Handbook of Textile Design by J Wilson

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Handbook of Textile Design
by J Wilson
Handbook of Textile Design

Contents
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . viii

1 An overview of textiles and textile design from fibre to product purchase . . . 1
1.1 The global textile and clothing industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.2 Textile materials, processes, and products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.3 Textile organisations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
1.4 Categorising textiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
1.5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 

2 Textile designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.1 The diversity of textile design and textile designers . . . . . . . . . 10
2.2 Timing in the textile and clothing industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
2.3 Printed and constructed textiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
2.4 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 

3 The textile design function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.1 The activities of a textile designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.2 How design work is done . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.3 Range planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.4 Range development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
3.5 Range presentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
3.6 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 

4 The principles and elements of textile design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
4.1 Design principles and elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
4.2 Inspiration for textile designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
4.3 Pattern . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
4.4 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

5 Commercial aspects of design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
5.1 The organisation and functions of a retail business . . . . . . . . . . . 44
5.2 Different types of retail structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
5.3 Merchandise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
5.4 Information generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
5.5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 

6 The professional practice of design – 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.1 Getting design jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
6.2 A model for design administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
6.3 The initial meeting and briefing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
6.4 Sizing up the job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.5 Agreeing terms of reference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
6.6 Fees — how much to charge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
6.7 Different types of fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
6.8 Keeping records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
6.9 Invoicing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
6.10 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 

7 The professional practice of design – 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
7.1 Professional bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
7.2 Trade organisations and associations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
7.3 Business organisations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
7.4 Legal protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
7.5 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 

8 Designing for the future . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
8.1 Purchase decisions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
8.2 Fashion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
8.3 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 

9 Weave and woven textile design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
9.1 Weaving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
9.2 Weave structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
9.3 Plain weave . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86
9.4 Some simple basic weaves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
9.5 More complex weaves and weave combinations . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
9.6 Sample warps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
9.7 Finishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
9.8 Fabric specifications/making particulars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
9.9 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92

10 Weft knitting, weft-knitted fabric and knitwear design . . . . . . . . . . . 93
10.1 Knitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
10.2 Weft-knit manufacture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
10.3 Machine gauge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
10.4 Weft-knitting machines and fabric types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
10.5 Characteristics of weft-knitted fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
10.6 Weft-knitted fabric structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
10.7 The graphic representation of fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
10.8 Knitwear production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
10.9 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 

11 Printing and printed textile design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
11.1 Printed textiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
11.2 Initial considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
11.3 Different classes of printing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
11.4 Printing processes and print types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
11.5 Developing design ideas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
11.6 Classifying printed textile designs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
11.7 Design size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
11.8 Repeats and colourways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
11.9 Base fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
11.10 Dyes and pigments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
11.11 Print sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
11.12 Making particulars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
11.13 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

Appendix A Sample Gantt chart for a textile design project . . . . . . . . . 118
Appendix B Some tips for presenting work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Appendix C Example of a simple structure for letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Appendix D Example fabric specification sheet for a woven fabric . . . . 123
Appendix E Example fabric specification sheet for a knitted fabric . . . . 124
Appendix F Calculating percentage compositions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Appendix G Getting press coverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Appendix H A structure for fee letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Appendix I Sample fee letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
Appendix J Calculating an hourly rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147

Preface
Since being a student in Galashiels in the early 1970s I have felt there has been a need for some sort of text that covered the textile design process from initial ideas through briefing, research and design development, to finished fabrics being sold to garment designers and to retail. What follows is an attempt to provide such a text. This book is based on my experiences as a textile designer in industry and my teaching at UMIST.

With the other commitments in my life it has taken longer to write this book than I had initially anticipated. The more I have researched and written, the more I have come to realise that there is so much more that could be included. However, there came a point where I felt I had to follow my own advice that I had enough information for the project to stop, and to get on with putting a final manuscript together.

I am aware that there are gaps; for example there is nothing on carpet design or warp knitting, and little on CAD systems. I would like to think that a second edition will address some of the gaps such as the carpet design and warp knitting; however, with regard to CAD, I wanted to concentrate more on processes and felt that to include a lot about CAD systems would not be particularly helpful and would become very quickly dated.

Anyway, here it is, and while not everything is covered I think it does fill a gap and should be of value to students of textile design around the world.

Jacquie Wilson


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