Designing Textiles. Objectives ---~ ~ H member will:

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1 Designing Textiles Objectives 4-H member will: learn the steps for designing a fabric use a variety of resources to develop an understanding of textile design practice designing fabrics INTRODUCTION At first thought, designing textiles may seem simpler than designing a garment, but in reality, it can be more difficult. There are many factors that combine to make the actual fabric. An understanding of fibers, yarns, fabric construction, and dyeing and finishing processes is needed to achieve the desired finished textile design. Textile science is the identification of fiber and textile constructions, dyestuffs, and printing techniques. However, the first step is to study actual fabrics. This involves visiting fabric and apparel stores and fabric manufacturers. Studying the types of fabrics used for certain garments, seasonal fabrics, care required, colors, dyes, and methods of dyeing will increase one's knowledge. Some of the information needed is available in school textbooks, libraries, and county Extension offices. Textile kits are sometimes available from the county Extension office and may be checked out. Also, there are several lessons from the current 4-H Clothing Leader Guide that pertain to textile design and can be easily incorporated into a design project. This will provide a good understanding of various aspects of textile design. Textile designers must remember that an apparel designer selects fabrics on the basis of price, aesthetics, fashion, and the fabric's suitability for the line. A lovely fabric may be rejected if it is too similar to another fabric in their line. Apparel designers look for different weights and textures. Textile designers can create unique prints or fabric colors to give their line an edge on the competition. Apparel designers constantly consider who their customers will be. FIBERS AND FABRIC STRUCTURES Fabrics are made from either natural or synthetic fibers. Wool, cotton, mohair, ramie, silk, and flax (linen) are natural fibers and come from vegetable, animal, and mineral sources. Nylon, rayon, ~ ~

2 polyester, and acetate are just some of the synthetic (man-made) fibers derived from various sources. These man-made fibers can be created from minerals, metals, rubber, or polymers (chemicals). Throughout history, each culture has made its own unique contributions in fabric structures, designs, and types. Fabrics may be woven, knitted, knotted, or felted from yarns and/or fibers. This is called fabrication and refers to the type of fabric produced. The method of construction of the textile determines the character of the fabric and involves the following three elements: SURFACEINTEREST- color, aesthetics, pattern, and texture WEIGHT - how much a given amount of the fabric weighs; for example 6 ounce denim is much lighter and drapes better than 12 ounce denim; necessary for seasonal uses and for different garment construction details HAND - touch, drape, weight of fall, or "handle" of a fabric (how it feels and drapes) DYEING The complex science of dye chemistry has developed due to a demand for fast, vivid color which will withstand wear, sunlight, and the rigors of modern laundering. The appearance of a fabric is often determined by the stage in manufacturing at which the dye is applied. Fabrics may be dyed by the following methods: FIBERDYEING- is used to produce color in a mat of fibers before they are spun into yam. Colors penetrate the fibers thoroughly and are likely to be fast. Commonly used on wool. SOLUTIONDYEING- is a procedure that introduces pigment into the liquid state (chemical spinning solution) before it is formed into fibers. Color is extremely permanent. YARN DYEING- is a process in which spun yarn is dyed before it is made into fabric. This is the oldest method of dyeing. PIECEDYEING- is a process of dying fabric after it is woven. This is the most common and economical means of coloring fabric. ApPLIED DESIGN The surface of a fabric provides an enticing stimulus for an artist's creative imagination. Surface patterns can be reproduced in many

3 ways. Some of the methods are listed be10w: SCREENPRINTINGis a sophisticated version of the stencil process. A screen, which has parts blocked out, is laid on top of fabric stretched out on a table, and allows one color to be printed at a time. Although it may be a slower process, exclusive, high-quality dress goods are often printed in this manner. ROLLER PRINTINGis a simple procedure used to produce large quantities of a design inexpensively. A large roller is inked and rolls the colors onto the fabric. HEAT TRANSFERis a method similar to the iron-on transfers used with T-shirt art today. TIE-DYEINGis an ancient craft that produces interesting and varied designs by wrapping or gathering puffs of fabric in waxed thread and then dipping in dye to create an unevenly dyed effect. BATIKis a method of resist dyeing in which wax is applied to the cloth in areas which are not to receive color. After dyeing, the wax is boiled off and the process repeated for several colors. EMBROIDERYis a process in which hundreds of needles embellish a pre-woven base fabric with a variety of lace and eyelet designs. FINISHES Fabrics as they come off the loom, bear little resemblance to those that reach a dressmaker's sewing machine. Before they are sold, fabrics may have been washed in chemical solutions, brushed, pressed, beaten, and polished. Substances and treatments may alter their texture and appearance and improve their resistance to moths, static electricity, spotting, staining, shrinking, sagging, wrinkling, and burning. These processes are called fabric finishes. FABRIC DESIGN After researching textiles, the designer is ready to start on his/her own fabric design. This involves drawing the design on paper and then using an art form to color it. The rendering of a design in paint (or any color medium) on paper is called a croquis (pronounced CROW-key). It shows the pattern or print and color combinations and can reflect the surface texture and its construction (woven, knitted, etc.). Using the same weave and pattern and changing the color combinations, the possibilities 25

4 are endless. It is amazing to see how different the same pattern appears using different colorations. Start by deciding on a garment or other product made of fabric. Think about the type of fabric construction which would work best (woven, knitted, felted, etc.), the weight and stiffness the material should be (drapability), and what pattern or print would work best in the product. Then draw a design and paint it. Remember, no one is looking over your shoulder when you are working. If you do not like the design, throw it away and start again. Do not hesitate to try your creativity! With today's modern technology, there are also computer-aided design (CAD) programs that allow fabric designs to be created and colorized on the computer screen. Computer stores will know what is available. Also, visit textile departments at nearby universities. They can be helpful in showing types of software needed and will probably allow use of their equipment (with guidance) on campus. This could aid in developing an in-depth design project. Another valuable resource is any nearby fabric manufacturer. Visit with the dye chemist, fabric designer, or anyone who actually determines the fabric patterns, colors, and weaves. See how it is done commercially, and investigate possible career opportunities. SUMMARY As seen, there are many steps involved in the manufacture of fabrics. The methods used in producing a certain fabric will determine the final cost of that fabric. An experienced designer can look at a piece of fabric and feel it to envision the type of garment for which,it is suited. This ability is developed by experimenting with many different fabrics along with a good knowledge of basic textile construction, dyeing, printing, and finishing. Designers are very familiar with both natural and synthetic fibers and stay updated by listening to textile sales people, reading trade publications, keeping up with new developments, and learning what the consumer of today wants in a garment. They must evaluate the performance of a fabric as well as its aesthetic aspects before starting the manufacturing process. Factors to consider are potential problems associated with shrinkage, fading, ability to hold shape and body, and many more. Fabric manufacturers of today have rigid quality controls. When designers use a fabric, they must also follow labeling restrictions III 26

5 their garments to instruct the consumer of the fiber content and proper care of the garment. SUPPLEMENTAL LESSONS The following lessons from the 4-H Clothing Leader Guide supplement this lesson: Designs That Work For You Design a Master Plan Handle With Care What's in a Name? From Fiber to Fabric Now It's Finished Fiber Families About Fabrics Fibers from Nature Designing Textiles Fibers People Make Labels: Cues and Clues Special Fabrics for Special People ACTIVITIES See activities listed in the lessons from the Clothing Leader Guide. Start clipping bits of fabrics when available, and start your own fabric board, book, or file. Attach the sample and list the fiber content, weave or knit type, cost, care, type of dye, country of origin if known, and common uses for that fabric type. List any finishes that are labeled on the fabric (from the bolt end). You may refer to this board or book often to help you become familiar with textiles. Try one of the applied design techniques on a plain T-shirt to created a new look. Use kool-aid or tie-dyeing on cotton socks or a T-shirt. Take old panty hose to use for screen printing a piece of fabric. 27

6 Designing Accessories Objectives 4- H members will: learn the steps in designing one or more accessories use a variety of resources to develop an understanding of accessory design practice designing an accessory FASHION Most fashion accessories started their life by serving utilitarian ACCESSORIES purposes. Shoes protected feet, belts held up pants, gloves prevented frozen fingers, umbrellas kept everything under them dry, and bags carried all of the daily necessities. But if protection from the elements and holding clothes together were the only reasons to have accessories, then there would be no fashion accessories industries. Although jewelry and cosmetics have always been used to enhance or decorate, function is still important with most accessories. The fashion aspect is the lure! Accessories involve a wide variety of articles. They include purses, shoes, scarves, jewelry, hats, gloves, socks, hose, and more. These are items that accent the gmment. The type of item being designed will affect the material used. For example, scarves may be silk, cotton, linen, polyester, and other fabrics. Hats may be of felt, straw, feathers, and trims. Jewelry may consist of precious metals, stones, plastic, and natural articles such as shells, ceramics, and base metals. Accessory designing offers the chance to use a wide variety of materials. Designers often start by visualizing the garment they are to accessorize. They will first picture the season, colors, textures, styles, and uses. Then start sketching the piece. Different variations of their ideas are tried. If the purse has a shoulder strap, it may be changed to a hand strap. Cutting out magazine models and placing accessories on them to get a better idea of the way they would look on a person is a good exercise for beginning designers. Accessories can be fun and challenging to design. One nice thing is so much of the material used today in accessories is available in craft and fabric stores. A design can be made and worn at a reasonable cost. 29

7 SUPPLEMENTAL LESSONS The following lessons from the 4-H Clothing Leader GUide supplement this lesson: Accessories Add Up Accessories and You About Fabrics ACTIVITIES Draw accessories on models in magazines. Use modeling clay or plastic, fabric, beads, etc. to make earrings, pins, or button covers. Use conchos, leather, and beads to make key rings or boot decorations. Weave or braid a belt. Take an old hat, redesign it and make it over, or make your own hat using one of the currently popular patterns. Use ribbons, flowers, and decorations on old hair bands or clips to refabricate and coordinate with an outfit. Create your own look in a fashion tie. Tie dye a scarf or handkerchief. 30 I~

8 Designing Garments Objectives 4-H members will: learn the steps in designing a garment use a variety of resources to develop an understanding of apparel design practice designing a garment NEW DESIGN NOTE: An understanding of patterns and sewing skills will be USING ADAPTED required for this activity. Drawing skills will be useful. PATTERNS Making a new garment from two patterns is a good way to learn design. This involves using the rules discussed under design definitions. The designer will look at a pattern that he/she likes but wants to change. For instance, a blouse pattern may have long sleeves and the designer would like short sleeves in order for the it to be worn in the summer. Perhaps the designer would prefer a different collar to change the look. Sleeves or collars must be chosen that will fit, or can be altered to fit, the pattern pieces the designer has on-hand. Many times this is trial and error. The new pattern pieces could be cut of inexpensive material first to be sure they will work. Then the designer would not waste a nice piece of fabric if it did not fit. The designer must be sure to draw the design first to decide if the adapted part will be becoming to the garment as a whole. As in all design, it is important for the designer to try whatever comes to mind. Designing becomes easier each time. SUPPLEMENTAL LESSONS The following lessons in the 4-II Clothing Leader Guide supplement this lesson: A Select Group Creative Styling Pattern Know-How What's Up Your Sleeve ACTIVITIES Using the "popover" skirt pattern, change one part of the design. Add pockets or a ruffle around the skirt bottom. Make a test garment to be sure your design can be sewn. Take a Tee shirt pattern and add a shoulder button opening. 31 I

9 Take a long sleeve blouse or dress -pattern and make it a design with short sleeves. Test your changes. Sketch the new design. Take pattern envelopes and redraw the garment using a new design. Take two patterns and discuss how to combine different parts of them to form a new pattern. NEW DESIGN USING FLAT PATTERN METHOD NOTE: A knowledge of patterns and sewing skills will be needed for this activity. Drawing skills will be useful. There are many text books, pamphlets, brochures, and information sheets available on flat pattern design. This is an art many designers of today do not know. They hire excellent flat pattern drafters to make their designs. This is best attempted after a designer has sewn for sometime and has a working knowledge of construction and pattern pieces. Investing in a text that shows examples of flat pattern pieces is a good start to learning this process. These books will show examples of the different pattern pieces. Each example will have a verbal description of what that piece will do. For example, one piece may state it produces a full sleeve. These illustrations will help you to produce the pattern pieces you need for your design. Two of these books are listed in the reference section. Start with simple designs using few pattern pieces. Pattern pieces can be made out of pattern paper, freezer paper, brown paper sacks, or any paper available. It is best to use an inexpensive cloth or muslin when attempting a first try at constructing this garment. Then redrawing or altering as needed can be done without any great expense. It is important to try designs out to be sure they can be sewn as they have been designed. Designs can be drawn that cannot be made. Trying a new design aimed at a particular figure problem is another way to begin. Possibly design a pleated skirt that does not accent wide hips. Have a specific purpose in mind. This will help eliminate many options and allow work with a specific area. Sometimes it is hard to start because of the unlimited choices. 32

10 After the pattern pieces have been drawn, the muslin can be cut and a "dummy" garment made. Then it is time to make the real thing. The designer should now be very pr.oud of the creation! ACTIVITIES Draw a design for a sleeveless crop top with no facings. It should have a rounded neck. Layout the pattern pieces and cut out a "dummy" garment. Construct it to test for sewing skills needed and for fit on a real figure. Sketch a design for a simple dress. By changing only one feature at a time, change the original so you have three versions. Sketch these as they might appear on the front of a pattern envelope. Design a garment you would like to make for yourself. Using flat pattern design methods, make the pattern pieces needed to sew the design. Test it in a, "dummy" garment. Demonstrate how a design is made using flat pattern methods. 33

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