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Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

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Life As a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker

Position 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

  • Create a paper pattern from which to mass-produce a design concept.
  • Test patterns by making and fitting sample garments.
  • Create a master pattern for each size within a range of garment sizes, using charts, drafting instruments, computers, or grading devices.
  • 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.
  • Compute dimensions of patterns according to sizes, considering stretching of material.
  • Draw outlines of pattern parts by adapting or copying existing patterns, or by drafting new patterns.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as 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

  • Patternmaker
  • Clothing Patternmaker
  • Fabric Sourcer
  • Draper
  • Pleat Patternmaker

Job Demand for Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers

In the United States, there were 5,500 jobs for Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker in 2016. 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.

Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker 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 & Technology do Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Use?

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

Individuals working as a Fabric and Apparel Patternmaker have obtained the following education levels:


What work experience do I need to become a Fabric & Apparel Patternmaker?


Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers Sector


The table below shows the approximate number of Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers employed by various 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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