Advanced Research on Pattern Cutting Skills in Small Scale Garment Industries and Teacher Education Universities in Ghana

The purpose of the study was to compare pattern cutting skills taught in Teacher Education Universities in Ghana with what were used in local small scale garment industries. Fifty small scale entrepreneurs in six regions of Ghana were purposively selected to demonstrate how to take body measurements and cut patterns for a lady’s fitting dress. Measurement and pattern cutting procedures used by the garment producers were found to be different from what were taught at the Universities. All the demonstrators marked the measurements on their fabrics and cut the garments direct without paper patterns (freehand cutting). Their allowances for seams, hems and openings were larger than those in instructions for teaching at the Universities. Reasons for the demonstrators’ use of freehand cutting method were that: Cutting instructions were fewer and easier to commit into memory, making the process fast and the best option for the Ghanaian market’s increasing demand for new and fashionable custom-made garments; the pattern drafting method entailed a lot of work which attracted high charges their clients could not pay; drafted patterns did not produce fitting garments for many of their clients; freehand cutting was the most cost effective option; deep turnings for hems and seams were allowed in freehand cutting for future changes in design, figure and use. To the garment producers, making and keeping patterns of their clients for future use was not necessary, because girth measurement changes of Ghanaian women were very frequent. To bridge the gap between skill training in pattern cutting in the University and industrial practice, it is recommended that the University should involve entrepreneurs in the Garment Industry in their curriculum development and skill training.

Author (s) Details

Phyllis Forster
Department of Home Economics Education, University of Education, Winneba, Ghana.

Irene Ampong
Department of Vocational and Technical Education, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana.

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