Despite recent developments towards on-demand, individualized garment design and fabrication, the majority of processes in the fashion industry are still inefficient and heavily dependent on manual work. A significant amount of recent research in this area has been focused on supporting designers to digitally create sewing patterns and shapes, but there is little work on textured fabrics. Aligning textile patterns like stripes or plaid along garment seams requires an experienced tailor and is thus reserved only for expensive, high-end garments. We present an interactive algorithm for automatically aligning repetitive textile patterns along seams for a given garment, allowing a user to make design choices at each step of our pipeline. Our approach is based on the 17 wallpaper groups and the symmetries they exhibit. We exploit these symmetries to optimize the alignment of the sewing pattern with the textured fabric for each of its pieces, determining where to cut the fabric. We optionally alter the sewing pattern slightly for a perfect fit along seams, without visibly changing the 3D shape of the garment. The pieces can then be cut automatically by a CNC or laser cutter. Our approach fits within the pipeline of digital garment design, eliminating the difficult, manual step of aligning and cutting the garment pieces by hand.
We are grateful to Michael Rabinovich, Oliver Glauser, Christian Schüller, Shihao Wu and Alex Ion for invaluable discussions and help with the video, Rafael Wampfler for shirt examples and Magenta Zeng for textured cloth swatches. We thank Igarashi Lab for hosting the first author’s visit while working on this project.