Friday, June 24, 2011

American Furrier Technical Stuff

This is pt 3 of You've Come A Long Way Baby, but in a way it's only loosely related to the first 2.  The first 2 were more about social commentary.  This one is going to look at the articles in the magazine that deal with the technical aspects of fur garment construction.  So forward this to all the sewing geeks you know and share the blog love.
First of all, I have done a little more research on the fur industry and find some things that are really interesting from the perspective as a designer, and from a farming background.  Can you guess my bias?  I will post more on this later.
Sorry, I digress.  Back to the articles.  First one I want to show you is the photo above of Style No. 66-819  (notice the use of numbers instead of words in style numbering?  Wonder why?  Then you need to go and buy a book by Kathleen Fasanella it should come with every sewing machine it's that good!)  There's a plug for Kathleen, so now I hope than she will wander in an answer a couple of questions for me later on.  In each of these magazines there is one Pattern Diagram for one of the Styles shown.  This one is shown in SIZE: 14, Measurements are: B 36, H 33, and Paper length 39 3/4.  (That's sweet, they even tell you how much paper you need!)

The drafting is extraordinarily simple.  Start with point "A" in the top left hand corner and straight lines on the x and y axis simply plot points measuring down from the x axis, and over to the right from the y axis.  Join the points with straight lines, extrapolate curves where you know curves should be and you are in bizniz!  From there to a fur coat is a couple of more complex steps.

Sadly, I forgot to take a photo of this style to show you, but it is kind of a boring knee length coat with inseam pockets.  The only design element is goofy little bows at the end of the skirt pleat shown on the pattern front.  Very 1960 little girly.  I am going to draft this one out, grade it up to female linebacker size and see if it works for a little raincoat number sans the bows of course.

Here is my technical question for the seamstresses and seamsters out there.  On this diagram I have (crudely) demonstrated a small difference in terms.  The dart at the elbow we are quite used to, and in fact in this case they have split the dart into three separate ones, each spaced roughly three inches apart which would really give the sleeve a round shape.  Like if you cut an tire inner tube in half and used each half for a sleeve. (Can you see it in your mind?)

The part that piqued my interest was the KYLE.  Have you ever heard of that term before?  Any references in school/books/study?  A dart like shape, but intended to be a section added in to increase the length of the seam edge.  In this case, the sleeve facing is folded up and the kyle will do 2 things, I think: 

1.) allow sufficient length on the hem for the  sleeve side seams to fold back onto themselves, rather than folding off to the side like a check mark shape, and

2.) and more importantly, allowing the facing which is cut on the same plane as the sleeve, to sit inside the 3D shape of the inner tube shape of the sleeve.  It give 3d shaping to the facing, just like the darts do for the sleeve.

I haven't seen that word Kyle used before, but I have seen the technique.  I had previously called it, "on a firm underlining slashing the fabric and spreading by inserting a backing material and pad stitching to desired shape and then molding the shell fabric to fit hoping that it contains mostly wool because if it's polyester then you are hooped." 

Exact replica of Armani Pattern drafted in Paint
I had the privilege of restyling a couple of Armani jackets from the deep 80's this spring.  They were collarless, one button, hip length jackets in sufficiently interesting fabric to justify tearing them down to restyle.  The shoulders were huge.  I mean HUGE.   They looked simply made, and used machine techniques, fusibles etc.  But once the ripping commenced, I was impressed.  They really had gone the extra mile.  Anyway, the interesting part was the use of the, ahem, kyle, on the shoulder.  In order to make the jacket hug the shoulder line which angles slightly downward toward the elbow, lets say.  And extend the shoulder out by a whopping couple of inches on a tiny frame woman, a kyle was used to change direction of the shoulder line.
Using the word Kyle seems slightly more professional now and I may adopt that convention full time.  Does everyone remember the word of the day?

1 comment:

dee said...

I forgot to answer the question from yesterday! The mystery fur coat was not bacon fur (you are not making breakfast anymore, Wayne) but in fact, Kangaroo!