Precious cut: a practice-based research toward zero-waste design by exploring creative pattern cutting methods and draping techniques
With the contemporary methods of fashion construction only effectively using 85 percent of fabric in a garment, 15 percent of the total fabric is left on the cutting room floor. This waste is leaving a “significant ecological footprint”. This thesis is practice-based research to explore creative pattern cutting methods and draping techniques which lead to zero-waste designed garments. This thesis also demonstrates how pre-industrial societies treated fabric as a precious source, utilizing every piece of fabric to minimize waste. The environmental and ethical impact of producing textiles and why we should avoid the wasting of fabric are discussed. Investigations of different ways that fabric waste can be eliminated in the modern fashion industry and various methodological approaches toward zero-waste are examined: Jigsaw with fixed area, Jigsaw with the full width of fabric and tessellation. A new approach, Transformational Reconstruction, which is an innovative patternmaking technique developed by a Japanese designer - Shingo Sato, is examined and tested for its usefulness for zero-waste design. This study proposes that the fashion designer and pattern-cutter can have a great influence on the amount of fabric waste and, working as a team, are capable of producing garments without fabric waste and reducing the ecological footprint of modern apparel production.