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Originally started by John Astley, the Lay Planning department at this time, headed by Linda Evans was further developed to make miniature layouts of dress and other patterns via computer in order to use the least amount of fabric possible. Beating in mind that some of the fabric to be cut could be up to 300 ply, every centimetre counted. These plans were then automatically fed to the plotter in the room next door which then drew out the plans full size onto paper with a heat sensitive backing. Once complete, the roll of paper was taken off the plotter and taken to the cutting room, the paper was rolled out onto the top ply of the waiting fabric and ironed to make it stick. This is when the cutting would begin. Here can be seen the plotter with the blank roll of paper on the right, fed over the table underneath the full-width arm onto which was fitted the pen which drew the plans, then the paper was rolled onto a bar just out of sight on the left-hand side of the table just below the level of the table. Sometimes the pen would run out of ink and it was important to stop the plotter as soon as possible so that a new pen could be fitted, and sometimes the pen would catch on an imperfection in the paper and it would rip. Not knowing this, the pen would carry on regardless drawing on the table until someone stopped it!!

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