Pattern cutters create pattern templates from drawings produced by fashion designers. They then work with machinists to make up garments.
Employers of pattern cutters seek candidates with relevant qualifications, such as an ABC Certificate or Diploma in Fashion and Textiles or a City and Guilds Award in Creative Techniques in Fashion. It may also be possible to enter into a career as a pattern cutter following studying for a university qualification in clothing production, or through securing a place on an apprenticeship scheme with a clothing manufacturer.
Once in employment, pattern cutters may be able to work towards professional qualifications, such as NVQs in Manufacturing Sewn Products and Apparel Manufacturing Technology. The London College of Fashion and The Textile Institute also offer professional courses in pattern cutting.
Typical employers of pattern cutters include large clothing manufacturers and fashion design houses. Jobs are advertised in a range of ways, with recruitment agencies being a popular source of employment openings.
Starting salaries for pattern cutters are around £12,000 a year. Experienced pattern cutters may earn up to £25,000 a year. Those working for specialist clothing companies are likely to earn considerably more. Promotion to head pattern cutter or, with further training, fashion designer, is possible for staff with exceptional skills.