The designing of ideal garments

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology

ISSN: 0955-6222

Article publication date: 4 October 2011



Stylios, G.K. (2011), "The designing of ideal garments", International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Vol. 23 No. 5.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

The designing of ideal garments

Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, Volume 23, Issue 5

I have talked about this important subject before, with government, at conferences, the last research assessment in the UK recognised it as one of the assessment areas, and there have been international conferences (2003)[1] promoting it.

The convergence of design and technology in our discipline as in many others is happening already and I am not trying to make any more arguments for its importance. I am going, however, to consider a specific area that is fundamental and needs more attention for educating the next generation of textile designers. The area that I am talking about is that which defines to the designer the behaviour of their fabrics; the stretching, the shearing, the bending, the compression and the texture of those fabrics that enable them to design excellent, ideal, unique or popular garments (Figure 1).

A garment designer has to have creativity and has to be able to conceptualise and conceive ideas. But these design ideas have to be implemented into a number of garments and exhibited to the public. During the implementation stage the selection of the most appropriate fabric or even better the making of a fabric to suit the conceptual idea of the designer is what makes designers to stand out. Let us look at one example. Recently, a high street designer wanted to make a ladies dress which needed, in her own words, to be make up of fabric pieces that had “fluidity” in upper and frontal parts of the dress and “restriction” in the rear part of the dress. The designer was thinking to make up the garment by choosing different fabrics and stitching them together to realise body fluidity and restriction in the garment parts around the body as conceived in her design conception, but too much stitching and different fabric types were not expressing her original ideal design.

If we technically translate “fluidity” and “restriction” we find that the designer is looking for a fabric type that can drape well and one that is relatively stiffer. So if she is to focus in examining the bending and shearing of the fabric as well as its tensile properties, not she would only be able to go nearer to her design concept, but she would be able to achieve the “ideal design” in the same fabric be altering these properties in parts of the same fabric and thus avoiding stitching all together. This is just an example for highlighting the importance of fabric properties in design; there are many other examples, even in technical textiles, which warrant the same argument.

But how can we bridge, fuse and cultivate this knowledge when in most of our design courses important aspects such as “fabric properties” are discarded as technical or at best “brushed through”. If we want to produce the designers of the future, if we want to enrich our living with talent that exists in our colleges, we have to responsibility not only to cultivate their creativity but to provide them with the basic tools to implement their creativity into “ideally designed garments”. How poor the Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586-1588) (Figure 2)[2] would have been if El Greco was not taught the properties of canvas and the use of brushes and paints.

 Figure 2 Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586-1588)[2]

Figure 2 Burial of the Count of Orgaz (1586-1588)[2]

To achieve this we need know-how, appropriate equipment and of course research. The equipment that measures these properties already exists in some institutions and we ought to help each other in measurement of fabric properties. I have in the past helped projects by offering to measure fabrics at my own institution[3], others have done the same. IJCST can help to increase knowledge by encouraging papers in the area of design/technology and especially in garment design/fabric properties, with a possible special issue if there is enough interest.

Finally, and outside this editorial please note that the submission of your papers can now be done on line. This is another major development which along the increase of pagination from 25 to 30 papers would improve the paper publication process of the IJCST.

INTEDEC 2003, Fibrous Assemblies at the Design and Engineering Interface, ISBN No. 0-9546162-0-0.

Santo Tome, Toledo.

At Heriot Watt University we have the Kawabata, the FAST and can access the FAMOUS.

George K. StyliosEditor-in-Chief

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