From the loom to wear : shapeable woven textiles from seamless fashion
An, Kang Hyun
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There are various approaches in fashion and textile research which focus on how design processes could minimise environmental impact in order to make a more sustainable fashion and textile industry. One such approach is seamless or whole garment knitting technology, which results in much less fabric wastage than the ‘cut and sew’ method of garment manufacturing. However, seamless approaches in woven textile design have not been fully realised due to the characteristics of the woven fabrics. Moreover, research in seamless weaving has often focused on textile engineering and medical uses, and there has been little research into their use in fashion. In this research, a design practice of shapeable seamless woven garments is proposed as an alternative way of combining shapeable woven textiles and tubular weaving construction that leads to creative seamless garments that are versatile. Based on the action research process, this practice-based research examines five stages (planning, exploring, prototyping, observing and reflecting) that are used to transform woven textiles from the loom into fashion garments. The research explores three-dimensional and textural surface effects and different degrees of shrinkage of shapeable woven textiles that show inherent stretchability. In the prototyping stage, a series of shapeable seamless woven garments were created through both hand-weaving and the Jacquard weaving process. At this stage, the research demonstrated how 2D woven textile designs can be transformed into 3D fashion forms, and how prototype garments can be fitted on the body and worn in many different ways. In the observing and reflecting stages of the research, a questionnaire and focus group were conducted in order to assess external perspectives on, and evaluation of, practical outcomes of the research, i.e. specifically shapeable woven textiles and the effectiveness of the prototype designs. The research is capable of providing a creative way of designing seamless garments based on shapeable woven textiles by integrating key design considerations such as stretchability for adaptable fit, three-dimensional textural effects, versatility of prototype garments and material selection. By examining the above features, the research evaluates how the design process and practical outcomes enhance the product lifecycle and contribute to circular design and sustainability in fashion and textiles.