Clothing product grader

A clothing product grader


Clothing product graders produce patterns in different sizes (i.e. scaled-up and scaled-down) to reproduce the same wearing apparel in different sizes. They draft patterns by hand or using software following size charts.


The duties of a clothing product grader include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating patterns for clothing that takes into account measurements and other specifications provided by the designer
  • Creating paper patterns for use in tailoring fabric garments such as suits, coats, and dresses
  • Measuring people to create a pattern based on their measurements
  • Creating a pattern based on an existing garment to be reproduced in various sizes
  • Drafting and designing new clothing designs using computer software programs
  • Creating full scale mock-ups of the design to make sure it will fit properly
  • Reviewing existing patterns to ensure that they are accurate and up to date
  • Cutting fabric for fashion designers in order to create samples of new styles
  • Checking the measurements of finished garments to make sure they fit properly

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to clothing product grader:

clothing patternmaker
pattern developer/grader
clothing product tester
fabric pattern grader

Working conditions

Clothing product graders work in woodshops, machine shops, and foundries. They use a variety of handtools, power tools, and machine tools to make patterns and models of metal parts. They also use measuring instruments and precision tools to lay out and cut the patterns.

Most clothing product graders work full time, and some overtime may be required to meet deadlines. The work can be physically demanding because workers often must lift and move heavy patterns and models. In addition, the work can be dangerous because pattern makers use power tools and work with hot metals.

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma is generally required to work as a clothing product grader.

Most clothing product graders have at least a high school diploma. Some employers prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in fashion design, fashion merchandising or a related field. Some of the coursework in these programs includes pattern making, fashion design, merchandising and business.

Most clothing product graders learn the specific skills and techniques they need for their role while on the job. Training may last for a few weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of the role and the size of the company. Training for clothing product graders may include instruction on safety procedures, how to use specialized equipment and how to perform daily tasks.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Clothing product grader is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Clothing product grader career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to clothing product grader.

clothing quality inspector
clothing cutter
wearing apparel patternmaker
clothing CAD patternmaker
digital prototyper

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of clothing product grader. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of clothing product grader with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

clothing CAD technician
clothing process control technician
textile chemical quality technician
textile sourcing merchandiser
textile quality technician

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of clothing product grader.

  • Manufacturing of wearing apparel: The  processes used to fabricate wearing apparel and the different technologies and machinery involved in the manufacturing processes.
  • Manufacturing of made-up textile articles: Manufacturing processes in wearing apparel and made-up textiles. Different technologies and machinery involved in the manufacturing processes.
  • Apparel manufacturing technology: Traditional and advanced apparel manufacturing technologies. Technologies including processes, machinery, etc. in order to compile and design pattern requirements, contribute to product costing and finalise assembly sequence and quality assurance criteria.
  • CAD for garment manufacturing: Softwares of computer aided design for garment manufacturing which allow create 2 or 3 dimensional drawings.
  • Standard sizing systems for clothing: Standard sizing systems for clothing developed by different countries. Differences among the systems and standards of different countries, the development of the systems according to the evolution of the shape of the human body and their usage in the clothing industry.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of clothing product grader.

  • Evaluate garment quality: Evaluating stitching, construction, attachments, fasteners, embellishments, shading within the garment; evaluating pattern continuity, matching; evaluating tapes and linings.
  • Coordinate manufacturing production activities: Coordinate manufacturing activities based on production strategies, policies and plans. Study details of the planning such as expected quality of the products, quantities, cost, and labour required to foresee any action needed. Adjust processes and resources to minimise costs.
  • Distinguish accessories: Distinguish accessories in order to determine differences among them. Evaluate accessories based on their characteristics and their application in wearing apparel manufacturing.
  • Create patterns for garments: Create patterns for garments using pattern making softwares or by hand from sketches provided by fashion designers or product requirements. Create patterns for different sizes, styles, and components of the garments.
  • Inspect wearing apparel products: Inspecting and testing products, parts and materials for conformity with specifications and standards; discarding or rejecting products, materials, and equipment not meeting specifications.
  • Perform process control in the wearing apparel industry: Perform process control to wearing apparel products in order to assure mass production in an uninterrupted production manner. Control processes to ensure that processes are predictable, stable and consistent.
  • Distinguish fabrics: Distinguish fabrics in order to determine differences among them. Evaluate fabrics based on their characteristics and their application in wearing apparel manufacturing.
  • Alter wearing apparel: Alter wearing apparel repairing or adjusting it to the clients/manufacturing specifications. Perform altering by hand or using equipment.
  • Make technical drawings of fashion pieces: Make technical drawings of wearing apparel, leather goods and footwear including both technical and engineering drawings. Use them to communicate or to convey design ideas and manufacturing details to pattern makers, technologists, toolmakers, and equipment producers or to other machine operators for sampling and production.
  • Grade patterns for wearing apparel: Grading patterns by performing processes of resizing initial patterns in order to create nest of patterns to fit various body types and sizes.
  • Operate garment manufacturing machines: Operate and monitor machines which make miscellaneous wearing apparel articles. Operate and monitor machines that fold cloth into measured length, and measure size of pieces.
  • Operate computerised control systems: Operate electronic or computerised control panels to monitor and optimise processes, and to control process start-up and shut-downs. Monitor and inspect equipment and systems to detect malfunctions.
  • Prepare production prototypes: Prepare early models or prototypes in order to test concepts and replicability possibilities. Create prototypes to assess for pre-production tests.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of clothing product grader. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • 3D body scanning technologies: The principles and usage of technologies for 3D body scanning used to capture the size and shape of the human body.
  • Properties of fabrics: The influence of chemical composition and molecular arrangement of yarn and fibre properties and fabric structure on the physical properties of textile fabrics; the different fibre types, their physical and chemical characteristics and different material characteristics; the materials used in different processes and the effect on materials as they are processed. 

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of clothing product grader. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Analyse scanned data of the body: Analyse 3D scanned data for the development of prototypes, of avatars, for the creation of size charts, the garment pattern modification, alteration and manipulation, and for testing fit.
  • Use 3D scanners for clothing: Use different 3D body scanners and softwares to capture the shape and size of the human body in order to produce 3D body model for the creation of avatars and mannequins.
  • Cut fabrics: Cut fabrics and other wearing apparel materials considering measures, placement of the fabrics in the cutting table in multiple layers, and making the most efficient usage of the fabric avoiding waste. Cut fabrics by hand, or using electric knives, or other cutting tools depending on the fabric. Use computerised systems or automatic cutting machines.
  • Bundle fabrics: Bundle fabrics and place several cut components together in a single package. Join related products and items together. Sort the cut fabrics and add them with the accessories required for assembling. Care for the adequate transportation to the sewing lines.
  • Use pattern-cutting softwares: Use pattern-cutting softwares in order to create templates for the manufacturing of wearing apparel, made-up textile articles, and textile products. Set adequate patterns in softwares for replicability of products taking into account sizes and shapes.

ISCO group and title

7532 – Garment and related pattern-makers and cutters

  1. Clothing product grader – ESCO
  2. Pattern Maker Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  3. Featured image: Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
Last updated on October 20, 2022

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