University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
School of Architecture College of Design

Alternative Construction & Techniques

Innovative design methods and construction processes reduce environmental impact by minimizing
the use of hazardous materials and decreasing the amount of natural resource use. A healthier
environment is fostered by


❚ Zero waste construction – Minimizing waste by designing flat pieces of a garment
like a jigsaw puzzle. This dramatically reduces the typical 15% fabric waste per garment
that is usually discarded.
❚ Additional methods are
Dry needle felting process
Lapped seams
Using few pattern piece shapes
Reduced components – nearly zero thread usage, no interfacings, few closure items


❚ Non-woven fabric – Can be formed directly from fibers using multiple methods
(needle punching, bonding, fusing fibers together)
Less processing of fiber and finishing of fabric equals lower production costs
Using non-woven fabric eliminates need for finishing edges
❚ Digital textile printing – Ink/dye goes directly onto the cloth leaving little waste to
go into water
Fabric is steamed to fix the dye then rinsed to remove any excess

Contact Information

Goldstein Museum of Design

364 McNeal Hall,

1985 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108

P: 612-624-7434 |

[directions and maps]