A pattern is a template used to cut out from fabric each part of a garment. Patterns are available in digital or paper format.
What are the pros and cons of digital or paper format patterns?
Digital patterns are easier to relocate. They don’t need to be shipped in a tube – only emailed to the desired location. If you need your patterns graded (made into different sizes), they can also be graded in digital format. The only difficult thing is that the producers of the apparel will need a printed copy and will usually trace it out onto a thicker pattern cards. Usually, they will print it out for you for a low price.
Paper patterns are fine for small quantities. They can be managed easily without relying on having them printed on a wide printer. A paper pattern can be delivered to a local seamstress easily, but likely will need to be digitized eventually to send to large manufacturers. The paper version can be damaged overtime and without a digital backup, the integrity of the pattern might be hurt.