A&E (aka, A-N-E) is American & Efird, a US thread company. They’re always doing neat stuff and have been small company friendly well before it was fashionable. Case in point, they have a nifty new-to-me tool you can use to calculate the amount of thread needed to sew garments with an estimating tool they call ANECALC® -but you’re better off starting here because what you want is the ANECALC® Plus spreadsheets. The Plus worksheets are blank Excel worksheets that help smaller companies calculate their thread usage.
For those of you who don’t have machines or seams to measure but may have been hit with an unanticipated thread charge from your sewing contractor, there is a separate page that lists thread consumption of the most common types of products instead of having to figure it out the long way (pdf). The page lists thread consumption for products ranging from ladies panties to kid’s knit shirts to men’s and women’s 5 pocket jeans. That will be great for many of you. That way you’ll have an idea of your thread usage and can quibble (or not) with your contractor over how much thread they charged you for.
But back to the blank Excel ANECALC® Plus spreadsheets (that link is a repeat). These are pretty neat! First you select fabric weight because thread consumption for thinner fabrics is lower than consumption for thicker fabrics (mentioning it for those who never thought fabric thickness mattered) and download the worksheet. Then you go through it line by line to list the seams of the product by operation. Of course not everyone will know all of that but if you’ve hired someone to develop a tech pack for you, it isn’t as difficult as you’d think.
What I like is that the spreadsheet is embedded with a drop down list of options for seaming so it’s not as difficult as it could be in that you don’t have to come up with seam names on your own. For example, first you fill in the operation -a side seam. Then you pick the seam for it. That could be any number of options (lockstitch, overlock etc). This would be in your tech pack.
If you have more time than money and don’t know much about seam types, you can get the 6 part download here. You are so lucky. In the olden days, we had to pay $50 for it and wait to get it snail mail. Anyway, you can pick through those charts and find seams that look similar to what you think you want to fill in the slots if you don’t have anyone alongside who can help you and you don’t have a tech pack.
1. A&E went to the trouble of registering ANECALC back in 2005 which is why I stuck in the ® symbol. I understand why they did that. In their defense, they have not used the ® symbol alongside ANECALC on their site (like I have) because they have the good sense to know it looks silly. I am feeling silly today so I do not care. Either that or I’m coming down with the flu.
2. I really wish old school apparel companies were hip to the new social media thing. I really should not have found this tool via a blind google search. I should have known about it from their blog feed. But then they ‘d have to have a blog. I rest my case. Either that or a press release sent to me directly. But no. I don’t get PR pieces from A& E. I get press releases extolling the virtues of whatever celeb has a hot new lipstick color or so and so (not one of my designers) is now being carried where ever and here’s a discount code for my readers and some images for my site. Like I care. You know, I could be just as fashioney as those other blogs but in my way of thinking, my visitors are not coming here to read fluff about their competitors or those they aspire to compete with. That strikes me as a slap in the face, you should have at least one safe place, knowwhatImean?
Thread consumption formulas