French Curve

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

french curve

[¦french ′kərv]
(graphic arts)
A guide, usually made of clear plastic, used for making regular, irregular, and reverse curves in mechanical drawings and illustrations.

French Curve


(also template; see [2] below). (1) A drawing instrument for drawing or checking curved lines in drafting or design work; they may have fixed or variable curvature. French curves with fixed curvature are wooden, plastic, or less frequently metal plates with a curved edge. A curve with variable curvature is usually a steel guide bar with an arrangement for varying its configuration (curvature).

(2) Template, a scaleless measuring instrument or layout device (pattern) for checking or outlining curved contours of shaped parts. It is used in machine building and shipbuilding. It is a steel plate with a working edge that describes the inverse (complementary) profile of an object. Measurements are usually made by estimating the width of the gap between the template and the object with a clearance gauge.

References in periodicals archive ?
An airy middle level is punctuated by floating cloudlike forms in filmy gray charcoal; the overlapping curves and evanescent ghostly images are a result of snapping a french curve over a surface dusted with charcoal powder.
SUPPLIES * Short-sleeve button-down shirt pattern with horizontal bust darts b vertical waist darts (such as McCall's 6750) * Cotton poplin fabric (amount according to the pattern envelope) * Lightweight fusible interfacing & notions (according to pattern envelope) * All-purpose thread * Pattern or tracing paper * Rulers: French curve b straight * Clear tape PREPARE Cut out the pattern pieces.
Using a French curve, draw a curved line connecting points C and F; label the line "armhole.
Using a French curve, draw a slightly curved line from this line to the upper-edge line end point; label the line "neckline.
Draw a line using an appropriate ruler, such as a French curve or yardstick if the desired seam is curved or straight.
SUPPLIES * Top/blouse pattern without darts * Muslin * Pattern paper * Rulers: French curve & straight ALTER Make a muslin fitting sample of the selected pattern.
Using a French curve, draw a curved armscye line from point G, gradually blending into the J/l line.
To blend the sizing for larger hips and a smaller waist, align a French curve with the larger-size pattern sideseam line (1).
If you find a V-neck you like, align a French curve with the neckline edge, and then note the numbers on the French curve at the neckline upper point (at the shoulder seam) and lower point (at the center Front) (2).
Invented in the late 1880s, the French curve is used by mathematicians, engineers and sewists alike.
Connect points N and C using a French curve, making sure the neckline is square at the center front.