A Captive Audience

What is unstitched?
December 1, 2010, 10:59 pm
Filed under: Development | Tags: , ,

I’ve called my gowns Unstitched.  This, in fact was not entirely true, they were lightly stitched, or even highly stitched, but in different ways to how a garment is conventionally stitched.  Certainly, they are a reaction against special occasionwear that is tightly stitched – too much so for it’s required durability.  (Although the durability requirements of a gown might be a source of contention – based on the salon sample/retail model of the designer)  In any case, my question here is who else is doing unstitched?

A search of the term “Unstitched” reveals that it is used predominantly in regards to Indian fabrics.  It doesn’t mean fabric that will never be cut or sewn, rather denotes fabric that is yet to be made into clothes.  The advantage in unstitched fabric is that it is intended for custom manufacture to suit the individual.

This process is descibed in a number of websites such as Buzzle or here is a supplier in Pakistan selling unstitched blouses.  Unstitched might have an embroidery detail around the neckline.  This can be cut around and the garment made up to fit the individual.  In the same vein,  this online retailer offers unstitched Salwar Kameez.

According to Wikipedia, a draped garment is “a garment that is made of unstitched cloth that is held to the body by means of pins, fibulae, or clasps, sashes or belts, tying or friction and gravity alone.  Many draped garments are one-piece garments.” Examples of such garments include:

This is interesting in that it encourages me to expand the thinking of what I might be designing and making outside the realm of “gown”.  In considering drape, I have previously kept my idea of drape close to the western notion of drape – a draped gown, usually bias cut and related to Vionnet, or a draped outer layer of a gown, manipulated over a corset.

Button Masala is a concept by designer Anuj Sharma.  It aims to make people more involved with their clothes.  It is a simple concept of a length of fabric sewn with buttons and straps.  The arrangement of the fabric and attachment of the straps is flexible.

Others using the word “unstitched” include:

Unstitched Utilities is a shoe company that designs street shoes.  For this brand – unstitched means espousing corporate careers for the freedom associated with running ones own fashion and fashion and design label.  They also do an eco-friendly range of Tyvek shoes called Unpressed.

UN-stitched is the name of a blog that profiles emerging fashion designers and the influence of new media in fashion.

Australian Fashion Unstitched is a book chronicling the last 60 year of Australian fashion.