In this chapter, the revised theory – a human kinetic theory for garment construction – is outlined. The chapter is primarily a graphical presentation that begins with visual comparisons between the tailoring matrix and this kinetic garment construction theory. The theory is outlined step by step, and the characteristics of the various direction lines and points are clarified. It is worth noting that this should not be considered a closed theory attempting to authoritatively explain the nature of the body but, rather, as a theoretical model of suggesting a way of approximating the body while constructing garments. As such, the model is not presented as complete; it is continuously open to refinement.
The origins of ‘kinetic’ are from the Greek word kinein, meaning 'movement' or 'to move'. Human kinetics, or kinesiology, is the application of biomechanics in studies of human motion characteristics. From the perspective of kinetics, in considering the relationship between a piece of fabric being draped over the shoulders and the body, the fabric is affected by linear (translational) and angular (rotational) kinetics. Translation is caused by the net force that impacts the fabric (gravity pulling it downward), and rotation is the consequence of the net torque (the rotational and twisting movement of the body around a number of biomechanical points) (Özkaya et al 2012:89, 109).
The blue fundamental (structural) points are the starting points for the translational net force that affects the fabric – i.e., the point from where the direction of the fabric starts (while being affected by gravity) when it is either hanging from the shoulder or from the waist. As starting points, these points direct the first cuts in the fabric with the aim of letting the fabric hang undisturbed from the shoulders or from the waist.
The green fundamental (structural) points at the front and back of the armpit and crotch are the fabric’s centre points of rotation while following the movement or the arms or legs. Theoretically, these points relate to the ball and socket joints that are located at the centre of the rotation of the arms and legs, inside the shoulder or hip. However, since the fabric is located outside of the moving body and will eventually form a three-dimensional garment around the body, the points practically relate to the anatomical break points at the front and back of the armpit or the crotch. These points suggest where to cut or split the fabric in order to construct sleeves and legs of garments that are intended for the moving body.
The fundamental directions on the body may also be associated to notions of kinetics. The blue lines that begin at the centre back of the neck and continue with a direction straight downward over the chest as well as the blue line that moves straight downward from the centre back of the waist are affected by linear kinetics and represent the fabric in a neutral or equilibrium position, i.e., one being pulled downward by gravity. The red directions rotating around the torso and the legs are thus affected by angular kinetics, i.e., the movement of the body and the legs around a number of biomechanical points. In the same manner, the arm’s movement affects the orange direction, rotating around the arms. As the body moves, the fabric ‘swings’ back and forth around the body, creating a direction – a ‘simple harmonic motion’, or perhaps more precisely, a ‘damped oscillation’, as it swings less, the lower on the body it is.
The fundamental direction lines and the fundamental blue and green points coincide, meaning that the lines either start or pass through the points . As previously pointed out in Chapter 3, the lines are not suggestions for where to place seams, nor are they guides for where to measure the body, but, rather, proposals for how the fabric may be draped around the body in order not to fall off of the body or restrain its movements.
The specific direction of the rotations depends on the starting points being located at the centre back, from where the fabric swings downward, around the body. The rotational direction is also a consequence of the biomechanical movements of the arms and legs; i.e., they move forward as opposed to backward. These suggested directions are primary proposals that are based on the experiments and studies executed. However, the fabric may also be wrapped the other way around the arms or legs for specific applications; for example, to meet the demand for a seam to end in a slit at a certain point, and a piece of fabric may obviously be draped over the shoulder or around the waist in the other direction, starting at the front and turning backward, in which case the rotational directions would also be reversed.
The points indicate positions on the body towards which it is suggested that cuts into a piece of fabric are directed in order to construct garments for the living body and to create shapes that relate to the body. Points that appear off the fundamental lines are not fundamental elements of the theory and are denoted as derived (form) points. These points relate to the form of specific bodies and to the desired form of the garment.
The lilac points at the front and back of the elbow are based on the rotational kinetics of the elbow, i.e., the centre of rotation when the arm is bending at the elbow. The same applies to the lilac points at the back and front of the knee. These points are visualised as break points on the fabric at the back and creases at the front of the elbow and knee while the forearm or the shin is bending. Though these points correspond to biomechanical movements (as do the green ones), here they are classified as derived points that are not a fundamental element of the theory. These points at the elbows and knees direct the cuts when cutting a bent sleeve or leg. As the elbow and knee joints are hinge joints that allow movements in one plane only – in comparison to the ball and socket joints of the shoulders and hips, which are capable of circumduction – the demands for dynamics in the construction are less.
The yellow points are derived from the break points that appear due to the drape that is caused by gravity – and may vary in appearance and utilisation, depending on various body shapes, fabric qualities, positioning of grain line, etc. Whether or not they are taken in consideration while constructing garments depends on whether or not the garment is supposed to shape to the body at these specific positions. By either cutting through such a point or leaving it uncut, one can eliminate a break point or keep it. For example, atop the shoulder, three break points appear; if one leaves all three and only cuts past the fundamental armpit points, one obtains a sleeve shape that is similar to that of a square-cut chemise, while if one places a cut going through all three of these break points, one may create a sleeve shape that is similar to that of a tailored jacket.
Garments hang on and touch the body at the blue fundamental points and at the yellow derived points and thus appear in same position on the body and on the garment or pattern; hence, when these points are addressed, cuts often pass through the actual points. On the other hand, as the fundamental green points and the derived lilac points are fixed on the body, they shift position on the garment or pattern in relation to the body, depending on the shape and fit of the garment; i.e., the cuts in the fabric are still made towards these points on the body, but the cuts do not necessarily extend all the way to the bodily points.
The direction lines and fundamental points are intended to be valid for all body types and both sexes, while a greater number of yellow derived points might be added on a more curved body; which typically involves adding additional derived points at the bust and hips. Hence, the number of yellow derived points is the only principal difference between a male and female body within the theory. As mentioned, the points’ purpose is to assist while directing cuts into the fabric; the cuts may (but mustn’t, necessarily) pass through the points, depending on shapes, widths, scye depths, crotch depths, etc.