Fashion designers use a lot of math. They use addition and subtraction to find out if they will make a profit on the clothes they make. The profit on a piece of clothing is the amount of money earned from selling it minus all the costs of making it. For example, let’s say a designer makes a dress. She buys the fabric for $70.00.
Let's say, that the zipper costs her $5.00. She buys the thread for $3.00. She pays someone $40.00 to sew the dress. The designer uses addition to find out how much it cost her to make the dress: $70.00 + $5.00 + $3.00 + 40.00 = $118.00 The dress cost the designer $118.00 to make. Now suppose she sells the dress for $160.00. She uses subtraction to calculate her profit. She subtracts her costs from the amount she received: $160.00 – $118.00 = $42.00 So, the designer made a profit of $42.00 on the dress.
What happens if the collar is too wide? Shirt collars often have a thin strip of fabric around the edge for decoration. After making the collar, the designer notices that the strip is too wide. She must cut off some fabric from the strip. But how much?
The designer can use fractions to figure this out. She looks at her sketch and sees that the strip should be 3/8 inches wide. She measures the strip. It is 7/8 inches wide. So she must subtract the fractions:
7/8 - 3/8 = 4/8 which 1/2 inch. So she must cut 1/2 an inch of the fabric.
Two figures are congruent, when you place one over the other, the first one exactly covers the second. They have the same shape and size.
Congruent figures can make clothing interesting.
Look at the skirt shown above. It has small triangles on it. The designer made sure that all the triangles have the same size and shape. That makes the skirt pleasing to the eye.
Designers measure a lot. They measure fabric. They measure people. In fact, of all the math skills that designers use, they probably use measurement the most. The picture above shows many different measurements a designer has to make. Again, precise measurements are important so you got to know your math well.
How do you become a fashion designer?
You need to have a real interest in fashion, and you need an education. You must develop have good math skills. And you have to work hard. Fashion designers are artistic. They’re good at coming up with ideas. And they have ideas about what looks good. To be a designer, you’ll need to develop these skills. Study the clothes that people wear. Learn what colors go well together. Take art classes. Learn how to sew. Practice sketching. Also, learn how to measure accurately. This is really important as symmetry and patterns are very important in design, and you can get them right only with precision, which can only be done with a good knowledge of math. A lot of fashion designers run their own business or are freelancers. Knowing math will also help you keep track of your costs.
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