An Interview With Our T-Shirt Maker.
Some Background on Raul Valenzuela of Pacific Continental Clothing.
Raul is one of many behind The Shorter Tee & The Longer Tee. He is responsible for First to Production Patterns and Marker Making/Grading at PCC, the California manufacturing facility that produces our tees. Raul was among those that took our t-shirt designs & translated them into patterns suited to PCC's production procedures. Patternmaking is not so dissimilar from architecture, only the "blueprints" (i.e. patterns) are functional stencils used on fabric so that each piece is cut to size prior to sewing them together to construct a garment. Like in architecture, millimeters matter quite a bit. Grading is the process of increasing or decreasing the size of a pattern in order to create a range of garment sizes. Grading can be done digitally, or by cutting, i.e. physically shifting & retracing patterns. Marker making is the process of placing each of the graded pattern pieces across a swath of fabric. Without a computer (or what's called a CAD system), this takes a while as each piece must be positioned to maximize space.
All of the above is Raul's job.
Where were you born?
I was born in Durango, Mexico.
What’s your earliest memory with clothing?
My earliest memory in regards to working with clothing would be spreading fabrics across a table; it was amazing to see how it was done with all different kinds of fabric.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing that you own?
It is a pair of Volcom jeans we did when we had a Denim Division.
What’s your favorite piece of clothing that you’ve made?
My favorite piece of clothing that I've made was a Crew neck tee; it is my favorite since it was the first piece of clothing that I made by myself.
What do you wear to work?
I tend to wear a more business casual type of clothing.
What’s your technical background?
I have 30 years of experience working with the garment industry and I am certified to operate AccuMark Systems by Gerber Garment Technology. [AccuMark Systems is a software program for pattern design, marking & grading.]
How did you come to PCC?
I was looking for an opportunity to work in the garment industry and I stumbled upon an opening at PCC and I took the chance and obtained the job.
What part of your job do you like most?
I enjoy pretty much every aspect of my job; I view my job as a hobby instead of a job. I especially enjoy working with markers; it is a challenge to minimize wastage and get better utilization.
The part of my job that I enjoy least would be when an error occurs or something goes wrong. I tend to view myself as a perfectionist and I do not enjoy finding any mistakes in any work made.