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How math is usedin Design

Fashion designers play a crucial role in the satisfaction of one ofthe human being’s basic needs: clothing. Math is pertinent infashion design as designers deal with patterns, measurements, units,sketches and prototypes. Some of the mathematical skills applied inthe process of creating clothes include basic calculations, geometry,symmetrical and asymmetrical figures, profit and loss, angles andlines.

First, when sewing and selling fashion designers must incorporateaspects of mathematics such as addition and subtraction to assess theamount of money spent as this plays a vital role in setting theprices for the cloth. For example, a designer can buy a piece offabric for $70, zipper for $6, thread for $4, and incurs an extra $25for hiring a person to sew the dress. To determine the cost of makingthe dress the designer has to complete the following sum

$70 + $6+$4 +$25=$105.

$105 is the amount of money the designer has to spend and supposes hefix the selling price for the dress as $140. He will make $30 as theprofit.


Amount in dollars











Selling price




In addition to calculating the prices, addition and subtraction arepertinent to designers when determining the measurements (Bertolletti&amp Stewart, 14) . For example, suppose a designer needs a 2/5 inchwide strip, but upon measuring the strip on the shirt he isdesigning, he realizes that it is 7/10 inches wide. It means that hemust subtract the fractions


It means that the design must cut off 3/10 of the material to obtainhis desired strip. In so doing the designer has used the concept ofthe Least Common Denominator.

Sometimes instead of making a sketch, designers make prototypes. Inthis case, the designer must determine the amount of fabric he needs.However, fabric is mostly sold in yards hence, when buying a pieceof fabric, it usually comprises of some whole number of yards. Forexample, let say a designer buys a 1-yard long piece of fabric, butone yard is equivalent to 3 feet hence he will have 3 feet offabric. Besides, the designer has to understand that most pieces offabric measures 4 feet in width. This means that a 3 feet fabriccomprises of 12 square of material in it. This is determined throughmultiplication

4 feet × 3 feet=12 square feet

Thus, when a designer wants to make a prototype that is about 30square feet, he will require 3 yards of material and expect to beleft with 6 squares of materials

In addition to prototypes, designers make use of congruent shapes. Bycongruent shapes, it means that placing one figure on top of theother produces a complete match in terms of the shape and size. Whenmaking congruent shapes such as triangles and circles in clothes,designers only design one pair of their desired shape and by placingit in the position where they want a similar shape to appear, theycan draw the exact shape and size. When making congruent shapes,designers also rely on the knowledge of line of symmetry to ensurethat the shapes look alike in all aspects (Bertolletti, &ampStewart, 10) .

During sketching, designers use lines. For example, when a designeris sketching stripes on a man’ suit, he ensures that he drawsparallel lines where the stripes will appear. From the basic skillsin mathematics, parallel lines do not cross or intersect each otherand leave a space between them. Designers also make use ofperpendicular lines. As opposed to parallel lines that do notintersect, perpendicular lines do cross each other, and the point ofintersections must be 90 º.

Designers also rely on angles when making certain shapes. Forexample, when a designer intends to create a shirt that contains aV-shaped collar, angles come to play when determining how large orsmall the collar’s opening will be. For example, if they want anarrow collar opening, they can settle for a 25 º angle, and whenthey want a wide collar opening, they can use a 90 º.

In conclusion, designers rely heavily on mathematical concepts suchas basic computations, lines of symmetry, geometry, measurementconversions, lengths and lines among others to create clothes.

Work Cited

Bertolletti, John. C., &amp Stewart, Rhea. A. How Fashion Designersuse Math. Google Books.