Petit Pli, photos by Ryan Mario Yasin

Petit Pli invents clothing that grows with kids

Posted on 17 July 2018.

Developed by Ryan Yasin, a London engineer and designer, the technical and evolutive Petit Pli clothing adapts to the size of the child from 4 to 36 months.

Scalable, resistant and durable, Petit Pli clothes follow kids as they grow – for ages 4 to 36 months!

Kids change the size of their clothes about seven times in the first two years of life! Having brought clothes back for his nephew from a trip to Denmark, Ryan Mario Yasin, a young 25-year-old English engineer, realized that they were already too small when he gave them to the boy a few weeks later.

This waste got the young graduate of both Imperial College London – specializing in design and deployable structures - and the Royal College of Art in London thinking. Ryan Mario Yasin decided to apply origami principles to a design for smart evolving clothing. He reproduced the famous folding and unfolding art in his designs for a collection of clothes that follows kids as they grow. And he baptized his project Petit Pli in homage to the famous pleats of Japanese designer Issey Miyake. He finally launched his start-up in 2017.

Smart fabric

But the story doesn’t end there. The novel part of the project is that Ryan's creation is based less on textile design skills than on science! Because the young man took inspiration not from his sketchbooks, but from the principles he learned when studying aeronautical engineering. He therefore designed a "smart" technical fabric, applying what in mechanics is called negative Poisson’s ratio, that is to say an auxetic structure: this means that the internal structure deforms when stretched, becoming thicker, perpendicular to the applied force. When the fabric stretches it grows bi-directionally! A principle already used for biomedical implants.

To create his clothes, Ryan studied child ergonomics, developed nearly 500 prototypes, and worked on a special fabric, which has a patent pending. Resistant, waterproof, breathable and lightweight, the Petit Pli range - sleeping bag, jacket or pants - will fit children aged 4 to 36 months! Great for de-cluttering closets and reducing the use of raw materials.

In September 2017, Ryan's invention won the national James Dyson Award. Thanks to the 2,000 pounds sterling (about €2,265) he won, Ryan Mario Yasin continued his research, looking for investors and retailers interested in his "smart" fabric and his origami line. In any case, he is sure that his line of responsible and evolving clothing will be enough to attract parents looking for reasonable and reasoned consumption for their little kids.