Shah, Karen (2015) From Skip to Catwalk: An Investigation into Viable Pattern Cutting Techniques for Recycled Clothing. In: The Second International Conference for Creative Pattern Cutting, 24th - 25th February 2016, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

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The utilisation of discarded and so-called ‘waste’ textiles in the construction of garments is nothing new. Typically it has done, amongst other reasons, out of necessity, preference and a sense of caring for the environment. Methods for extracting these textiles and transforming them into new garments in the name of reconstruction, recycling, up-cycling etc vary but at their core is often a deviation from traditional block pattern cutting to something that resembles a bricolage of techniques ranging from moulage, fabric manipulation and a repositioning of the garments around the body often using key design details of the original garments. This paper, drawing on some 20 years of recycling clothes, proposes a number of reconstruction techniques of both clothing and textiles that have the potential to be up-scaled for relevance to mass production techniques. It is hoped that this investigation will generate debate into both the aesthetic of recycled clothes and also the potential for techniques of reconstruction to become more mainstream and accessible to a wider demographic.

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