Cutter Ringa Tapahi

Cutters lay out and cut fabric to make clothing and soft furnishings.

Cutters may do some or all of the following:

  • check pattern designs and instructions online
  • lay out patterns on fabric
  • interpret instructions from patternmakers, designers and markers
  • cut fabric by hand with electric hand-held cutting machines
  • supervise computerised cutting machines
  • make detailed notes on how much much fabric is used
  • check how much fabric is in storage
  • advise technicians and managers on how much fabric to order
  • bundle pieces of fabric together and store them in order of size and colour.

Becoming a sample cutter

To become a sample cutter you must complete the New Zealand Diploma in Fashion Technology (Level 5).

Physical Requirements

Cutters need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses), normal colour vision, good hand-eye co-ordination and steady hands. Physical strength is an advantage for lifting heavy rolls of fabric.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for cutters includes:

  • community or night courses in dressmaking
  • dressmaking or tailoring
  • work in a clothing factory or workroom.

Personal Qualities

Cutters need to be:

  • patient
  • quick and neat
  • accurate, with an eye for detail
  • able to follow instructions
  • able to work well under pressure
  • good at maths so they can measure and make calculations
  • good problem-solvers.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for cutters includes:

  • community or night courses in dressmaking
  • dressmaking or tailoring
  • work in a clothing factory or workroom.

Subject Recommendations

A minimum of three years of secondary education is recommended. Useful subjects include design and visual communication (graphics), digital technologies, maths and processing technologies.

Cutters can earn around $19-$26 per hour per year.

With further training, cutters may progress to become cutting room managers, garment technicians, patternmakers or designers.

Cutters can specialise in a number of roles, including:

Leather Pattern Cutter
Leather pattern cutters cut leather to make into clothing.
Sample Cutter
Sample cutters cut fabric to be made into sample designs for designers and clients.

Cutters may also specialise in items such as:

  • clothing
  • curtains and upholstery (coverings for vehicle seats and furniture such as sofas)
  • canvas (tents, awnings).
Cutter

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