© 2019 by Nikolett Madai

Subtractraction Cutting

PBA Thesis Project

Year: 2015/16

Subtraction cutting as a zero waste design concept

Subtraction Cutting

For my Professional Bachelor Degree’s thesis Julian Roberts’ groundbreaking Subtraction Cutting method was further developed into a zero waste design method through research and experimentation. The result was a holistic agile pattern design toolkit to create unconventional zero waste patterns in a less numerical way, making zero waste designing more desirable and accessible. To showcase some methods, few garments were visualized inspired by swans. Each of these garments was designed also for a closed loop production system by using monofilament end-of-roll fabrics allowing recyclability. Their lifecycle could be prolonged with the help of a repairing method as well.

Subtraction Cutting is when the patterns instead of adding fabric; are created with removal and these ‘cut aways’ establish the negative-space through which the body can travel through. Julian Roberts’ method lays on three pillars: the concept of the tube, the elevated block and the hole pairs. As a result, waste streams can come from the elevated block, the hole pairs and even perhaps from the formulation of the tube if it is not a rectangular shape. The project concentrates on achieving a radical innovation of the meaning of these ‘cut away’ pieces to bestow functionality upon them. The fabric is considered as a whole entity balancing out the patterns and turning ‘cut aways’ into integral pattern parts in the end.

There were several techniques created how to address the ‘cut away’ pieces from the ‘Subtraction Cutting’ method ranging from beginners to advanced levels. All of these techniques were incorporated in a five step method named ‘Snip and Inlay’ that helps users tap into their creative minds and have fun experimenting with zero waste designs without having to get lost in the process of too much mathematical calculations.

The ‘Snip and Inlay’ changes the most common way zero waste garments are created where constructing the complete patterns comes first then cutting them out of the fabric. It can be stated that creating a successful zero waste pattern is difficult and requires lots of patience, revision and precise measurements. However, this zero waste technique proposes to forget thinking of the pattern construction as a whole it focuses on some ‘cut aways’ or just on only one at a time and gradually achieves zero wastage. As a result, creating zero waste patterns become less stressful and much easier to accomplish.

Exhibition & Lectures

EASV- Open house event exhibition

EASV- Guest lecturer with subtraction cutting and PBA project for second and fifth semester in 2017