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What Is Pattern Grading

Pattern grading is the process of creating a complete range of sizes for a single garment design. The process starts with a prototype or sample garment, which is the starting point for creating a pattern that can be adjusted to create different sizes. This is an important step in the production of clothing, as it ensures that all garments are produced to the same standard, and in a range of sizes that cater to the target market.

The pattern grading process can be broken down into several steps:

  1. Measuring the prototype: The first step in pattern grading is to measure the prototype garment. This includes taking measurements of the length, width, and shape of the garment, as well as any other relevant measurements such as neckline, armhole, and hemline. These measurements form the basis for the pattern that will be used to create the range of sizes.

  2. Creating the grading rule: The next step is to create a grading rule, which is a set of instructions that dictate how the pattern should be adjusted to create different sizes. This rule will determine how much the pattern needs to be adjusted in terms of length, width, and shape, to create each new size.

  3. Grading the pattern: Once the grading rule has been established, the pattern can be graded. This involves making adjustments to the pattern based on the grading rule, and creating a new pattern for each size in the range. The grading process is typically carried out using specialized software, which can automatically adjust the pattern based on the grading rule.

  4. Checking the graded patterns: After grading the patterns, it is important to check the accuracy of each size to ensure that they are all correct and fit the target market. This may involve making further adjustments to the pattern, or even starting the process over again if the pattern is significantly incorrect.

  5. Testing the graded patterns: Before the graded patterns are used for production, it is important to test them. This can be done by creating a sample garment from each size and checking the fit, comfort, and overall look of the garment. Any issues can then be addressed before the patterns are used for full-scale production.


There are a few important considerations when it comes to pattern grading:

  1. Target market: It is important to consider the target market when grading patterns, as different demographics will require different size ranges. For example, a clothing brand that caters to children will need to have a smaller size range than a brand that caters to adults.

  2. Fit: The fit of the garment is one of the most important aspects of pattern grading, and this should be considered at all stages of the process. The graded patterns should be checked against the target market to ensure that they fit correctly and comfortably.

  3. Comfort: Comfort is another key consideration in pattern grading, and this should also be considered when grading patterns. The graded patterns should be checked to ensure that the garment is comfortable to wear, and that any seams or other elements of the garment do not cause discomfort.

  4. Style: The style of the garment is also important, and this should be taken into account when grading patterns. The grading process should ensure that the style of the garment is maintained in all sizes, and that any changes to the pattern do not affect the overall look of the garment.

In conclusion, pattern grading is an essential part of the clothing production process, as it allows designers to create a range of sizes for a single garment design. The process involves measuring the prototype garment, creating a grading rule, grading the pattern, checking the accuracy of the graded patterns, and testing the graded patterns.

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