Fabric Spreading: Definition, Objects and Requirements

Last updated on August 24th, 2023 at 10:56 pm

Fabric Spreading

Fabric spreading is a process by which plies of fabric is spreaded in order to get required length and width as per marker dimension. This is a preparatory operation for cutting and consists of laying.

Fabric Spreading Machine

It means the smooth laying out of the fabric in superimposed layer (plies) of specified length. The cutting marker is laid on the top most layers. The maximum width of the cutting marker is considered by the usable width of the fabric. During spreading number of lay should be not more than three hundreds. But it depends on thickness of the fabric and the height of the knife. The spread can be of two basic types:

  • Flat and
  • Stepped


  • To place the number of plies of fabric to the length of the marker plan correctly aligned as to length and width and without tension.
  • To cut garments in bulk and saving in fabric through the use of multi garment maker plans and the saving in cutting time per garment that result from cutting many plies at a time.
  • To make every ply plain and flat.

Requirements of Fabric Spreading

Alignment of Fabric Plies

Every ply should comprise at least width of the marker plan, but should have the minimum possible extra outside those measurements. The natures of textile materials vary in width. The marker plan is made of fit the narrowest width. In accuracy in this alignment could mean that plies do not cover the whole area of the marker plan and parts of some pattern pieces would be missing when cut?

Correct Ply Tension

The ply tension should be correct. If the tension is low then there will be ridges in the plies and if the tension is too high then the fabric may shrink after cutting and sewing. The use of spreading machine gives uniform tension.

Fabric Must be Flat

The fabric laid on the table should be flat otherwise there will be ridges in it.

Elimination of Fabric Faults

Fabric faults (holes, stains etc) may be identified by the fabric supplier and additional faults may be detected during examination of fabric by the garment manufacturer prior to spreading. The spreader cuts across the ply at the position of the fault and pulls back the cut end to overlap as far back on the next splice mark. Splice marks are marked on the edge of the spreading table prior to spreading, by reference to the marker and ensure that whenever a splice is created the overlap of fabric is sufficient to allow complete garment parts rather than sections only to be cut. Computerized methods of achieving this are now available which provide a display of the marker plan on a computer screen on the spreading machine.

Correct Ply Direction and Adequate Lay Stability

These two factors must be considered together. They depend on fabric type, pattern shape and the spreading equipment that is available. When the pattern pieces have been positioned in a particular direction in the marker plan, it is essential that the fabric is spread in a way that maintains that direction. Effects of a surface design or fabric construction create problems of instability with a nap or a pile surface. This can required that some fabrics are spread with all the plies face. Symmetrical pattern pieces all the same way up or face to face. If the pattern pieces are asymmetrical all the pieces face up or face down.

Elimination of Static Electricity

In spreading plies of fabric containing man-made fibres, friction may increase the charge of static electricity in the fabric. Friction may be reduced by changing the method of threading the fabric through the guide bars of the spreading machine. Humidity in the atmosphere of the cutting room may also be increased, thus allowing the static electric to discharge continuously through the atmosphere. In some case it may be necessary to earth the lay.

Avoidance of Fusion of Plies

In case of thermoplastic fibre fabrics may fuse together during cutting if the cutting knife becomes hot. We can prevent fabric from fusion by:

  • Using anti-fusion paper.
  • Using silicon lubricants on the knife blade.
  • Reducing ply height.

Avoidance of Distortion in Spread

There should not be friction between the bottom of the spread and the surface of the table. So a layer of hard polyethylene sheet is laid at the bottom of the spread.

Easy Separation of the Cut lay into Bundles

Identification marks are used into plies due to color or shade variation of fabric or other cases. For this separation, low valued colored paper is used to plies.

Matching Checks or Stripes

If the fabric is checked or striped then it must be laid to the marker plan and they should be matched by the help of needle.

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He is Abu Sayed, the founder of the blog site Textile Apex. He is a Textile Engineer having eight years plus practical experience in the Textile and Clothing industries. With a deep love for fashion and a keen eye for detail, he combines his creative flair with extensive knowledge to offer insightful and engaging content to his readers.
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4 thoughts on “Fabric Spreading: Definition, Objects and Requirements

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