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Carlo Volpi

Knit Blog

10th October 2013, London

Subtraction Cutting

Three years ago I met Julian Roberts for the first time at a lecture during the first week of my MA. Like other members of staff at the Royal College, Julian introduced himself and talked about his practice as a pattern cutter.

I was somewhat familiar with his work, I remembered seeing his name and his collections in magazines, but I had never met him before. Julian is a graduate from the RCA, where he studied menswear, and the inventor of a revolutionary method of pattern cutting, called "Subtraction Cutting".

© Carlo Volpi

I will not go into explaining in detail how this method works on here, even because I'm not an expert, but it is a very creative and intuitive method that always gives unexpected and quick results. I attended one of Julian's workshop and, believe it or not, made a dress in a couple of hours.

© Carlo Volpi

What I found really inspiring about Julian is not only his work but his desire to share it with the world: I feel that many people who work with ideas tend to be extremely protective of what they know and what they do.

© Carlo Volpi

Competition usually rules out collaborations and shared knowledge, and in my opinion this completely defeats the point of what we do as creative people. I believe the owner of an idea should always be acknowledged, but being too precious about knowledge stands in the way of improving us as a society, which is the ultimate goal of designing. I found it really impressive that Julian refused to copyright his technique, he has been teaching it extensively in many places around the world so that a great multitude of designers could learn it, develop it further and adapt it to their work. I think this is just wonderful!

© Carlo Volpi

Julian has recently made his “Subtraction Cutting” book available to download for free, you can find a link to that and many other videos on his Facebook page "Subtraction Cutting by Julian Roberts" and on his website www.julianand.com .


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