Our Calibration Sweater is the secret behind all of Unmade’s designs, but what is it, how did it come to exist, and why is it so important?
You may be familiar with the term the ‘uncanny valley’ — it’s the dip in emotional response when we realise that something that initially looks real, actually isn’t. The calibration model was born as a response to the challenge of how to effectively show a garment that doesn’t yet exist, in all of its multiple variations, and to make it look real enough that you’d want to wear it.
The solution was the calibration sweater, essentially a highly customisable tailor’s dummy. The brainchild of Unmade co-founder, Kirsty, and Unmade tech supremo, Greg, this is what enables us to translate physical designs into digital and vice-versa. The calibration sweater uses an isometric grid of 600+ plotted reference points. Rather than photographing each Unmade design individually on a model, our models are shot wearing calibration sweaters, then each design is digitally mapped onto the calibration base, allowing the pattern to be personalised. The calibration sweaters we use for shoots are green with an orange grid, colours which tend not to appear in human skin tones — rather than the more wearable black and white versions you can buy on Unmade.com.
Although it’s the only garment on Unmade.com that you can’t personalise,
it tells its own unique story and underpins the entire unmaking process.