The Language of Textiles: Description and Judgement on Textile Pattern Composition

The present study concerns ways to describe, judge and discuss aesthetic qualities of designed textile patterns. Specific aims were to study how colours and compositions used in Old Amish Quilts can be systematically described, to study how simple and complex patterns in printed textile fabrics are perceived and expressed verbally and to study judgements, concepts and values in relation to designed textile patterns as expressed by schoolchildren, consumers, teachers of textile handicraft and designers.The study design is qualitative in order to collect concepts used by subjects from different user groups when describing textile patterns and of the reasons for their judgements of the designed patterns. A modified Repertory Grid Method was used. Describing colour design and composition using graphic models was also attempted.The experience of aesthetic qualities in designed patterns is complex and not possible to describe using clear-cut concepts. Descriptions and choice of words are part of different language games outside the field of textile design and their contents are found in a dynamic interplay between a number of experiential contexts. The dominant inner contexts of individuals, basic perceptual patterns of apprehension, direct experiences of the surrounding world, and influences from the cultural context all give different and complex structures of attention…


PART I: Introduction
Research strategy
Terms and concepts used in the thesis
Textile patterns
Aesthetics qualities
PART II: Theoretical approach
Categorical perception
Aesthetic appreciation
Emotions and feelings
Cultural influence
The Space of Experience
Communication about aesthetic experience
Implicit knowledge and communication
Research on aesthetic qualities in textiles and patterns
Study I: The Old Amish Quilt
Literature studies
Colour analysis
Pattern design
Colour design
Cultural explanations for Amish pattern and colour design
New design inspired by Amish form tradition
Study II and III: Striped patterns
Textile material and colour choice
Repertory Grid Method
Study II: Result – Describing Striped printed patterns
Analysing the descriptions
Same pattern – different descriptions
Study III: Result – Judgements of Striped printed patterns
Analysis of subjects’ judgements, notions and values
“A nice fabric”
PART IV: Discussion
Methodological aspects
NCS as a mapping tool
The Language of Textiles – Aesthetic perception and communication
Structure of attention
Design communication
Implicit knowledge
Language games
Educational reflections
Closing the thesis

Author: Homlong, Siri

Source: Uppsala University Library

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