Friday, May 25, 2012

Textile Friday: Draping, Japanese Origami in Fabric

               For those who have known me for years, you know I've loved folding origami since childhood. I've sent out Christmas postcards of stars and am fascinated with how it's possible to take something very simple starting out and create something complex. Considering I'm at Animazement this week, I thought I would celebrate my first love of draping, Japanese folding. Some of you may be familar with the TED talk a few years ago by Robert Lang on how he uses computers to model complex shapes to create in paper.
                 As a kid, I thought paper was awesome. As an adult, I've come to see that everything that one can do in paper, on can do with infinite variety in fabric. It creates a marriage of sorts for me between the two, my childhood love and my adult one. You see origami based construction more in societies that drape which means it is more common in Asian culture and French. It is also more common in couture design as many of the fabric manipulation techniques have not been forgotten or are considered worth the expense to do right.
                   Most designers learn some variation of this in school which is actually called "adjusting for fit without darts", "hidden ease", or a myriad of different ways of saying folding the fabric. My favorite "draper" to stalk right now is Shingo Sato who runs the TR Cutting School in Milan. You can see them make lots of different projects on youtube and I love watching the weekly project they post. Draping takes a lot longer than flat-pattern so it's not used as much any more, but for this week with Animazement, I thought it would be worth it to share a little of my joy with you. Draping is what I do in my spare time to work on my game and increase my handskills for complex projects.
                 Have a great week and good luck seeing you at the show.

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