easy portability.
Plain pattern paper, tracing paper, or plotting paper, is normally white, with no markings. It comes in several different widths, and can be purchased either folded flat, or in various length rolls. Widths are generally 36″ (91cms). 60″ (152cms).
The advantages of paper patterns are that they are easily pinnable, and they are light and compact for storage and carriage.
Paper can also be used instead of calico to model on a mannequin. Many professional pattern cutters work this way to obtain their initial shape. Its rigidity and unforgiving nature can be a distinct advantage.
45 gsm – 60 gsm
Spot And Cross.
Professional pattern cutters usually use spot and cross (dot and cross ) pattern paper for their first patterns. The spot and cross markings provide a useful guide for vertical lines, horizontal lines, and 45 degree lines. These are useful for indicating straight and bias fabric grains.
Spot and cross is also used for figuring out fabric costings, and to provide a stable surface underlay to cut out fabrics. Some pattern cutters will have a layer of spot and cross under the fabric, and the traced out patterns on top.
Kraft paper is thicker and stronger ( Kraft means strong in German) than spot and cross, but it will take up more space in an envelope or folder. It is normally brown as it hasnt undergone the same bleaching process as white paper. It is widely used for wrapping. Craft paper is a different product however.
Kraft paper comes in different weights and widths. Personally, I use 90 GSM, and 45″ width. Some heavier 140 gsm kraft papers are used as a cheap alternative to card for finished patterns.
Manila Pattern Paper.
Manila paper is a relatively cheap type of paper, less refined than many other types of paper. Similar to Kraft paper, it is buff coloured, with better printing qualities, it is made from semi-bleached wood fibres.
Many pattern cutters cut their initial patterns in card. This is mainly true for tailoring pattern cutters, and outerwear pattern cutters.
The finished card pattern cant easily be pinned to fabric for sample cutting, so is chalked around instead.
Normally it is better to make your initial patterns in paper, then transfer to card at the grading stage.
Patterns made with card takes up far more space than paper patterns, not just because it is thicker, but also because they must be stored on hooks, without folding.
Card comes in different widths, weights, thicknesses, and colours. Different colours of card can be used to denote different sizes, or materials. It is very useful to have lining, or contrast fabrics in a different colour card to the main fabric, but if you dont want to have multiple rolls of bulky card, then you may prefer to just use a contrast pen to differentiate.
110 cms. 270 gsm.
Where To Buy.
These days you can buy just about everything on Ebay or Amazon. If you prefer to buy directly from the specialists, then the main places are :- Morplan; William Gee; MacCulloch & Wallis; Eastman Staples.
Pattern Cutting Classes.
If you are interested in learning about pattern cutting, please check our group based, or one-to-one pattern cutting classes.