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Exploring jacquard weaving as an applied digital practice for textile design research and development

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posted on 09.03.2020 by Kerri Akiwowo, Lucy Dennis

A practitioner-research investigation into reinterpreting historical fashion and textiles artefacts through digital design process was undertaken by an undergraduate Textiles: Innovation and Design student specialising in Integrated Digital Practice. The collaborative exploratory study was co-supervised by academics from two different design disciplines: Textile Design and Product Design and Technology; and by an Organic Chemist as to support the coloration aspects of the work. The research was underpinned by a textile design perspective and jacquard weaving was identified as a relevant process to consider and explore how objects from the past may be redefined using an applied approach, particularly in terms of contemporary design. Future development opportunities within a textile design research context were also considered such as new knowledge relating to methods, techniques, procedures, software, processing parameters, creative insights and production implications, for example. The project demonstrates a synthesis of historical objects with research insights through creative digital technologies and systematic investigation.

The Collections Resource Centre in Leicestershire, United Kingdom, was employed for the study of selected archival garments. Three items from different eras were chosen and interrogated further using qualitative data gathering methods such as: observational drawing, sketch, photography and colour studies. This first-hand examination of the garments along with hands on interpretation and a CAD approach steered the design process which focused on trompe l’oeil three-dimensional illusion techniques. As such, the practice elements of the project explored draping, fringing, tonal colour, stripes, florals, folds, pleats, frayed edges, gathers and ruffles as inspiration. Design demonstration of experimental ideas and techniques include drawings, paper manipulation and digitally woven samples. Results of this work identified areas for further investigation regarding digital jacquard weaving and design innovation relating to: precision with colour; bespoke gradient techniques; and engineered reversible fabrics.


Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice

University of Bolton

23-24 January 2019


Photographs by Tony Radcliffe and Di Downs.

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