Fabric Roll Allocation in Garment Industry

What is Roll Planning or Roll Allocation?
Fabric roll planning or roll allocation is the critical process in garment industry because it influences the fabric savings, organizing and managing the allocation, scheduling, and utilization of fabric rolls for garment manufacturing. It is the process where the order in which rolls are to be utilized is programmed to minimize fabric wastage. During the spreading process, the variation in length of fabric between the fabric rolls could result in fabric wastage. As there are several combinations for the preparation of the fabric roll order for each lay, it is complicated to create a roll plan to reduce the fabric wastage during spreading. The main objective of fabric roll planning is, therefore, to minimize the end bit wastage.

Fabric roll planning
Fig: Fabric roll planning

A better roll planning shall minimize the fabric remnants, which gives higher fabric utilization. It is simply associating fabric rolls to lays so that the least possible number of end bits are left behind. End bits from the fabric could be produced when shorter lengths of fabric are left over after finishing the laying process. The remnants left over after cutting a spread should be less. The markers produced for remnant lays generally have less fabric utilization than the normal production marker.

Types of Fabric Roll Planning:
There are two types of roll planning method,

  1. Manual roll planning method
  2. Automated roll planning method

1. Manual Roll Planning Method:
The normal practice in the garment industry is to randomly select a fabric roll and start spreading until it is exhausted and then select another roll and so on until the completion of the lay.

2. Automated Roll Planning Method:
Automated fabric roll allocation method is a process or system used in garment industry to efficiently allocate fabric rolls for production purposes. This method is designed to optimize the utilization of fabric rolls, minimize waste, and streamline the production process.

Important Consideration in Fabric Roll Planning:
The main aim of a better roll allocation method is to minimize the raw material (fabric) costs and manage all the practical aspects of an industry. The major concerns regarding the fabric roll allocation in apparel industry are given below:

  1. Fabric cost
  2. Roll length variation
  3. Fabric defects and part change
  4. Fabric shade, shrinkage and width variation
  5. Spreading costs

1. Fabric Cost:
The key area of fabric wastage in roll allocation is the huge quantity of end bits that are left at the end of the order. This could be reduced by proper roll planning and practicing it on the production department.

2. Roll Variation:
There could be roll to roll variation with respect to the fabric length. This means that if a roll ticket says it has 100 m of fabric it is possible that the actual length in the roll is a few meters higher or lower than what is stated.

This could be due to the following reasons:

  • Mill gives extra fabric to compensate for defects in the roll.
  • Incorrect determination of roll length.
  • Defects and damages being removed from the roll reducing the length.
  • Swatches being cut or markings on the roll making that length shorter.
  • Joins in the roll making it into two rolls instead of one.

A good roll allocation process should be able to admit all practical changes in the production floor and give a tailored plan according to the present state of fabric.

3. Fabric Defects:
A better roll allocation process should manage practical problems related to fabric defects. It will not finish all end bits completely; there will always be a few pieces left over which could be used for part changes. If the fabric has a greater amount of fabric defects, then more end bits could be left for part change based on fabric, process and production requirements.

4. Fabric Shade, Shrinkage and Width Variation:
Fabric is grouped in garment units based on their shade, shrinkage level and fabric width to ensure quality and minimize fabric wastage. Hence, a roll allocation system should stand by these practical considerations and also ensure fabric savings.

5. Spreading Costs:
A roll allocation system should not raise the spreading cost and it could be reduced by

  • Minimal roll changes while spreading.
  • Providing the spreader a plan for spreading based on roll number and plies saving time for decision making.
  • Prefilled lay slips provided to the spreader to reduce filling and calculation time.

If a defect is identified in the fabric during the spreading process, the fabric is normally cut and removed. The fabric left in the lay is either kept separately or used with splicing.

Characteristics of Fabric Roll Planning:
A good roll allocation system should possess the following characteristics:

  1. It should internally carry out all the possible options and generate the best option for roll allocation automatically.
  2. It should create less end bits in fabric and leave fabric as much as possible in a utilizable roll form.
  3. It should permit the user to do practical modifications on the production floor if required.

Principal goals of fabric roll allocation are to optimize the utilization of available fabric resources, reduce waste, minimize production delays, meet customer demands, and control costs. The main the benefit of roll allocation to minimize the fabric wastages. Efficient fabric roll planning is essential for garment manufacturers to stay competitive in a highly dynamic and cost-sensitive industry. Fabric roll planning can also help to improve overall productivity and customer satisfaction.


  1. Apparel Manufacturing Technology by T. Karthik, P. Ganesan, and D. Gopalakrishnan
  2. Practice of Garments Merchandising and Management by Engr. Md. Faruk Hosen
  3. Garments and Technology by M. A. Kashem
  4. Stitch Dairy, “Fabric Roll Allocation In The Apparel Industry” Jun 15, 2017 https://medium.com/@stitchdiary/fabric-roll-allocation-in-the-apparel-industry-655f764ef9e1

You may also like: Flow Chart of Garment Manufacturing Process

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top