A Deeper Look: Fabric Cutting

As consumers, we don’t always spend a lot of time thinking about the process of actually producing and assembling the clothes we wear. Who chooses the fabric for our shirts? Who then cuts that fabric? And does a human sew it or a machine?

At Rough House Kids, we think about those questions a lot – and we love being able to share our story! So let’s talk a little about cutting fabric. Once Sandra has selected fabric and worked with the pattern maker to set the sizes, the fabric is then sent to a cutter in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, located just a few miles from Sandra’s home.

The fabric is rolled out in layers and special paper with the patterns printed on it are laid out on top of the fabric and securely pinned in. Out cutter, LaDonna, has been in the business for more than 60 years! Now in her 70s, she is one of the few remaining fabric cutters in the Twin Cities. With a smooth and skilled hand, LaDonna operates the enormous electric knife (she hasn’t lost a finger yet!). To watch her, it’s a lot like taking apart a puzzle piece by piece.

Once all the fabric pieces have been cut out, they are bundled together and tied with black ribbon and ready for the sewer to come pick them up. It takes LaDonna and her assistant almost an entire day to cut the fabric for our pants. At Rough House Kids, we love supporting independent business owners and highly skilled workers who are still earning a living doing jobs that are machine-dominated today. It’s part of our core values and something we are truly proud of.

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