The perception of math as stern and self-contained is widespread.1  Contrarily, math is a very rich and very human subject, an art that helps us recognize and comprehend the intricate connections that exist within the universe. The best math engages the entire mind, respects human sensibility, and is in no way restricted to the small area of our brains that performs calculations and symbol manipulation. We discover truth by pursuing beauty, and incredible beauty is found wherever truth is found.1 Almost any esthetic creation, including music, dance, architecture, beautiful natural symmetry, and so on, contains mathematical principles.

If you hear or see the words fashion and math together, would you think that they have something in common? Would it ever occur to you to mention that you are learning math in order to become a fashion designer? Most likely not, but it’s possible that this concept is not as crazy as you might think. Many people believe that the worlds of math and fashion are two entirely different fields, but what if we tell you that these two disciplines complement one another and interact more frequently than we realize? Do you believe that the clothing you’re wearing right now is created using math?

Math is a crucial component of fashion design. Fashion industry producers use math to produce their clothing on a daily basis. Some of these tasks include fitting model garments, maintaining size uniformity, and mapping a two-dimensional pattern to fit a three-dimensional body.2

Let’s take a look at some basic examples below.

Sketches

Designers frequently begin the clothing-making process with a sketch. This sketch can be created manually, digitally, or both ways. In the sketches, designers are essentially creating geometric shapes, lines, and angles while also ensuring symmetry or an intentional lack of it. The study of shapes, patterns, and sizes, as well as how they relate to one another in space is known as geometry, and is a fundamental branch of math.3

Designs

The arrangement and interrelationships of the design elements are defined mathematically. It aids in defining the framework for how components are arranged in a design. The placement of vertical and horizontal lines in striped or checkered clothing is an illustration of this. Even in highly abstract patterns, geometric shapes like triangles, squares, circles, and zigzags may be present in varying amounts. On the other hand, organic patterns are those that resemble elements in nature; depending on the pattern chosen, they may or may not be geometric. This is because nature contains various radial and symmetrical shapes that are appealing. Designers frequently combine abstract and organic patterns to create new patterns by utilizing the geometry found in both organic and abstract patterns.3

Inventory

Math is used by clothing-selling stores to determine how many of each item they should stock in each location. In order to prevent an inventory backlog, they compare the quantity sold and the number of pieces on hand with what was initially ordered.4

Measurements

A piece of clothing cannot be created without measurements. They are essential for ensuring that the clothing will fit the models displaying it. Additionally, it’s crucial to properly accommodate the customers’ measurements.4

Price of Items

The cost of the clothes must be determined by the designers. Additionally, math is used by the retailers to determine how much to charge for the clothing as well as how and when to offer discounts.4

Expenses

Calculating the cost of fabric, hangers, thread, and other necessities for the fashion industry involves math. Calculations are also performed to determine the clothing’s production costs.4

Proportions

Some clothing items have a specific cut and are made to fit a specific body type. Based on how certain models’ proportions compare to the cut of the clothing, certain pieces are chosen for them to wear. Math is used to ensure that the measurements of the model and the clothing match up.4

Return on Investment (ROI)

Designers must ensure that their return will be sufficient to offset all of the costs of the initial investment before purchasing the materials used to make the clothing. Calculating the profit involves quite a bit of math.4

According to research, incorporating STEM into the study of fashion design can boost students’ academic and creative abilities.3 This lends credence to the notion that fashion can be a tool for deciphering and furthering mathematical concepts. There will, perhaps, be a greater mathematical influence on fashion design due to people’s love of patterns in clothing and constant quest for new styles and patterns in the coming years. Fashion designers who use math may also have their own field. Math can be used to create and explore various fashion print designs, and fashion can be used to explain and deduce math concepts, thus bridging the gap between math and fashion that is often perceived.3 Having learned how math is used in fashion design, you can explore other articles on BYJU’s FutureSchool Blog to learn how it is used in dance, music, architecture, and so much more.

References:

1. AMS :: Mathematics Meets Fashion: Thurston’s Concepts Inspire Designer. (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from http://www.ams.org/publicoutreach/ams-news-releases/thurston-miyake
2. How Do Fashion Designers Use Math? (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://www.reference.com/business-finance/fashion-designers-use-math-ef448c84865af92f
3. Science to Share | Fashion & Mathematics: Is there a connection we rarely see? (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://science-communication.sites.uu.nl/2021/11/11/fashion-mathematics-is-there-a-connection-we-rarely-see/?lang=en
4. How Does Math Work in Fashion Everyday? (n.d.). Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://careertrend.com/how-does-math-work-in-fashion-everyday-12226968.html