These Petit Pli ‘origami’ clothes grow with your child to save you thousands
During the first two years of a child’s life, they can grow a staggering seven clothes sizes, costing the average UK parent £2,000 by the time they reach their third birthday.
In an attempt to solve this issue, engineer Ryan Yasin, 24, has designed a clothing range that “grows” with a child. Inspired by origami, the Petit Pli range takes advantage of a particular type of fabric that gets wider and thicker as it stretches, rather than thinner like a rubber band, for example.
A so-called auxetic structure has been embedded into Petit Pli fabrics, giving the clothing what’s known as a negative Poisson’s ratio. This is caused by the way the internal structure deforms when pulled, becoming thicker perpendicular to the applied force. The clothes are designed to be outerwear, rather than everyday clothes. On his website, Yasin said all the garments have been tested and designed to be machine washable and will dry easily.
Rather than just stretching, though, Yasin studied ergonomic data of children as they grow to design a structure that keeps a defined shape at different stages of the child’s growth, meaning it will continue to fit the child even as their body changes and their torso lengthens, for example.
Yasin said his patent pending design is also inspired by deployable satellite panels, expanding in what’s known as an “orchestrated event”.
“Petit Pli is designed from the ground up for children; it is not miniaturised adult clothing,” explained Yasin. By pleating and heating the material, Yasin was also able to seal it making the garments machine washable, weatherproof, stain-proof and packable.
“The first prototype was a pair of trousers I had sewn together and cooked in my oven at home, they fit onto my newborn nephew and my two-year-old niece,” continued Yasin.
“The concept of Petit Pli is built upon using materials resourcefully. This all amounts to less material waste at production; labour; transportation (CO2 emissions); and waste at end of life.”
The prototype currently promises to fit any child from the age of four months up to 36 months and won the national James Dyson Award, a design prize inspired by British inventor Sir James Dyson.
As part of the prize, Yasin’s design team won £2,000 and he will now compete internationally for the global prize of £30,000 against the winners from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and US.
Petit Pli is due to go on sale in a range of colours and shapes “soon.” You can sign up for updates on Yasin’s website.
Images: Ryan Mario Yasin/Paul Grover/James Dyson Foundation