In order to arrive at the conclusive form of the theory, a second phase is needed; this involves a process of exclusion and refinement. To reduce and refine the necessary points and lines to the conclusive form by rejection, one cannot rely on visual analyses such as the ones in the presentation of the cases above. For Bacon, this is to say that the problems of information that is gained through the senses and that owes to the “Idols of the Mind” must be corrected by the use of experiments (cf. Bacon, 1952). A visual analysis alone is only able to affirm or reject points according to the already assumed form structure that is based on particular garment types and construction systems, rather than the form structure that is their cause.
In other words, for Bacon, making is knowing, and knowing is, in the same way, making. To discover the form of the given nature – the material determination of the biomechanical structure of the body –we need, therefore, to set up a series of material experiments in order to be able to reject unnecessary points and lines in the form structure. But what would such a series of experiments look like? What samples and variables should be explored in relation to one another?
Bearing in mind that the aim of the research is to develop an alternative theory of the body for garment construction based on a how the living body interacts with fabric, locating the conclusive form through gradual rejection and refinement of points and lines is done through experiments by working in two directions: (i) from cases to formal determination of material cause (from garment to theory); (ii) from formal determination of material cause to cases (from theory to garment).
The constant in these experiments is a live body with the centre back of the waist and the centre back of the neck used as starting points, based on the First Vintage hypotheses as derived from analyses of the lists of converging and diverging causes. A rectangular piece of woven fabric that is manipulated by cutting into the fabric in different lengths, directions, and shapes is used as an independent variable. The dependent variable is thus defined as the fabrics relation to the body as influenced by the different length, directions, and shapes of the cuts made into it. The experiment begins with cuts into the rectangular piece of fabric that is placed over the shoulder or wrapped around the waist. These cuts are directed by the drape of the fabric in relation to the body and by the biomechanical functions of the body – gravity, balance, and movement – and the act of cutting becomes a search for new bodily expressions.
The images bellow show the outcome from four sets of experiments. In each set, the same type of garment has been constructed in two versions: (i) from cases to formal determination of material cause (from garment to theory), and (ii) from formal determination of material cause to cases (from theory to garment).
The first version, (i), means to start out from the notion of a specific garment in attempts to utilise the First Vintage hypothesis. A number of such experiments were carried out. After visualising the theory from different perspectives (observing the directions and points on the body, on the garment, and on the pattern) and comparing the visualisations of the various garments to one another, a number of discrepancies were evident. These discrepancies called for a first revision of the theory. The arm and leg directions were altered, and a number of points were rejected as being part of the conclusive form. For example, the three garments for the upper part of the body (chemise, shirt, and tailored jacket) have a different shape around the sleeves, and hence, the shoulder points are not the same for all garments, which may cause them to be rejected.
Second, when the first rejection and revision of points and lines in the First Vintage had taken place, the same set of experiments was carried out in the opposite direction, (ii) from formal determination of material cause to cases, i.e. beginning from the revised theory and attempting to reconstruct the garments in a manner more congruent with the revised theory. This was done to further develop the theory and in aiming to visualise the theory with a higher level of precision. Points rejected during comparison of the various experiments may still be valuable reference points during garment construction. As they are connected to specific shapes, garments, or body types, and not part of the conclusive form, they will be denoted as derived points. The diverse definitions of the points and the reason for the different directions are presented in more detail in Chapter 4.
These four sets of experiments are examples from the experimental work that was conducted to develop the kinetic garment construction theory. They have been selected from a larger number of experiments to illustrate the methodological analysis of the experimental development of the theory from the first hypothesis of the First Vintage to the revised theory.
After the experimental analyses, the fundamental direction of lines and position of points were compared with an anatomical drawing of the human muscles. In the comparison, it was clear that the directions and points corresponded, to a large extent, to the muscle lines and muscle holds. After this non-scientific comparison, some minor adjustments to the exact positions of the lines were made in order for the directions to be even more congruent with the muscle directions, and these small adjustments also functioned well on the patterns. The importance of these similarities still remains to be determined.