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Categories of fabric waste in your apparel factory

March 27, 2018 Ruchi Raj
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Fabric contributes as the primary component of apparel products making up to 70% of the total cost of the garment. So, even with a saving of 1% fabric from the total order, huge money can be saved per year.

Fabric saving can be done in two major ways:

1. Reduction in actual per piece consumption of a garment as compared to the current consumption: purchasing less fabric to reduce fabric expenses

2. Maximizing fabric utilization – optimum utilization can be done by reducing fabric wastage during the cutting processes

However, to minimize this fabric waste, the first step should be to identify the different types of wastes, followed by segregating them as avoidable and non-avoidable and finally, develop ways to minimize or eliminate them.

Let’s look at the different types of fabric waste in the cutting section:

1.       Unavoidable waste: these are inevitable and can’t be avoided since their generation is not under the control of planning and are required to facilitate the cutting processes

-          End loss

-          Splice overlap

-          Ticket length loss

-          Stickering loss

-          Damages


2.       Avoidable waste: these can be avoided or reduced to the minimum as they are under the control of planning and usage of the fabric

-          End bit loss/ remnant loss


Read on to know about these wastes in complete detail.



End Loss

The End Loss is a function of the factory process. It is the allowance at both the ends of the fabric ply provided for a convenient cutting process.


The standard end loss per ply is 2cm - 4cm. However, it may vary with the quality of cutting and factory processes, including the cutting equipment. If strong vigilance is not kept over the spreading machine setting and material handling, there is a tendency for the waste to become excessive.

Is there a way to handle it?
The end loss is an inevitable loss but can be reduced with smart planning, efficient markers, and accurate roll allocation.


Splice Overlap Wastage

Splicing is the process of overlapping the cut ends (the end of one length of fabric and the beginning of another) of two separate pieces of fabrics for continuous spreading.


Splicing of lay is required to eliminate faults found in the fabric.  It is also done 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. After splicing, cut end is pulled back to overlap plies as far back as the next splicing mark. Overlapping length depends on splicing mark to cover complete garment components. 


Is there a way to handle it?

While certain development with automatic spreading can reduce this loss, splicing with manual spreading requires commitment and consistency on the part of the spreader to minimize this waste.


Ticket Length Loss   

The difference in actual length of fabric roll and length mentioned in the fabric roll ticket is ticket length loss. This is a reflection of the quality of your vendor. Now, when the fabric is issued on the basis of the ticket length, there can be fabric shortage against the costed value.


Is there a way to handle it?

This loss can be reduced by inspecting the length of the incoming fabric and reporting the fabric supplier in case of short yardage.



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 must be cut off and, therefore, is wasted. This is the Stickering Loss.

Is there a way to handle it?

A superior marking technique can be used to combat this wastage.



These are the wastages which are due to either damage in the fabric at the time of its making or due to mishandling of the fabric. These are also unavoidable wastages as the manual errors can only be reduced but not removed.

Is there a way to handle it?

The quality checking is done to find these damages and this is also a direct reflection of the quality of the vendor.





End bit lossremnant loss

Remnant fabric is the piece left after the complete laying of a single fabric roll. This fabric is conventionally thrown aside or used for part change.

There can be several reasons for this remnant/ end bit generation:

1.       Shade variation

2.       Damage

3.      Shortage of fabric roll length


An example of these variations on the floor can be: you planned a lay of length 10 m and plies 10, to use up a 100m roll. But due to a 1m shortage, you could only complete 9 plies. Hence, the 9m length is rendered as a remnant/ end bit.

All remnants are collected and cut separately for which short markers are made to obtain further garments from these lengths. The pieces then generated are the remnant Loss or end bit loss.

The remnants left over after cutting a remnant lay are very short and if they are not unusable, should be used for re-cutting individual panels. The remnant lays markers generally have a lower utilization than the production marker.


Now, the question that arises is: How can you handle this avoidable waste on your production floor?
A good planning and an accurate roll allocation system must be in place to minimize these end bits. To keep a track and use them effectively, the end bits should be measured and labeled with correct length with their roll number.
Since they are inevitable, intelloCut with its advanced technology helps in utilizing these end bits to the best in real-time. The key highlights of the process are:
  •  Records the length of each end bit generated on the floor, hence giving you the real-time tracking of data
  • Works as per the factory SOP of fabric spreading and triggers a notification once the number of end bits generated in a lay can complete the remaining order quantity
  • Makes small marker ratios as per the availability of the left end bits which can then be used
  •  In addition to the real-time tracking of every inch of fabric, intelloCut additionally generates systemized end bit tags for proper management