Apparel Textile Design Process as Related to Creativity


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Virginia Tech


This study was framed by the question, How is creativity integrated into the design process of apparel textile designers? A qualitative approach was used to explore the integration of creativity in the design process of two designers in the field of clothing and textiles. The personal experiences of a weaver and a costume designer were shared with the researcher through interviews, participant observation, logs, and document/visuals. Data were analyzed by a method of coding and categorizing. Comparative analysis was conducted on the studies of the weaver and the costume designer. A comparative analysis was done among the findings of the two apparel textile designers and from the review of the literature. First, steps of the design process as related to creativity were explored. The design process model stated by Koberg and Bagnall (1981) was used to analyze and discuss the findings. It was found that the apparel textile designers' process included the steps of acceptance, analysis, definition, ideation, idea selection, implementation, and evaluation. Many themes emerged from the data for each of the steps of design. Amabile's (1996) three components of creative performance (domain-revelant skills, creative-revelant skills, and task motivation) were used to examine and discuss the creativity of the weaver and the costume designer. It was found that the design process acted as a framework, and creativity allowed for the generation of new ideas and outcomes in the designer's work. The study of apparel textile designers, their individual design processes, and creativity serves to expand the body of knowledge of the design process and creativity related directly to the textile arts and to aid in the development of methods in design education.



creativity, costume design, weavers, designers, design process