If you’re just now joining us and need the back story, see the first post for a description of the problem. That entry lists the quantities the customer ordered and what not.
To illustrate the solutions proposed by those commenting, I’ve made markers. Each marker shows crude representations of the patterns using rectangles. Each size is represented by a differently sized rectangle and is color coded. If there are duplicates of a size -say, 2 mediums- they are both green but different hues. Or is it tints? Keep in mind that while a solution may be incorrect, there are worthwhile lessons to be learned from them. A given solution may not fit the problem I posed but it may resolve a problem for you. Without further ado, here’s Marguerite’s marker followed by her comment.
Solution 1: Marguerite
I just faced a similar spread and what I would do (and did) here is lay out S, M, L, XL together and lay the M and L twice (you also said this above). That gives you 30 M and L and 15 S and XL if you use 15 layers. I’d use a second marker for S and XXL on 3 layers. I don’t know if this would fit their table (I have 64 feet) and I’m far too tired from my own production issues to figure out their yardage!
Both of Marguerite’s markers fall within the limits of table length -maximum length being 240″.
With the plies -she mentions 15- the white order is filled completely, no extras. She didn’t mention the number of plies for black but I’ll paste in 10 plies for her rather than 15. Still, with only 10 black plies, her cut is 10 over for size Medium and 10 over for size Large.
Technically, she gets dinged for 20 pieces over the customer’s order because that could become dead stock. However, in real life, this customer is new to the business and was uncertain about quantities to
pull out of his hat order. In real life, you sell more mediums and larges (at least in his market) so his order for M & L should have been higher, in ratios similar to the white colorway. Likewise, these are black. Black outsells everything!
Solution 2: Judy
Marguerite, you don’t need to use a second marker – place the XS and XXL first on the marker,place a mark on the table (a piece of tape) where the XXL ends. Now, when you spread the fabric, spread 3 full marker lays of the white, (or black), then, start the next lay where your mark is on the table to cover the rest of the sizes you need. Then when you switch to the other color – again, 3 full lays of that color, and then the rest are shorter plys. I often have to do this when I need so many of a color in a particular size. To make life easier for me this way – it uses more fabric, but the customer pays for that – I will not mix sizes in the spread – so I have each size marked with a line separating them. This way, I can mix colors, and quantities of sizes. It takes a few minutes to plot it out, but this works for me.
Below is a screen capture of Judy’s marker (see the larger one if needed). She’s dinged twice. Building off of Marguerite’s marker, her cut order quantity is 10 over for the black medium and 10 over the black large (caveats noted in Marguerite’s above). Ding #2 -since the contractor’s table is only 20 feet (240 inches) long and her marker is 305″, it’s not going to work.
Now, before anybody (especially Judy) gets the idea I’m knocking her, her solution is precisely one of the ones I was hoping to get. Yay Judy! No it doesn’t work for our purposes but Judy has described a “stepped spread” and this is a great solution for awkward cuts provided your contractor has a long enough table (one of these days, I will successfully convince one contractor that even 20 feet is too short). Judy mentions that this wastes more fabric and it’s true but with a 2″ gap between the step up, the customer is saving 2″ per layer over a separate marker that would incur a total buffer of 4″ (2″ per side).
I’m going to break this off here because Quin’s solutions are coming up and she makes my head hurt. Don’t tell her this or I’ll deny it, but I’m wondering whether I can hire her to do my planning. She really seems to be into it.