What is a lay plan?
A lay plan is an in scale, visual representation of how your pattern pieces should be positioned on the fabric. This leaves nothing up to interpretation for the manufacturer. It will help you avoid fabric wastage, save money on production time and guarantee your designs line up correctly. Whether you decide to create your lay plan by hand or using software, it is a necessary document for all apparel designers.
Why is a lay plan so important?
- Time and money; by providing this document to your manufacturers their production time is much faster, this will result in lower costs for you.
- Fabric wastage; your plan should display the most efficient pattern placement by using the least amount of fabric possible. This will guarantee that you get the most out of your fabric. Not only does this save you money it also helps with sustainability in the fashion industry. (Some businesses are even finding ways to reuse offcuts which would otherwise be discarded during production.)
- Grain line; by communicating the fabric direction to your manufacturer you can be sure that any prints line up accurately and that the finished garment will fall and fit the body correctly.
How do I create a lay plan?
For smaller businesses a lay plan can be created by physically by laying out fabric and placing all pattern pieces on top in the most efficient way. Digital software can also be used, it’s down to what you and your manufacturers prefer/require.
For larger businesses digital software is the way to go. Computer generated lay plans are quick, in scale and help you achieve the least amount of fabric wastage possible.