As a young boy living in a small town they started a shirt factory and us kids use to watch them through the big windows.
There was a several tables of different lengths.
The material/fabric was on a roller attached to one end of the long table.
They would would pull the end of material down the table and clamp it.
Then cut it to length and repeat the process until it was thick.
Then it was taken to a smaller table and cut to length again.
This happened until they got the desired size.
Then it was off to the pattern table to be shaped.
Then to the sewing ladies. OMG!
Here's a little more modern.