This practice-based design research explores methods of eliminating textile waste through utilizing zero waste pattern cutting to expand the outcomes possible through composite garment weaving and speculates as to the implications for the wider industry and society. Employing a hermeneutic phenomenological approach, I have tested known strategies in the context of industry and responded with new emergent strategies to the challenges that arose. The findings that emerged from the iterative design practice, and surrounding discussions and reflections inform the experimental ‘future-making’ design work that follows. The research outlines foundational pattern cutting theory and methods for an emerging field – composite garment weaving – as well as findings relating to the impact and use of technology in the fashion industry while bringing into sharp relief the inherent conflicts that exist within the fashion system.
All pattern cutting for cut and sew garments is a process of flattening the 3D form. Zero waste design as an experimental design practice also explores what is possible when we three-dimensionally form the flat textile. The converse of utilising origami to turn flat sheets into curved geometries (Callens, S. J. P., and Zadpoor, A. A. 2018), this research takes curved geometries (in this case garments) and ‘flattens’ them into weave-able structures. It is an iterative 3D – 2D – 2D – 2D – 3D process that transforms the outcome at every step, and flattens 3D form into an apparently 2D textile. I am defining the interstitial space-potential in textiles – designing the textile as ‘3D potential’.