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Apparel manufacturing is the fourth largest manufacturing industry in the United States and is only one small part of the entire sewn products industry. Apparel Production Pattern Makers are essential to the process of designing and manufacturing apparel or any sewn product. Pattern Makers take an existing sketch and create a 2-dimensional paper pattern. This pattern is used to cut pieces from cloth that will be sewn into a garment or other products, like upholstery, toys, luggage, airline interiors and carpet, outdoor furniture and sporting goods.
This certificate prepares individuals to enter the industry as an assistant Pattern Maker in a sample room or the product engineering department of large or small sewn product firms. Individuals interested in this career must have a thorough knowledge of design development, design engineering and manufacturing methods. They must have expert pattern making skills and a thorough knowledge of pattern making theory. Knowledge of apparel construction, the capabilities and limitation of production equipment and the principles of mass production is essential. Assistants in the pattern making area must have a solid understanding of fabric construction and behavior. Pattern Makers entering the apparel field must understand body proportion and garment fitting, and be detail oriented. Pattern Makers often interact with sample sewers who represent many nationalities. The ability to speak Chinese or other Asian languages, or Spanish is an asset. An appreciation of cultural diversity is essential.
Most apparel firms now use computers for some, if not all, steps in the design and manufacturing process. Computer literacy is required; experience with data entry, word processing and spreadsheets is a basic requirement of most jobs. To be particularly employable, individuals should have the ability to make patterns and grade them into size ranges by computer.
The San Francisco bay area is the third largest apparel producing region in the United States. Hundreds of apparel manufacturers, suppliers and related businesses provide many opportunities for employment in the industry. Entry level positions for individuals earning an Apparel Production Certificate include:
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or stop by the Career Programs Center, AAS 35