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									                                                                                      Section 2: How to Plan a Line

                                                   Allocation; The First Step to Costing

All about Allocation
 Al-lo-ca-tion (alo-ka'shen), noun. 1.                   Running your finger over to the right, you'll find
 Something set apart for a specific purpose. 2. A        .4. So your allocation would be 1.4 yds.
 distribution by plan, allotment, assignment. 3. A
 thing allocated.                                        At the same time, you've added an extra inch. That
                                                         inch is your "boo-boo" buffer. Now you would
Now that we've covered the factors of cost in sewn       multiply 1.4 times however many you were going
product manufacturing, it's time to introduce            to make. So if you cut 100 units, you'd buy 140
costing methods. For garment industry purposes,          yds.
allocation is an industry specific term that refers to
the quantity of materials and trims that are needed                 Allocation Table
to produce a given style. We use allocation to mean         From    To           = 1/10 yd
how much fabric and guts a certain design needs, in
order to be completed. Accurate allocation is               0       3 5/8”               .1
mandatory in order to figure costs, and is reflected        3 5/8” 7 ¼”                  .2
on costing sheets. Figuring these costs will allow          7 ¼”    10 7/8”              .3
you to order just enough (for example) interfacing
for the entire line. That way you don't need to
                                                            10 7/8” 14 ½”                .4
spend too much money for things you don't need, or          14 ½” 18”                    .5
to keep from running short in mid-stream.                   18”     21 5/8”              .6
                                                            21 5/8” 25 ¼”                .7
Allocation table                                            25 ¼” 28 7/8’                .8
The goal of the allocation table is to take the most
convoluted measuring system known to humankind
                                                            28 7/8’ 32 ½”                .9
and convert it into a rational system, where it can         32 ½” 36”                    1.0
be divided by ten. I've only seen this in factories,
and it's a gem. This is what we call an Allocation
Table. It converts the actual yardage scale, into        This section on allocation is simply intended as a
units of ten. In doing so, a waste allowance is added    starting point. When you are cutting a higher
at the same time. By the way, everybody in your          number of units, every inch counts. The figure of
shop needs one of these tables. It's a good idea to      1.4 could end up costing you quite a bit if you didn't
make several copies and laminate it to the tabletops     adjust the figure before production purchasing.
and post it on bulletin boards.
                                                         Section Four will explain in more detail how to
How to use the table                                     figure fabric usage. Specifically, you'll need to make
                                                         a marker and draw in the pattern several times to get
When you lay out a pattern for the first time, use
                                                         a better idea of the real costs.
this table to figure the yardage. Of course, you'll
need to lay your pattern pieces out as you would a
marker. It adds a safety zone for mis-cuts and errors    By the time you get to the production end, you may
without going overboard. For example, say your           find that you have costed your product three
product takes lyd and 13 1/2". Well, it's a lot of       different times, if not more, which is a good sign. In
trouble to multiply that by however units you hope       the design phase, you should concentrate on
to sell. So you'd look for 13 1/2 in the chart. You      ballpark estimates. Figuring allocation is just the
will find this falls between the range of 10 7/8"and     starting point to get estimates in the design phase.
14 1/2".


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