Understanding TR Cutting in the World of Fashion

Understanding TR Cutting in the World of Fashion

Fashion designing is an exciting career option as there is always so much to learn. From understanding the basics of fashion to delving deep into garment construction and pattern making, a bachelor’s degree in fashion and apparel designing can teach you so much. Off late, one garment construction technique that has taken the internet by storm is TR cutting. Everybody seems to be talking about this cool pattern-making technique. Learning this technique opens up a gamut of possibilities in the life of every fashion student.

What is TR Cutting?

TR stands for Transformational Reconstruction. It is a unique approach to fashion designing developed by Japanese couture designer, Shingo Sato. He not only designs for private clients but also teaches in both Tokyo and Milan. The technique is based on fabric manipulation and volume insertion shaping. It is a kind of Origami pattern cutting. It is the process of cutting and draping fabric in 3D from 2D surfaces. It flows around the body in a flattering manner. Usually in garment construction, pattern drawing is done in two dimensions and flat patterns are used as templates. However today, fashion designers and couturiers are drawing from a third-dimensional perspective. 

The TR cutting technique created by Shingo allows designers to create complex designs that can seamlessly fit various body shapes. Since TR cutting involves geometric shapes and unusual cuts, designers can achieve flattering silhouettes and textures that were previously difficult to achieve.

Features of TR Cutting

Dart Manipulation

As the name implies, dart manipulation involves moving or repositioning darts to produce a different outcome. It is a technique of moving darts by folding and shutting existing darts, and cutting it open anywhere a new dart is required. Luxury fashion brand, Balenciaga, often relies on dart manipulation when designing all their garments. Executing dart manipulation on a bodice gives it a nice, fitted look. With this technique, you can also create a layered bodice. 

Draping & Fabric Manipulation

For designers who want to create unique and stylish garments, fabric manipulation works wonders. It is a type of technique used in TR cutting. It involves draping the fabric directly on the model or mannequin to create sculptural shapes. A few fabric manipulation techniques involve gathering, folding, twisting, layering and pleating. By doing so, volume and texture can be created. 

Geometric Patterns

TR cutting is heavily inspired by geometrics. It uses various shapes as a starting point. In order to achieve striking designs, patterns are cut in unconventional and asymmetrical shapes and then combined with lines, curves and angular edges. 

Zero-waste Pattern Cutting

A sustainable garment construction technique is zero-waste pattern cutting. It is all about using every inch of the fabric resulting in zero-waste. Pieces of fabric are arranged in a jigsaw-like pattern and are then interlocked to create something trendy. If pieces of fabric are left even after that, they are used to create embellishments and other motifs. 

Fluid Construction

Sato’s approach focuses on seamless garment construction. Every pattern piece flows effortlessly from one section to the other. This reduces visible seams and creates fluidity in the design. 

There are no two thoughts about the fact that Shingo Sato has revolutionised the fashion industry with his TR pattern cutting technique. 


Pattern making is the backbone of garment construction and the fashion design process. As an aspiring designer, learning how to work with three-dimensional fabrics is truly interesting. Also, it broadens your horizon to create garments for various body types. Transformational Reconstruction (TR) is not just a cutting method but a medium to achieve any shape you want. Vogue’s fashion education curriculum focuses on innovative pattern-cutting techniques so that students can dare to be more creative as future designers. 

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