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International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education Precious cut: exploring creative pattern cutting and draping for zero-waste design Precious cut: exploring creative pattern cutting and draping for zero-waste design

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The purpose of this practice-based study was to introduce and test within zero-waste framework the application of Transformational Reconstruction (TR), which is an innovative pattern-making technique. Contemporary methods of fashion construction create a waste of 15% of the total fabric, leaving a 'significant ecological footprint'. Without changing the basic silhouette of contemporary women's day wear, three garments were designed and constructed with different zero-waste methods (one jigsaw and two TR) to reduce or eliminate fabric waste from the cutting process of creating garments as well as achieving figure flattering fit. From these experimentations, it was evident that utilization of TR toward zero-waste resulted in more fitted garments. In addition, in this innovative technique, the pattern cutting process was integrated into the design progression, which enabled the designer to think in three-dimensional rather than two-dimensional space. Hence, unlike the traditional zero-waste practices, the final look of the garment was often predictable with minor changes. ARTICLE HISTORY
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International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and
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Precious cut: exploring creative pattern cutting
and draping for zero-waste design
Elahe Saeidi & Virginia Schreffler Wimberley
To cite this article: Elahe Saeidi & Virginia Schreffler Wimberley (2017): Precious cut: exploring
creative pattern cutting and draping for zero-waste design, International Journal of Fashion Design,
Technology and Education, DOI: 10.1080/17543266.2017.1389997
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17543266.2017.1389997
Published online: 24 Oct 2017.
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Precious cut: exploring creative pattern cutting and draping for zero-waste design
Elahe Saeidi
a
and Virginia Schreffler Wimberley
b
a
Department of Textile, Apparel & Merchandising, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA, USA;
b
Department of Clothing, Textiles and
Interior Design, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this practice-based study was to introduce and test within zero-waste framework
the application of Transformational Reconstruction (TR), which is an innovative pattern-making
technique. Contemporary methods of fashion construction create a wate of 15% of the total
fabric, leaving a significant ecological footprint. Without changing the basic silhouette of
contemporary womens day wear, three garments were designed and constructed with different
zero-waste methods (one jigsaw and two TR) to reduce or eliminate fabric waste from the
cutting process of creating garments as well as achieving figure flattering fit. From these
experimentations, it was evident that utilization of TR toward zero-waste resulted in more fitted
garments. In addition, in this innovative technique, the pattern cutting process was integrated
into the design progression, which enabled the designer to think in three-dimensional rather
than two-dimensional space. Hence, unlike the traditional zero-waste practices, the final look of
the garment was often predictable with minor changes.
ARTICLE HISTORY
Received 1 May 2017
Accepted 3 October 2017
KEYWORDS
Zero-waste design; fixed-
area-jigsaw; transformational
reconstruction; creative
pattern cutting; draping
Introduction
Textile waste is created in either the pre-consumer or the
post-consumer stages of a garments lifecycle. As Hawley
(2006) has summarised, pre-consumer textile waste con-
sists of excess fiber, yarn, fabric, and garments during
manufacturing while post-consumer textile waste is cre-
ated by consumers, which may consist of any type of gar-
ment or household item that has become unnecessary.
Agreeing with Anastas and Zimmerman (2003) that it
is better to prevent waste than to treat or cleanup
waste after it is formed(p. 96A), this study is concerned
with pre-consumer textile waste and, more specifically,
the waste created during the design and cutting
processes.
Since garments typically do not exist without fabric or
textiles, Fashion designers often regard fabric as their
raw material, but fabric really is a finished product in
its own right(Rissanen, 2005, p. 7). Conventional pat-
tern pieces have irregular shapes, which make them dif-
ficult to interlock perfectly in order to use 100% of fabric
length and width (Rissanen, 2013). Thus, the amount of
fabric waste is dependent upon how closely the pieces
can interlock on a fabric spread. With the contemporary
methods of fashion construction only effectively using
85% of the fabric spread in a garment, 15% of the total
fabric is left on the cutting room floor (Cooklin, 1997;
McQuillan, 2011). The fabric waste for adult outerwear
varies from 10% to 20%, with an estimation of 10% for
trousers or pants and greater percentages for blouses,
jackets, and underwear (Rissanen, 2013). Since fabric
as a finished product embodies the time and effort of
all the people who contribute to the fiber to fabric pro-
cessing, wasting a percentage of the fabric is also wasting
the embodied effort of all individuals who had contribu-
ted to the fabric production (Fletcher, 2008; Rissanen,
2013).
Appearance, fit, and cost are the three of the primary
criteria for conventional fashion design (Rissanen, 2013;
Rissanen & McQuillan, 2016). Appearance, which is the
principal criterion of fashion design includes attributes
such as garment shape, balance, and use of color, texture
and line(p. 78). Fit, the second criterion indicates how
the garment sits on the body and the amount of ease
incorporated in pattern pieces. Ease is subject to vari-
ation by consumer preferences and contemporary speci-
fications, with some companies allowing more ease in an
attempt to fit a wider range of body types versus compa-
nies that have a narrower customer niche. In most cases,
appearance and fit have a direct relationship with each
other. In other words, the fit of the garment on the
body has an influence on the appearance as well. Cost,
the third criterion, refers to the total expenses, including
fabric, notions, labour, and company overhead, that are
© The Textile Institute and Informa UK Ltd 2017
CONTACT Elahe Saeidi esaeid1@lsu.edu Department of Textile, Apparel & Merchandising, Louisiana State University, Human Ecology Building, Baton
Rouge, LA, 70803, USA
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FASHION DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION, 2017
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involved in sending the garment to the retail store. While
cost is one of these criteria for evaluating designs, it was
beyond the scope of this study to include the reduction of
costs by limiting the amount of yardage used in a design
nor is the reduction of labour considered since the time
to design a zero waste design frequently takes more time
than conventional design methods (Rissanen, 2013).
Therefore, the focus of this study was on the appearance
and fit criteria.
Research objectives
Previous researchers have proposed that the fashion
designer, marker maker, and pattern cutter can have a
great influence on the amount of fabric waste generated
in the design process and by working together are
capable of producing garments with minimal or no fab-
ric waste (James, Roberts, & Kuznia, 2016; Rissanen,
2013; Townsend & Mills, 2013). To be more specific,
creating zero-waste garments is only possible if pattern
cutting is an integral, active part of the fashion design
process(Rissanen, 2013, p. 26). Zero-Waste Pattern
Cutting (ZWPC) is the process of eliminating the typical
1520% of fabric waste at the cutting stage by using the
entire width and length of the fabric (Townsend & Mills,
2013). The purpose of the present research was to intro-
duce and test the application of an innovative pattern-
making technique, Transformational Reconstruction
(TR), within the zero-waste framework to determine
whether the TR could be applied toward zero-waste
design. Then the TR is compared with the jigsaw puzzle,
the technique most frequently used and a basic zero-
waste practice. Hence the study addresses the following
questions:
(1) Can TR reduce the amount of fabric waste and lead
to zero-waste design?
(2) Can TR produce more easily a closely fitted and aes-
thetic design with its 3-D process in comparison to
the 2-D flat pattern jigsaw processes?
Historical and contemporary zero waste
design
The zero waste approach is not a new concept. Patterns,
taken from historical clothing, show that less fabric was
wasted in the process of making fashionable garments.
Indigenous clothing and traditional dress such as the
Greek Ionic chiton and Indian sari are examples of
zero waste design concepts because cloth was clothing
itself(Rudofsky, 1947, p. 143), since they are pieces of
cloth draped around the body without being cut or
stitched; therefore, none is wasted. The Japanese kimono
is also an example of a zero waste traditional garment.
No waste is created in the cutting process; all pieces of
the garment are restricted to the width and length of
the traditional Japanese cloth (Rudofsky, 1947).
During the Pre-Industrial Revolution period, pro-
duction of textiles and garments was time-consuming;
therefore, fabrics were treated as a precious resource
and Pre-Industrial Societies tried to use every cut piece,
which sometimes resulted in using 100% of the fabric
(Burnham, 1973). European tailors and dressmakers
for centuries were able to eliminate fabric waste in the
cutting process and pattern development (Tarrant,
1994). Hill and Bucknell (1967) state that before the
1800s, the width of the fabric and its costs dictated the
way of the cutting; therefore, most of the time patterns
were closely interlocked and had negligible cut-offs to
use fabric efficiently. After the Industrial Revolution,
the textile industry improved through new technologies
in producing textiles with the result that some fabrics
became so inexpensive that the amount of waste was
not regarded as problematic or of concern (Schneider,
1989).
During the twentieth century, examples of no-waste
garments are those of 1940s fashion designer, Claire
McCardell who used two rectangles sewn together in
her designs and fitting was achieved with elastic bands
either at the shoulder, under the bust or the waist
(Rudofsky, 1947). The first decade of the twenty-first
century has seen the emergence of more zero-waste
fashion designers who have started eliminating or redu-
cing waste in their designs in different ways. One way to
approach zero-waste design is to reuse fabric scraps from
the cutting process as an embellishment in the garment.
Natalie Chanin, the founder of the American company
Alabama Chanin, has established her company based
on the principle of sustainability. All the garments are
made with either organic or recycled materials by the
hand of local artisans. Any waste fabric is used as an
embellishment, patchwork, or appliquè (Brown, 2010).
Mark Liu is another designer who converts the negative
space of the fabric to positive by cutting the edges with a
laser cutter and using them as decorative external seams
(Rissanen, 2008).
Basic zero-waste design approaches
The zero-waste approach means that the designer needs
to know the fabric and design dimension to be able to
design the zero-waste garment. According to Rissanen
(2013), The textile width is always a crucial consider-
ation in zero-waste design. You cannot design zero-
waste without knowing exactly how wide the textile is.
The textile width is the space within which you create
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zero-waste fashion design(p. 5). Holly McQuillan
(2011) has classified different ways to approach zero-
waste fashion design through patternmaking, including
tessellation and jigsaw puzzle with the fixed area and
with the width of fabric.
Tessellation consists of one shape or motif that is
repeated to fill the width and length of the fabric.
Depending on the tessellated shape, there can be wasted
areas that are not included in the design, which is mostly
along the selvedge of the fabric. Holly McQuillan has
tried different ways to overcome this problem; one is
using mathematical objects called fractal, which have
random shapes to reduce or eliminate the waste at the
edges. However, such a method would need considerable
mathematical work and calculation. The other solution
would be using smaller tessellated patterns as they get
close to the edges of the fabric (McQuillan, 2011).
Even if the waste is eliminated, according to McQuillan
(2011), the process of applying these shapes to a dress
form leads to a garment design process more akin to
sculpture than drape(p. 89). Carrico and Kim (2014)
suggest using tessellated shapes with straight edges
instead of curved ones to align with the grain but they
supplemented the tessellated shapes with additional
shapes beyond the tessellated pattern. The shortcomings
of the tessellated approach, in general, are as follows.
First, the final look is not fully predictable before the cut-
ting process is finished. Second, this method cannot fol-
low the curves of the human body without the
overlapping process or adding supplementary shapes.
Finally, the whole process could consume a greater
amount of fabric in producing the tessellated shapes to
cover the body by layering in comparison to a conserva-
tive, modern cutting method.
The jigsaw method requires the designer to be profi-
cient in pattern cutting techniques in order to manip-
ulate the pattern pieces to interlock with each other
without any fabric waste (McQuillan, 2011). Zero-
waste pattern cutter, Mark Liu (2010), explains zero-
waste design from a technical perspective: it involves fit-
ting all the flat pieces of your clothing pattern like a jig-
saw puzzle so no fabric is wasted(para 1). In the jigsaw
method, in contrast to the tessellation method, a variety
of different pattern shapes may be used and, like the tes-
sellation method, the pattern is the generator of the gar-
ment design; therefore, the final look is less predictable.
McQuillan (2011) uses two factors as guides to start
her design process: first the width of the fabricand
second the fixed area. The fixed area is the only area
of the design that is predictable and will be the foun-
dation of the design from which the rest of the design
radiates outward; it might be the shape of the neckline
or a decision on the fitting of a specific part of the
garment. McQuillans goal is to eliminate waste rather
than use less fabric; thus she does not restrict the design
to a specific yardage (2011). Thus, for designing zero-
waste garments the designer needs to have a complete
and clear plan, which involves not only the technical
details but also considers the final appearance of the gar-
ment. Unlike the typical patternmaking process, the pla-
cement of all the pattern pieces in zero-waste design
must be planned simultaneously in order to interlock
the pieces. While the approaches for zero-waste design
require more time than conventional fashion design,
the benefit is in the reduction of the ecological footprint
by reducing waste of resources.
Transformational reconstruction
As the conventional design process results in patterns, a
creative methodology in pattern cutting is a start point to
eliminate fabric waste. Hence, creative pattern cutting is
imperative to achieve zero-waste fashion design (Rissa-
nen & McQuillan, 2016). In the two-dimensional form
of patternmaking, it is difficult to consider the shape of
the pattern pieces, in order to be able to interlock with
each other and the fit of the garment simultaneously.
As noted by Rissanen (2008), draping techniques,
which involve the three-dimensional form of pattern-
making may solve the difficulties of using a two-dimen-
sional flat pattern technique.
TR is an innovative patternmaking technique by a
Japanese designer, Shingo Sato, where manipulation of
pattern pieces is three-dimensional rather than two-
dimensional. In this technique, pattern cutting is inte-
grated into the design process as desirable design lines
are drawn on an already fitted-control toile on a dress
form to create the pattern. Conventional fitting devices,
such as darts and waistline seams, can be eliminated by
converting to the seam-lines of the drawn design lines.
In order to use pattern pieces two-dimensionally, the
toile is removed from the dress form, cut apart along
the design lines, and then laid flat on the fabric as pattern
pieces. As Rissanen and McQuillan (2016) noted, what
distinguishes zero waste fashion design from conven-
tional fashion design is that the pattern cutting must
be integral to the design process(p. 88).
Method and procedures
While designing garments without fabric waste was the
primary purpose of this research, the ability to use the
TR for zero waste design was equally important. The
goal of the zero-waste designs in this study was to mini-
mise or eliminate the fabric waste but not necessarily to
use less total fabric yardage. Zero-waste garments in this
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study used all of the fabric, both lengthwise and across
the full width without compromising the fit or aesthetics
of a garment.
The total study involved the design and construction
of five zero-waste test garments and the testing of their
appearance and fit; three are discussed in this paper in
detail: one with the jigsaw puzzle and two TR garments.
This study focuses on achieving the best appearance and
fit as fabric waste in the cutting process is eliminated.
After constructing garments in fashion fabrics, four
departmental graduate faculty members evaluated each
garment to determine whether these designs were
appealing to contemporary consumers, based on appear-
ance and fit criteria.
Evaluation criteria
In thinking about what makes a design basically appeal-
ing without being wearable art or extremely avant-garde,
fit and appearance seem to be major factors as classified
by Rissanen (2013). To judge these two criteria, a design
criteria form was developed and pre-tested before
being utilised by a panel for the evaluation of each of
the three designs to determine if the zero-waste designs
in this study were successful for the criteria of appear-
ance and fit.
Appearance was the most challenging attribute to
define, because different companies and designers may
have various concepts/attributes about the appearance
of the garment. Therefore, appearance in this study
was categorised by its component elements: such as
Zero/low waste look was defined as whether it was notice-
able that the garment was made using a zero-waste
method (because frequently garment parts or details
are included to use waste pieces to get to zero-waste
but the resultant look is awkward, bulky or crafty) or
conventional looking, Visual aesthetic was referred to
as the overall appearance of the garment while Unity
of design: existed when all elements in a composition
work together for one purpose(Brockman, 1965,
p. 82). In other words, if all the parts look cohesive,
belong to each other and nothing is out of scale or pro-
portion. A single strong focal point/ center of interest
was characterised as to whether there is a specific
element, which is the dominant contribution. All other
elements should be in a supportive relation with the
dominant element or the focal point (Brockman, 1965,
p. 82). A means of transfer of interest, was achieved
when the observers eye could move smoothly from the
focal point to the wearers face rather than staying on
the focal point (Brockman, 1965, p. 82). For the criteria
of Elements of a design: it was judged successful if the
embellishment and details of the design were relevant
to the design and not just used to minimise the waste.
Since a design can vary between a very loosely fitted
design to a close fitted design, fit was described by
three elements: Set (garment sits on body without undo
wrinkle caused by improper grain position or improper
size of the panel to fit the body part); proper ease (The
amount of ease is appropriate to a design and purpose
of the garment); and Hang of garment (the silhouette
projects outward from the body equal distanced all
around the figure). These criteria for apperance and fit
were listed in the order presented above on the evalu-
ation form used by the judges to rank the designs on a
three point scale of 1 to 3 from weak to excellent.
Process
Since the TR process starts with a fitted toile and then the
lines are drawn on this toile to develop the final look
without any waste. Therefore, the general process
involved making patterns by either flat pattern (jigsaw
with the fixed area) or by draping techniques to make
the TR fitted toile. With the desired look determined,
the pattern pieces were laid on the width of fabric, as clo-
sely as possible, to determine whether fabric waste would
result before cutting. This step could be done manually
on the fabric, using a paper marker layout or a computer
screen image sized to the width of the fabric. In this
study, the manual layout of pattern pieces on the fabric
was utilised. In order to achieve zero-waste, in some
cases the pattern pieces were modified in order to inter-
lock with each other, causing some minor changes from
the initial design of the garment. As McQuillan (2011)
states ‘…the pattern is the originator of the garment
design(p. 92); therefore, the final look of the garment
is not fully predictable. Photography was used during
each stage in order to document pattern development
and toile fitting. After approval of the toile, the garments
were made in an appropriate fashion fabric without the
complication of woven or printed patterns.
Limitations of the study
Since some zero-waste techniques, such as jigsaw, are not
applicable to every type of design, there was no attempt
made to force every zero-waste technique to produce the
same style garment. Similarly, since some of the zero-
waste techniques require specific characteristics of fabric
performance; there was no attempt to make the same
fabric perform in every technique or garment type.
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Experiments results
Experiment 1: jigsaw puzzle with fixed area
The first practice used the jigsaw puzzle methodology
with the fixed area to create a jacket with minimum or
zero-waste. In this test garment, the hood of the jacket
was chosen as the fixed area. This allowed the designer
to manipulate all the pattern pieces except the hood.
For instance, the sleeve was one of the modified pieces
that was constructed with four-pieces instead of the
usual one piece. These changes did not alter the overall
design and silhouette of the garment. The negative
areas were purposefully incorporated into the design
without awkward attachment (Figure 1). The purpose
was to integrate the negative space into the design either
functionally or aesthetically (as self-fabric embellish-
ment) (Figure 2). For instance, patches on shoulders,
which resulted from the front and back shoulder seam
slopes were reversed. The negative space around the
top of the hood (on the pattern) was included to the
design as an embellishment on the hood. Waste areas
of front neckline were used functionally as an inside
pocket with four stitched segmented chambers to hold
pens. Small triangles from between cutting sleeve pieces
were functionally used as button placement reinforce-
ment, since the buttons were heavier in comparison to
the weight of the fabric, instead of using fusible interlin-
ing. Irregular negative space shapes resulting from creat-
ing the curved armscyes shape were utilised functionally
and aesthetically as an adjustable back waistband, which
helped the fitting of the coat (since it was not possible to
make the jacket fitted during the preliminary trials) and
gave it more feminine look.
In this jigsaw technique for zero waste, the designer
needs to be proficient in pattern cutting techniques for
manipulating the pattern pieces to interlock with each
other without compromising the fit and appearance of
the garment. Although 100% of the fabric was not uti-
lised, the fabric was used very efficiently with minimal
waste. It was the designers choice to leave four small
wasted pieces, which were not possible to be used either
functionally or aesthetically, instead of using them
unskillfully.
Experiment 2: transformational reconstruction 1
Utilising the TR technique toward zero-waste involves a
very different design hierarchy. Unlike the traditional
Figure 1. Denim coat pattern layout utilising jigsaw puzzle practice.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FASHION DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION 5
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design process where a designer creates the design
sketch, then drafts pattern pieces, and tests the patterns
and fit by making a muslin toile; this TR technique com-
bines both design and patternmaking process. The TR
practice starts with a control fitted garment. The
designer then draws the desired design lines, using
expertise in patternmaking and design in order to place
the design lines in an appropriate place to keep the
shape and fitting of the final garment. In the other
word, in the TR technique, appropriate and desirable
fit is achieved by developing seam placement, which
could be an equivalent to dart manipulation in the con-
ventional design process.
The process of this experiment began by draping a
basic bodice and skirt with waist dart control in a basic
fitted muslin. For ease of interlocking and cohesive
appearance, the straight design lines were drawn, on
this muslin fitted garment, to create pattern pieces
that would have the same width at opposing edges
(Figure 3). In developing the cutting lines, the muslin
was removed from the dress form and cut open on the
design lines. Then the pattern pieces were placed on
folded fabric until the most efficient use of fabric was
achieved. Minor corrections were applied to the pattern
pieces for a zero-waste design. After placing all the pat-
tern pieces, the process of integrating possible wasted
areas to the design began. The priority of designers
approach for eliminating fabric waste was to integrate
Figure 2. Denim coat, jigsaw puzzle experiment.
Figure 3. Control fitted garment of the TR 1.
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the wasted areas into the design first as facing and then as
an embellishment. Therefore, the negative spaces were
converted to bias pieces for finishing the armscyes and
bottom hemline. Smaller triangular pieces were used to
get a better armscye shape at the intersection with the
side seam (Figure 4).
Fabric choice is also critical to the appearance since all
the pattern pieces needed to be cut from one fabric. In
this test, a double-sided fabric was used, which allowed
the pieces to utilise the reverse side for a two-colour pat-
tern effect overall (Figure 5).
The common belief about zero-waste garments is that
they result in bulky and loose silhouettes with unusual
appearances. Utilising TR toward zero-waste design
could lead the designer to design the fitted garment
and still use fabric efficiently. A second zero-waste gar-
ment was created with this technique to develop TR
within the zero-waste framework and illustrate the feasi-
bility of this technique in creating fitted and beautiful
garments while eliminating fabric waste.
Experiment 3: transformational reconstruction 2
To show the application of the TR technique within the
zero-waste framework, instead of straight lines, curved
and non-straight seam lines were applied in the last
experiment. Different designs with curved lines were
explored to use fabric efficiently, all of which did not
quite succeed in achieving zero-waste. The use of curved
design lines required a greater amount of mathematical
calculation in order to fit one curve into another. Con-
sidering the fact that all the processes from patternmak-
ing to altering the pattern pieces to making the garment
were done manually in this project, using curved lines in
a symmetrical design was very demanding and time-con-
suming. Therefore, the researchers decided to design an
asymmetrical look, which required working full width
instead of half. Using an asymmetrically fitted-control
garment, in this exercise, was the designers choice
(Figure 6). After constructing the asymmetrically
fitted-control toile, various design lines, each using a
different colour, were drawn until the most desirable
design lines were established. Then the toile was removed
from the dress form and cut open. The researchers
thought it best to draw the lines along the waist-fitting
as closely as possible in order to be able to lay the pattern
pieces flat on the fabric. Since the bust darts were not inte-
grated into design lines, they were unstitched to lie
smoothly flat when pattern pieces were placed on the fab-
ric. One of the back-fitting darts was incorporated into a
design line and the other back dart was retained in the
design but was opened to lay flat for cutting. After all
the pieces were placed on the fashion fabric in the least
wasteful formation, there were still some negative spaces
around the pattern pieces.
The wasted areas were incorporated into the design
both functionally such as facing and pocket and
Figure 4. Dress pattern layout utilising the TR technique.
Figure 5. Final look of the zero-waste dress with TR technique.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FASHION DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION 7
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aesthetically, as bow (unused piece were coloured on the
pattern lay out). Since the researchersrole in this project
was as both fashion designer and pattern maker, they
decided to make some changes in the design to use fabric
more efficiently as shown in the final look of the garment
(Figure 7). The yellow areas were incorporated to the
length of the longer vertical pieces, which resulted in
having a graduated hemline and were coherent with
the initial design. Green areas above the shoulder were
also integrated into design and used as a self-fabric
bow. The armhole was finished with the semi-bias strips
from above the facing pieces. The waste areas at the front
and back armcsyes were also used functionally as an
inseam pocket (Figure 8), with the result that all pieces
cut were used in the design.
Judges evaluation
To judge the consumer acceptance of these designs is
beyond the scope of this paper; but to prepare for a
larger sampling of reactions, a pilot study instrument
was designed and tested by four departmental graduate
faculty. The ideal would be to have the garments be a
zero-waste garment without looking deviant from con-
temporary fashion. Therefore, the survey instrument
asked for reactions to the appearance and fit. While
the judges knew that they were looking at all zero-
waste designs in the study which may be a limitation,
the overall scores on designs showed that the two TRs
received higher scores (asymmetrical TR2: 2.96, dress
TR1: 2.93) than jigsaw jacket (2.84) (Figure 9(a)).
With regard to Appearance of the designs the TR dress
was rated highest (3) and both TR2 and Jigsaw were
equally high at 2.95 (Figure 9(b)). While the jigsaw gar-
ment had fit achieved by a back waistband and not by
seaming, it still elicited acceptable rating of 2.67 though
of course lower than the more closely fitted TRs
approaches with Fit scores of TR2 at 3 and TR1 at 2.83
(Figure 9(c)).
Figure 6. Control fitted garment of the TR2.
Figure 7. Final look of the zero-waste top with TR technique.
8E. SAEIDI AND V. S. WIMBERLEY
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By assessing the responses of the third practice, which
was designed and constructed with TR technique, it was
found that utilising the TR within the zero-waste frame-
work resulted in designing fitted zero-waste garments.
Even though the silhouette of the control fitted garments
were very curvy and close fitting, utilising complex seam
lines helped to interlock pattern pieces and create fitted
garment without fabric waste. The appearance of the gar-
ment was appealing and rated as excellentin all ques-
tions related to appearance. Regarding the appearance
of the TR2, all the participants rated the appearance of
the garment as excellentexcept one, who rated the gar-
ment as good. Similar evaluations were given by the
same participants regarding the fit of the garment.
Discussion and conclusion
With the increasing number of fashion designers work-
ing for store brands or starting their own lines, we
have the potential for creating the rapid increase of fabric
waste in the cutting process (Rissanen, 2013). In order to
prevent this from happening, designers need to be
encouraged to think about changing their design process
one that focuses upon reducing and eliminating fabric
waste before the garment reaches the consumer.
This practice-based research was intended to intro-
duce and test the new application of the TR technique
within the zero-waste framework, without changing the
basic silhouette of contemporary womens wear, by
designing and constructing garments with different
zero-waste methods to reduce or eliminate fabric
waste from the cutting process of creating garments.
Addressing the first research question, it was evidenced
from the experimentations and patterns layout of the
two TR garments (Figure 4,Figure 8) that the utiliz-
ation of TR leads to zero-waste design. Complex
seam lines development in the TR provide the possi-
bility of interlocking pattern pieces and using fabric
efficiently.
To reference the second research question, the
authors realise that creating fitted garments with TR
was more easily achievable than with the jigsaw
methods. In addition, utilization of complex seam
lines on the control fitted garment enables the designer
to think in three-dimensional space rather than two-
dimensional. Further, unlike traditional zero-waste
practices of tessellation and jigsaw where the output
of the zero-waste design is often unpredictable, with
TR technique, the final look of the garment is predict-
able with minor changes; and in some cases, it is iden-
tical to the initial design as was the case in the first TR
dress with straight lines.
Following the development of TR technique and the
process of design and redesign of the second TR
Figure 8. Top pattern layout utilising TR technique.
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FASHION DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND EDUCATION 9
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experiment, it was found that the collaboration of designer
and pattern maker would combine the design and pat-
tern-making process, which could be the initial step to
break the current and relatively fixed process of the tra-
ditional fashion design production. The adoption of the
zero-waste methodology can make this linear process
more interactive as the designer and pattern maker need
to work as a team and collaborate with each other. This
finding is very similar to prior studies in the realm of
zero-waste (James et al., 2016; Rissanen, 2013).
Limitations
In terms of continuing this research, a larger sample of
randomly selected individuals will be surveyed to assess
the potential for acceptance by consumers for these
zero-waste designs. Interlocking pattern pieces leaves
no room to reduce or increase pattern pieces, because
changing one piece impacts another, which is a limiting
factor for changing each design for a whole size range. To
apply zero-waste in mass-production, more research is
required for grading patterns to produce the usual size
range of several sizes. While none of the designs created
for this study had linings and many contemporary
womens wear garments do contain linings for covering
inside construction, building body into the garment and
providing long-term stability and shape retention,
further testing with linings as part of the design would
need to be explored.
With contemporary design and construction methods
only effectively using 85% of the fabric expended in a
garment, the application of zero-waste design tech-
niques would improve fabric utilization to reduce this
waste. While taking more time at the beginning of
the design process, the designer and pattern maker
essentially solve the problem of what to do with fabric
scrap before they become a real problem. This effi-
ciency of cloth utilization reduces the environmental
impact of the loss of energy and material inputs for
the textile formation as well as increased cost of
transportation and disposal for fabric waste. The end
result would be a more profitable apparel production
enterprise.
Disclosure statement
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
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... Designers can play with the manner fabric is draped to create new designs, or they can work with a flat pattern cutting method or draping, or combine both techniques, which is also the process of sketching. a (Saeidia andWimberleyb, 2018, Rissanen, McQuillan 2016). ...
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