Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Option Explicit-Part Deux

Strength of (Fabric) Materials
I am studying Silk Metal Organza to prepare it for the parametric design to create my metal lace and the first step is to do proximity tests on it. The fabric is 80% metal and 20% silk-the color is silver.
Since I am essentially 'de-materializing' the material to create the new metal lace, I wish to see how close I can cut the figures in my pattern design without the fabric loosing structural integrity.
As shown below, using 'analogue' dressmaking shears, the cuts are too close together at 1/8" apart, making the fabric too weak and it breaks between openings. Looks as though the minimum agreeable distance between figures is 1/4".

Also interesting to note at this preliminary stage is the limitation the machinery imposes on the design at a couple of scales. On the smaller scale, my 44" wide cut organza (I need a total of 3-1/2 yards) has to fit into a 24" by 36" laser cutting bed, so I have to give up 8" of manufactured width and one selvage in order to even cut the design into it with the laser. Also, I cannot do a long run of yardage at one time. The fabric has to be cut to 24" by 36" pieces which are totally flat.
On the larger scale, this affects the overall design of the frock. I will have to make the seams from piecing these 24x36 sections together part of the overall design which works well in the scheme of the 1930's-the decade this frock pattern originated. Also, I am cutting the frock on the bias which requires piecing much of the time anyway-more later!
Also see the finished-state post.