Fabric is the core of apparel manufacturing making up to 70% of the total cost of the garment. Several studies have been carried out with the aim to reduce fabric wastage in the production process. In order to eliminate this fabric waste, it is essential to first identify the different types of wastes, secondly, segregate them into essential and non-essential and then finally, develop ways to minimise or eliminate the wastes.
The types of fabric losses are:
1. End Loss
The End Loss is a function of the factory process. It is an allowance left at the ends of a ply for to facilitate cutting. The standard end loss per ply is 2cm – 4cm. However, it may vary with the quality of cutting processes.
This loss can be minimized by using automatic cutting techniques or reducing number of plies while planning.
2. Fabric Joint Loss
Fabric rolls are stitched together when undergoing manufacturing processes for the sake of uniformity. This results in fabric wastage of the areas having stitch holes or marks. This is Fabric Joint Loss. It is an unavoidable loss for the factory.
3. Edge Loss
The width of the marker is a few centimetres less than the edge-to-edge width of the fabric. This is done to accommodate the selvedge of fabric. Thus, a cuttable width is obtained. The loss of fabric on the sides for selvedge accommodation is Edge Loss. In order to minimize this loss, the cuttable width of the fabric should be as wide as possible to optimise fabric consumption. The markers should be made at the cuttable width to avoid excess wastage.
4. Splicing Overlap Loss
Splicing is a process of cutting fabric across its width and overlapping layers in between the two ends of a lay. Splicing process is also used when one fabric roll ends in the middle of the marker and end bit length is enough to cover at least one complete garment component. Spreading of next roll starts from the splice mark.
The fabric which is used in overlapping is the waste generated. This overlap is the Splicing Loss. The distance between the splicing points influences the amount of waste produced. In order to minimize this wastage, markers should be made in such a way that the overlap of fabric is minimum.
5. Remnant Loss
Remnant fabric is the end bit left after the complete laying of a single fabric roll. This fabric conventionally thrown aside or used for part change. This is Remnant Loss. In order to minimize this loss, a good planning and an accurate roll allocation system must be in place to minimize these end bits. However, as end bits are inevitable, the end bits generated should be measured and labelled with correct length and roll number and used effectively in the factory.
6. Ticket Length Loss
Ticket Length Loss or Vendor’s Loss is the difference in actual length of fabric roll as opposed to the length mentioned in the fabric roll ticket. This is the reflection of the quality of your vendor. A good vendor will always give fabric a few meters higher than the required quantity, however a poor vendor might do otherwise. Vendor tracking metrics are valuable in controlling this wastage.
7. Stickering Loss
Several times the patterns are cut a little extra for pattern marking and stickering. This area gets damaged due to glue or ink and has to be cut off and is wasted. This is the Stickering Loss. A superior marking technique can be used to combat this wastage.
8. Cutting Edge Loss
Cutting Edge Loss is a minor loss which results from uneven and faulty cutting during fabric laying and cutting. This is caused due to faulty cutting methods or faulty cutting machinery. Refined cutting processes can overcome this loss effectively.
Click here to know how to minimize these fabric losses.