A cutter’s must pt 2

In the first post of this series, I defined a cutter’s must, explained its utility and had posted a very basic cutter’s must for style 21117 so go back and review that posting if you have no idea what I’m talking about. In this entry, I’m posting a cutter’s must for style 21201. By the way, you may want to revisit What is Kaizen?. If not, a photo of 21201 appears below:

Note that in the photo, the yokes are a contrast fabrication. This distinction must be made on the cutter’s must, otherwise it’s entirely possible your yokes will be cut out of shell/self. The reason I say that is because a cutter’s must usually doesn’t have a sketch like mine does (hint: visuals are good). Also, never assume the cutting department has a sample garment on hand for comparison although they should -meaning you should provide one. Anyway, the cutter’s must for this style is slightly different because the contrast portion that details the pattern pieces for this style are color coded green (below).

Now you’re ready for the next post in the series, PN numbers.


  1. It just occured to me: where is the fringe on here? And if it isn’t here, how is the fringe accounted for, and who cuts it to the correct length?

    i.e. how do you deal with trims liek ribbon, fringe, etc.?

  2. Kathleen says:

    Excellent question Jinjer!
    For this exercise I didn’t include the concept of a fringe block (that’s what it’s called) for several reasons.
    1. The quantity of fringe blocks cut (and trims, buttons, etc) are detailed on the direction card. The direction card is the final word on all the pieces and componentry of the style.
    2. A cutter’s must is invariate with respect to sizing. All smalls, mediums etc need 2 or 1 per of this or that and the number of fringe blocks to cut is depends on size. Iow, you’d cut 7 fringe blocks for a small, 8 for a medium, 9 for a large etc. This is why I say it’s best to hire specialists because the width of fringe blocks are designed in widths that reflect the size of the grade and a non-specialist wouldn’t know this. That way, a fringe block wouldn’t need to be graded; you could use one for all sizes.
    3. Yes, you can put cutting details for all affected trims on the cutter’s must (in that case, provide three copies of the must, one for cutting, one for trims -another department- and one for sorting-also another sub department) but since I didn’t include other items that would go under trims (wigan, buttons, sleeve heads etc) on my must, I didn’t include fringe blocks either. I realize that may seem contradictory but as things stand now, fringe is a totally separate operation from cutting the shell; the workstation -while part of the leather department- is a totally different workstation set up. Cutting fringe is another grunt job :(. Fringe is not cut with the huge clickers (20 tons) that are used for the shell pieces. Fringe is cut either on a fringe cutter (roll die) machine *or* with one of the smaller clickers.
    4. I was trying to simplify the explanation of a cutter’s must.

  3. Kathleen,

    woah, every time I ask one of these seemingly simple questions, the answer just generates more questions! I feel like I’m digging the foundation for a house with a spade.

    Some of your recent posts have really made me wonder: just how many departments ARE there in a fully in-house manufacturing facility? Even if you only have 19 people (and where’d you get that number for optimal # of employees?)

    Oh yeah, and what’s a “clicker”?

  4. PN numbers

    This post is about PN numbers -another layer of complexity in pattern room management and I hope I can explain this well. PN stands for Pattern Number so when we say PN numbers -and we usually do- we’re being redundant….

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