Thursday, June 2, 2011


sodaCAD is an enterprise level 2-D vector based drafting program used by fashion designers and manufacturers to create patterns. The patterns are then graded and prepared for plotting or cutting prior to manufacturing. As the terminology used by the apparel industry is unique, it is helpful for developers to review this glossary. This glossary defines the terms and also explains how they should be applied in a CAD environment.

base size – The originating size from which a graded pattern piece is created. Typically a base size is the middle size of a size range.

cut line
– Generally, the outer edge of a pattern piece. The cut line tells the plotter or cutting machine where to cut. Interior lines may also be defined as cut lines. Typically noted by a solid line.

drill point
– A point created by drilling or punching a small hole in the pattern piece. This instructs the cutter to use a drill or punch to transfer that marking to the fabric with a drill.

grainline – a line drawn on a pattern piece to indicate placement direction on fabric. In CAD, a grainline constrains how a pattern piece can be laid and rotated, usually 1, 2, or 4 way directions.

grade point – Some point on the edge or corner of a pattern piece in which a dimensional change is applied.

grading – This refers to the process of proportionally making a pattern piece larger or smaller, thereby creating a new size.Traditionally this process requires physical moving and tracing a pattern piece multiple times. In a CAD environment this process is accomplished by duplicating an object onto a new layer and offsetting points and lines.

grading table – A chart which indicates the dimensional changes of grade points between sizes. In a CAD system, a grading table gives the dimensional changes in relative coordinates and instructs the software how a point should move when grading sizes.

nest – A grouping of pattern pieces which have been stacked on top of each other from largest to smallest.

notch – A match point on a pattern piece. Notches may be slits or shaped protrusions dependent on the type of fabric or requirements for manufacturing. Typical shapes include I, U, or V.

pattern – A pattern is a 2-D drawing on paper or oaktag which is then traced onto fabric. Once a pattern has been traced, the fabric is then cut and sewn. The pattern includes important details about how the pattern should be placed and stitched. In a CAD environment, a pattern is a 2-D vector based object complete with directional placement notation and match points.

piece list – A listing and description of pattern pieces by name. A piece list is known in the rag trade as a cutter’s must. It gives the name of the piece and how many to cut of each fabric.

piece properties
– A dialogue box that describes all aspects of the piece. It should include piece name, how many to cut, fabric, description text, flip, padding, rotational allowance, and other bits of information.

seam – An extension of a pattern piece that allows the fabric to be sewn. This is created by offsetting the points and lines a defined distance from the seam line. A seam can be defined to the interior or exterior of a pattern piece. If the seam is defined to the outside of a pattern piece, then the pattern piece will automatically become larger. A seam line is defined by a dotted line.

size – A designation assigned to a pattern piece to indicate it’s position in a range. A size is created in a grading process.

size range
– A grouping of sizes. Normal size groupings are about 5-7 sizes.

sodaCAD – The name of this software project. Some believe it was derived from the location in which it was created.

stack point – This refers to the location in which the patterns of a nest are arranged. Typically the pattern pieces are stacked on top of each other with their central points aligned. In an X,Y coordinate system, the stack point is a relative point of origin. The user should be able to define the stack point on the perimeter or interior of the pattern piece.

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