Designers put their ideas on paper. Those ideas are then set to real dimensions by a pattern maker. The pattern maker makes a collection come alive by creating patterns. When working with a pattern maker, you need to ask yourself one question: should you work with a free-lance pattern maker or with a product development agency?
Free-lance pattern maker
The pattern maker could also be called the clothes’ architect. He or she brings to life a collection drawn by a designer by creating patterns for each style (thanks to the casting technique, flat cutting or on a computer design tool) and prepares the technical file associated to them before the production starts.
Product development agency
Every product development agency is composed of pattern makers offering the exact same services as free-lance pattern makers. To help you create your collections, the product development agency will be in charge of conceiving each style, making patterns, and preparing the technical files.
Free-lance pattern maker or product development agency: who should you work with?
Usually, the free-lance pattern maker makes paper patterns. On the other hand, product development agencies are equipped with product development software solutions, allowing a CAD design of the patterns. That technique makes the pattern making more precise and is definitely a big gain in time when it comes to industrialisation and communication with factories (especially abroad).
But mostly, a free-lance pattern maker works all by herself/himself and only offers pattern-making services. On the other hand, a development agency is made of a team of fashion professionals who know the whole creation process, and have knowledge in assembly techniques. In a development agency, pattern makers work hand in hand with professionals with great knowledge in garment industrialisation. When working with a product development agency, you’ll be working with someone that can help you with the whole collection conception process.
A product development agency like MonDéfilé has a creative approach (that allows us to understand what you want in terms of comfort, style, etc.) and a rational approach (that allows us to make coherent creation proposals, according to the production equipment that will be used). So our advice is to work with a pattern maker with good technical and industrial knowledge, and who works closely with the factories.