Monday, July 8, 2013

Costume: Types of Folds

Discussing costume this week.  Among things to remember about drawing costume are the types of folds that go into the costume.  Folds radiate from the origin of where the cloth is coming n contant with itself or another material.  Joints like shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles all act as origins for folds.  If we naturally didn't have arms or legs like a snake or egg, costume would be much easier to draw due to teh absence of those pesky folds emanating from our joints.
There are two major categories that folds fall into; Hanging and Supported.
Hanging folds are folds from unsupported material.  They collect/hang in a natural pattern and if there is only one origin, the material will hang in a series of triangles or tubes called 'pipe folds' as shown below.
If the material has two origins, supported from two points, it will fall into what is called a diaper fold, with folds radiating alternately downward in a sort of zig zag pattern resembling a diaper as see off the right arm while pipe folds are being created on the left arm.  Depending on the material, many of the folds will blend in to one larger pipe fold as it travels down the cloth.
 In the simplified drawing below, pipe folds cascade down the under layer of of a toga.  A diaper fold is also shown across the breasts and pull folds are seen at the shoulder joints.  Pull folds will be discussed later.

The complete toga is a series of pipe folds but as the material is wrapped around the figure, pull folds begin to happen.
When the material is not just hanging but sewed together so it 'fits' the figure, the folds are called supported. Supported folds include; Pull or tension  folds, compression folds, and spiral folds. 
In this example of a 1950's Cheerleader uniform, the pleated skirt creates a series of pipe folds.  Because the blouse is tucked in to the wrapped portion (spiral folds) of the skirt, we see many compression folds and also in the cuffs.
Spiral folds generally happen with lighter cloth and the material makes circular patterns around the arms and legs when the sleeves or leggings or tighter on the appendages.  Wear a long sleeve shirt and push the cuff up forearm and you will see spiral folds.
Pull or tension folds are made when the figure twists or moves in a way counter to the origin. Below, the shirt is tucked into the blue jeans.  The model's twisting motion is causing pull folds to move up from the waistline to the chest.  Also pull folds are happening through the crotch line in the jeans.  Compression folds are happening at teh knees and ankles as the heavy jean material "piles" at these points.
I will continue with this in a little while, stay tuned.


Julia said...

Aaaah, beautiful beautiful folds! I'll always keep the reference packet you created for our costume class. Awesome tips in there and this post! :)

Jeff Jackson said...

Thanks Julia! Sorry it took over two years to reply.