Origin and Role of Pattern Development in Fashion

The pattern is a configuration of various components, including shape, colour, and lines. There are patterns everywhere if you look closely. We’ll learn about Pattern’s history today. Human beings started to wear clothes to survive in cruel environments. Then they eventually became experts at creating. Making patterns, making food, making clothes, and making houses are all forms of creation.

The art of shaping a flat piece of fabric to abide by the curves of a human figure is the art of pattern. Art needs creativity, manipulation skills, time, and patience. To recreate the pre-made design, use a pattern as a template. Design and production are linked by pattern making. A pattern has two dimensions, unlike a real form. So, pattern making is done by either crafting or by draping, which is a three-dimensional method. The front and rear of the bodice, the sleeves, and the front and back of the skirt or pants make up the basic patterns.

Historical Background of Pattern Development in Fashion

Fittings were considered a luxury for hundreds of years in history, despite the fact that they are a vital component. The primary functions of clothing were to provide cover and weather protection. Women were in charge of making clothes. The arrival of skilled tailors and the expansion of the textile industry meant that, back then, only high-status people could afford to hire personal or family dressmakers or professional tailors to make their own, customised garments. But the majority of the populace made their own clothing.

Spain is where clothing patterns were first developed. In 1589, Juaan de Alcega published Libro de Geometric Practica y Traca, and in 1618, La Rocha Burguen published Geometrica y Traca. The making of clothing for men, women, priests, and knights is covered in these works. For people from middle and lower castes who made clothes at home, a “How-To” book was published in the 18th century. This time, diagrams, patterns, and shapes began to emerge in books, other periodicals, and magazines. For instance, full-sized patterns were printed in Instructions for Cutting Out Apparel for the Poor (1789) and The Lady’s Economical Assistant (1808). Along with patterns, the Workman’s Guide (1838) included drafting guidelines and in-depth illustrations of finished garments.

The craft of pattern development was highly regarded before the Industrial Revolution. Patterns were precisely altered by tailors using their clients’ unique dimensions. Only the very wealthy could afford costly tailor-made clothing. Standardized patterns became crucial to the success of ready-to-wear clothing with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. During the Civil War, Ebenezer Butterick began to develop patterns for men and children in 1863. He and his family cut and folded each pattern. They started mass production and developed it fairly well; they sold roughly 6 million clothing patterns by 1871.

But in 1873, James McCall began to make patterns too, and competition had expanded for Butterick because McCall’s patterns were for every size and variety of types. McCall proceeded to build his line of women’s clothing patterns. But still, Butterick and McCall have a big name in the pattern industry. In the pattern-making market, the Germans and the French were still competing. Der Bazar‘s American version, Harper’s Bazar, introduced a weekly pull-out pattern add-on sheet with about 24 patterns printed on both sides.


Nowadays, women prefer sari, salwar kameez, tops, pyjamas, pants, and leggings, while men prefer shirts, Punjabi, T-shirts, polo t-shirts, pyjamas, and pants. Each piece of clothing displays a unique pattern. Designers also display clothes of the same title differently due to the pattern. By developing relevant and stylish outfits, the designers display their ingenuity and their strong position in the fashion-oriented community. In this case, one has to develop a new pattern every day. Without a pattern, fashion designers cannot demonstrate their mind set. Any design is first showcased through it. Therefore, its influence in the fashion sector is undeniable.

Patterns are formed to trim more materials in less time. The fashion industry is continuously coming up with innovative fashions. So in these instances, there is a lot more emphasis on pattern making. Vast numbers of items of clothing can be cut with a particular pattern of any design. Because there are numerous difficulties that must be overcome when cutting thousands of pieces of fabric with a direct sizing method. That’s why fashion designers are emphasising the importance of developing a pattern before any design. If there is any mistake, it will be captured here, and as a consequence, the wastage of clothes will be lowered a lot. Fashion houses are developing their own distinct customer section through the ever-new art of pattern making.

With a little variety in the pattern of many garments, it can be expressed as a new design. Nowadays, fashion industries are always busy inventing new fashions. As a result, there is a need for different pattern-making techniques for each of these designs. It is not possible to give the look of design directly to the fabric without pattern making. The subject of pattern making is also creating new employment in fashion industry. In this regard, students have a huge employment market in the world. For all these reasons, if anyone takes up the subject of design and pattern making as a profession, there is an inexhaustible opportunity for work.


To be able to create various garments, a fashion designer now needs to create patterns. A pattern is a road map for the garment, from which the fabric is cut. Pattern making is fascinating and crucial for students because it enables them to interpret designs and comprehend them technically. It is the drafting, or technical drawing, of a garment. Standard size charts, dress forms, or figures are evaluated; these dimensions are then transformed into 2D patterns, and then clothing is made from them. Pattern development is a practical and application-based subject.

Updated on: 13-Feb-2023


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