Why hand cut cardboard patterns when there is an easier way

Cardboard patterns have long been a staple for many in fashion, custom sportwear, corporate wear and clothing manufacturing. While there is some move to purely digital, cardboard remains affordable and reliable and can withstand plenty of use and abuse.

We print cardboard patterns for our client from time to time. These are not hand drawn, of course, instead using a wide format printer to help ensure accuracy and that nothing is missing – including style information, etc. But printing on the cardboard is only part of it. Once printed, the pattern(s) need to be checked for grading and then the pieces cut out.

Cutting by hand can be done with scissors or a sharp blade. 

We know this only too well, as we have done this for years.

The scissors are not too bad if you have large hands, but if you have small hands it can be difficult to get the leverage you need. One thing is guaranteed, your hands/forearms will be tired and sore when you are done. If you don’t have the strength to hold on to your cup of tea, you know you’ve been cutting card. Not to mention possible issues of RSI as some of my industry friends have experienced.

Blades are also good, but they go blunt quickly and it is very hard to cut on the line. Long straight lines and a metal ruler sound like a solution, but even that takes a skilled hand and incredible focus. Cutting outside or inside the line…this is not a good thing. Now the patterns are wrong = bad outcome.

Did we mention it is also very time consuming? Time consuming means we have one of our skilled team members tied up doing something which few of them enjoy.

So, what is the solution?

What can be done to make sure your perfectly printed card patterns are cut with the same precision and at the same time reduce the risks to your team members?

Well, a printer/cutter is the solution. These are not “off the shelf” solutions that you can find at your local stationary store. A combination printer with a cutting blade that prints with the accuracy you would expect and then swaps out to a blade to cut along the (correct) lines to leave you with card pattern pieces that are cut to precision down to 0.1mm. Fewer mistakes, faster, safer and much more fun – it’s kind of mesmerising to watch. And it means our highly skilled team members can get on with doing other important things for our valued clients.

Yes, we have one of these. We knew we needed one and it cost a lot and took lots of fiddling to get it set up just right. But we are thrilled with the outcome. We could never go back to the old way. Ok, if something went horribly wrong with the machine, but only then.

If you are getting your cardboard patterns any other way, you really should reconsider getting them printed and cut by a printer/cutter – contact us and we can let you know cost/time/etc.

Give us a call to discuss