A new design could make kids clothes that fit the same child from three months to three years old. Ryan Yasin has won the James Dyson award for his work on the Petit Pli clothing range.
Yasin aimed to overcome one of the most frustrating problems for parents: the way very young children outgrow clothes long before they wear out. The Guardian cites one survey that suggests that on average parents spend just under US$,4000 on clothes before a child turns three.
The clothing is an adaptation of characteristics of materials used in other areas such as biomedicine and engineering, specifically the Poisson’s ratio that measures how stretching a material in one direction usually causes it to narrow in the opposing direction. Some materials, known as auxetics, are structured in a way that gives them a negative Poisson’s ratio, meaning stretching causes it to expand in both directions.
The Petit Pli clothing achieves this by having a grid of pleating that runs in both directions. This allows the clothing to be expanded and then fixed at the new size with heat treatment. The design allows the child to work their way up through seven sizes. The clothing is waterproof and machine washable. It can also be folded down to fit into a pocket.
Yasin will now use his $2,500 prize money as initial funding towards commercial production.