With him possessing the distinction of being the only Japanese fashion designer to have participated as a guest in Paris’s Haute Couture Fashion Week, YUIMA NAKAZATO developed the TYPE-1 production system so that his designs could be fashioned with no use at all of needle and thread. Instead, the fabrics and materials he utilizes are cut to precision with a laser cutter, and the parts then married to one another by a system of eyelets and special fasteners. YUIMA, who shocked the fashion world with such a simple and unique approach, held an exhibition & limited sale of some of his pieces at THE GINZA SPACE (in Tokyo’s Ginza) from June to September of 2019. During PART 2 of the exhibition that ran from late July, a Trotec Speedy 300 laser cutter was installed at the venue, and, in what was a world-first, pieces of avant-garde clothing were created then and there by the customized cutting of fabrics in accordance with customer wishes.
Venue: THE GINZA SPACE (Ginza Seigetsudo Bldg., 5-9-15 Ginza)
- PART 1: June 15 – July 21, 2019
- PART 2: July 27 – September 1, 2019
Laser Cutter Applications→ A laser cutter was installed for the purpose of creating clothing at the venue by making use of the simple and unique TYPE-1 production system developed by YUIMA NAKAZATO.
Trotec Units IntroducedA Trotec Speedy 300 laser cutter (CO2、30W) and a Atmos Mono Plus exhaust
Driven by the vision of “wanting to provide lots of people with one-of-a-kind clothing,” YUIMA NAKAZATO commenced his current activities roughly four years ago. Until then, due to the considerable costs involved, one-of-a-kind clothing had only been worn by a select few around the world. To transform the existing cost paradigm, YUIMA gave some thought to how he could update the process by which clothing itself was produced. In terms of the big picture, the production of clothing can be broken down into four major tasks: The first involves taking the body’s measurements. That being completed, patterns can then be drawn up, fabrics cut, and sewing done. Of the four, the cutting of fabrics has traditionally been done by placing pairs of scissors in the hands of craftspeople. However, to transform the existing cost paradigm, now throughout the world a variety of different machinery is being employed as attempts are made to realize greater cutting efficiencies. Nevertheless, it is impossible to significantly change how clothing is made simply by achieving greater efficiencies in the cutting of fabrics. That is because the fabric pieces in question still need to be sewn together in order to make the actual clothes. Accordingly, YUIMA developed a unique method of marrying pieces of fabric to one another that did not require sewing. Using that method, once cut, the individual fabric pieces are fixed together using a system of eyelets and specialized fasteners that resemble beads. For the system to work well, however, it is necessary to accurately site the eyelet holes in the fabric through which the beads are designed to pass. The process of cutting the eyelets while concurrently cutting the fabric to pattern, however, is one that is far in excess of the capabilities of existing fabric-cutting machinery. Instead, YUIMA decided to employ a laser cutter that proved capable of almost instantly positioning eyelets accurately while concurrently proceeding with the larger task of cutting fabric pieces to pattern.
For YUIMA to greatly transform all four of the existing production tasks, he felt the most applicable approach was to make use of a laser cutter. Having decided to do so, he started by testing various cutting methods on a variety of materials from paper to fabrics. Having done that, he realized that a laser cutter could cut accurately to measurement and quickly as well. Normally, when cutting fabric, a roller cutter is used. However, on this occasion, with the clothing that YUIMA hoped to produce, it was necessary to be able to cut meticulously. That being said, a roller cutter cannot always produce beautiful edges, and it also finds it difficult to cut patterns that feature sharp corners. Additionally, in that YUIMA’s designs required that a large number of eyelets with a circumference of just two millimeters be accurately positioned in the fabric, a laser was felt to be capable of doing both tasks.
“When starting out, I trialed the laser cutters of a number of manufacturers. In doing so, however, I encountered a range of accuracy issues such as the power output of the laser not being stable, fabrics being burnt, incomplete cutting, and vibrations in the cutting head resulting in non-straight lines. Another issue was that small corrections to settings needed to be made depending on the type of fabric that was being cut, however, despite doing that, for each cut there were minor discrepancies in the results achieved. While trialing the cutting of a variety of different equipment, I came to appreciate that the accuracy, stability and speed of the laser were very important, and that without a well-balanced unit, it was not possible to make clothes effectively. Having done all that, I arrived at the decision to use a Trotec laser cutter. For me, the Trotec model I used I found perfect in every way.”