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Brief History of the French Curves

Brief History of the French Curves

If you have ever taken a drawing class you know of these items, graphic designer know them, artists know them, drafting and architectural pros knows of them, but in an era of digital content creation tools do you really need these tools? 


Today we are exploring why french curves is not only a good tools to keep whether you are a hobbyist or a professional, but why french curves are one of the best items to have for making the perfect curve.



A Brief History


Its invention dates back to the 1880s used by mathematicians, engineers, and sewist. Originally used for architectural and drafting applications. Comprised of various templates the french curve comes in many different sizes and designs. The materials range from wood, plastic to metal. The french curve being used in drafting its application can be found in fashion/textile design. The design outline inside the french curve is called the euler spiral, these curves changes linearly with the curves length. Euler spirals are also called spiros, clothoids, or corny spirals. 

Eurler spirals applications in history have contributed to railroad engineering/highway engineer for connecting geometry between tangent and circular curves.


Applications and Daily Uses of French Curves:


Coco Channel, Karl Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Christian Diro, Oscar de la renta, Giani Versace. In an era before computer these fashion designers most likely had used an application for french curves. French curves used for high fashion design are mostly useful for designing necklines, sleeves, bust, and waist variations. 

While historically used also by architectural and drafting applications time has replaced these tools for a digital counterparts in programs like CAD, Maya as well as other 3D drafting programs, but its application is still being used by graphic artist and designers who need to create a model or a draft outline. It's quick application is used to edit a complicated layered file to see if the changes are worth editing.


How To Use:

Most applications of the french curves are for the garment and pattern alterations to add new lines, design, or fitting changes. Its daily use can differ depending on the application. Drafting curves such as these greatly differ from garment french curves. The drafting french curves are excellent for presentation and model making as well as planning and drafting.

It's use greatly depending on how technical and scale the curves needs to be, but it's fairly straightforward and easy to use. This is quite needed because getting the exact curve each time is a necessity.


Why French Curves Are Needed:

French curves are a necessary tool to really have a proper grasp whether it's technical drawing or drafting architectural drawing it's a tools that helps build the fundamentals. It helps shape your creative technical skill set to go even further than before.

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