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Essential skills profile

This profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skills is generally performed by most workers in this occupation. The levels of complexity estimated for each task are ranked between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced).

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Fabric, Fur and Leather Cutters (9445)

Fabric cutters cut fabric to make parts for garments, linens and other articles. Fur cutters cut fur pelts to make parts for garments and other fur articles. Leather cutters cut leather to make parts for shoes, garments and other leather articles. Fabric cutters are employed by clothing and textile manufacturers and other manufacturers of fabric products. Fur cutters are employed by furriers and fur products manufacturers. Leather cutters are employed by shoe and other leather products manufacturers.

Reading Help - Reading
  • May read brief notes giving instructions about particular orders or about changes to orders. (1)
  • May read memos about upcoming meetings or about new health and safety measures. (2)
  • May refer to product specifications to determine the quality of leather to be used. (2)
  • May refer to procedures manuals, for example to find information about how products are made or how machines are operated. (3)
  • May read textbooks explaining grades and uses of different types of leather in order to explain this information to customers. (3)
Document use Help - Document use
  • Read dye number labels and fabric labels which indicate codes, colour and lengths of fabric. (1)
  • Read health and safety signs posted in the workplace. (1)
  • Complete bundle tags, including work sheet numbers and sizes of products, such as gloves. (1)
  • Read Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) labels. (2)
  • Read tickets, documenting the number of products that must be completed, the footage of material allowed for the job, pattern numbers, the number of pairs per pattern and prices of jobs. (2)
  • Read production lists and specification sheets, indicating the number of products to be fabricated, the footage of material allowed for jobs, pattern numbers, quantities per pattern and the prices of jobs. (2)
  • Read schedules which show the time line for completing production runs. (2)
  • Read completed cutting order forms providing information on how many items to cut, the parts to cut, such as back yokes, and special instructions relating to washing or bleaching. (2)
  • Use patterns showing the width of the fabric on which the pieces are to be laid, the size and number of pieces and how they should be laid on the fabric. (2)
  • Record the numbers of products cut and the production of all the cutters and compare with standards. (2)
  • Complete invoices with stock numbers, names, addresses and costs. (2)
  • Use templates to cut shoes to proper specifications. (3)
Writing Help - Writing
  • Write reminder notes to themselves about the parts of shoes already cut or other production matters. (1)
  • Write unit and piece quantities on cutting summaries. (1)
  • Fill in coupons to calculate earnings, depending on the number of layers of material, the length of the fabric and the completion time. (1)
  • Make notes on tickets or directly on material. (1)
  • Write orders, including names, addresses and stock numbers. (1)
  • Write letters to customers, which may include instructions on how to assemble materials. (2)
Numeracy Help - Numeracy Money Math
  • Calculate and verify their wages for piecework. (2)
  • May calculate bills for customers, including taxes. (2)
Scheduling, Budgeting & Accounting Math
  • Plan cuts to make maximum use of material. (2)
Measurement and Calculation Math
  • Measure allowances on leather pieces using a tape measure. (1)
  • Calculate the area of a piece of fabric. (2)
  • Measure the length, width and thickness and calculate the square footage of irregularly shaped fabrics to determine the number of products that can be cut from them and with what amount of waste. (3)
Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate whether there is enough material to complete orders so they can order more if necessary. (2)
  • Estimate the cost of completing a product run. (3)
Oral communication Help - Oral communication
  • Receive work instructions from lead hands or supervisors, such as how many pieces of fabric to spread. (1)
  • Discuss work issues with co-workers such as cutting techniques or possible uses for discarded materials. (2)
  • Interact with supervisors to discuss new jobs, patterns or problems. (2)
  • Speak with customers in person or on the phone regarding products they have requested. For example, they may help customers choose the leather or hardware. (2)
  • Participate in group discussions with supervisors, foremen, workers and union representatives regarding the quality of fabrics, cutting techniques, safety issues and housekeeping requirements. (2)
Thinking Help - Thinking Problem Solving
  • May run out of work when their supervisor is unavailable to assign new work. They assess what might be additional work and begin it while they wait for the supervisor to return. (1)
  • Encounter machinery breakdowns. They either fix the problem themselves or call upon their supervisors to call mechanics. Until the repairs are carried out, they may have to continue to use the machinery even though it is not functioning properly. In these cases, they compare possible loss of revenue to further damage which could occur with continued use. (2)
  • Determine how to best use bad stock, such as marked or discoloured leather. They report the damage to their supervisors and figure out the best way to use the materials. For example, if making shoes, they may stretch the material more thoroughly, place the die so as to avoid marks or find places on the shoes where the mark will not show. (2)
  • Create solutions for problems presented by customers. For example, they may customize the cut of leather to arrive at a specified product design. (3)
Decision Making
  • Decide when to report a broken machinery part. (1)
  • Decide how to cut fabrics, considering fabric quality and characteristics. (2)
  • Decide where to place cutting dies by stretching fabrics and figuring out ways around marks. (2)
  • May determine which dies to use to get the most out of each fabric or piece of leather. (2)
  • Decide whether a fabric can be used for a large order when there is extensive damage to the roll of fabric. If the wrong decision is made there will be a cost to the company. (3)
Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking information was not collected for this profile.

Job Task Planning and Organizing

Fabric, fur and leather cutters usually receive priorities and task sequencing from supervisors. They may determine the cutting order themselves during rush orders to meet production deadlines. Tasks are repetitive and work is rarely disrupted. (1)

Significant Use of Memory
  • Remember the number of units to be cut in one colour or for one order.
  • Remember the techniques for cutting particular products, such as shoes, in case they are asked to cut the same products again.
  • Remember stock numbers, prices and characteristics of fabrics so that they can answer customer inquiries.
Finding Information
  • Refer to product and cutting summaries to confirm quantities and qualities of products. (1)
  • Ask foreperson the proper ways of cutting certain styles. (1)
Digital technology Help - Digital technology

Digital technology information was not collected for this profile.

Additional information Help - Additional information Other Essential Skills:

Working with Others

Fabric, fur and leather cutters work mainly in assembly line teams. They may know each other's areas of expertise and teach each other new skills. They may work independently.

Continuous Learning

Fabric, fur and leather cutters have an ongoing need to learn as new pieces of equipment are introduced and new safety measures implemented.

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