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Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

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All About Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

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

Daily Life Of a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker

  • Draw outlines of pattern parts by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns.
  • Trace outlines of paper onto cardboard patterns, and cut patterns into parts to make templates.
  • Create a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a design concept.
  • 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.
  • Compute dimensions of patterns according to sizes, considering stretching of material.
  • Determine the best layout of pattern pieces to minimize waste of material, and mark fabric accordingly.

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker Required Skills

These are the skills Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

  • Embroidery Patternmaker
  • Production Pattern Maker
  • Designer
  • Computer Patternmaker
  • Computer Aided Design Operator (CAD Operator)

Is There Going to be Demand 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.

Salary for a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker

Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers make between $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 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

Tools & Technologies Used by Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers may use on a daily basis:

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

How to Become a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker

What education or degrees do I need to become a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers?


Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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

Are you already one of the many Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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