Designed with a kimono flair, Cipher is a series of lightweight cotton poplin shirts inspired by Japanese tradition. They are zero-waste pieces entirely made of natural resources. There is no toxic remains from their creation nor skin exposure to chemicals in wearing them.
The pattern of these shirts is a real puzzle. That is so because it requires design, pattern and cutting to fuse into the same process. In a zero-waste cut layout, every little bit of fabric must be used. Not leaving empty spaces, the pieces have to perfectly fit. But not just in any way. The pieces should be properly aligned with the fabric grain. It is a difficult jigsaw considering that pieces need to follow a particular direction for the final garment to fall naturally.
It is tricky but worthy. By making 100% use of the fabric, zero-waste pattern-making explores ground for more sustainable cycles. It serves as an alternative to conventional forms of production that are needed to diminish polluting textile impact.
However, it is not a new concept. The first garments we know were built from pieces of knotted fabric. Similarly, the early examples of zero-waste garments appear in folk costumes from ancient cultures. Fabric and pattern used to be made to each other. Nothing went to waste. That is the case of the traditional kimono, whose pattern fits in a piece of silk that is weaved for the purpose. Simple but precise, the cut layout is perfectly planned. Which is why the kimono-inspired garment. Here, Cipher incorporates curves and frowns for a renewed shirt-version of it.
Besides the cut, the fabric palette equally refers to Japanese textile tradition. The different designs are made through handmade resist dyeing. Also known as Shibori, this technique is based on leaving blank reserves to generate patterns. It starts by folding or twisting fabric, binding or stitching it and then dying it. Originally, Shibori uses natural dyes and it is very much related to blue.
Oddly enough, the most electric shade of blue comes from nature. Indigo dye is found on leaves and it is one of the oldest dyes in textiles. Still today, it brings Shibori its distinctive unique look. Although easy to recognise, every Shibori piece is one of a kind. What is fascinating is that you are never fully in control of which one. Shibori testing is very exciting. It is all about the unexpected. Just experiment, wait and see how the results come out of the blue.