Strategic Illusions is a Cotton Inc. sponsored collaborative teaching project that included two classes – one is a computer aided design class and the second an advanced garment assembly class. The goal of the advanced engineered garment design teaching project was to develop engineered garment designs for 100% cotton fabric which were designed specifically to incorporate strategically placed wrinkles or ruching to camouflage the naturally occurring wrinkles on the garment. The outcome incorporated integrated multiple surface design techniques and engineered garment design placement which embrace and/or camouflage the natural wrinkling qualities of cotton fabric.
This project included the use of twenty-two custom developed step by step video tutorials to allow students to individually work to advance their creative and technical skills with the initial design process at their own pace. The video tutorials included initial research, photography, and a variety of techniques to develop backgrounds for engineered garments. The video tutorials also included a 3D OptiTex section to show students how to export a garment patterns to Adobe Illustrator. The tutorials also showed how to set-up and prepare the Illustrator file for inserting engineered surface designs into the garments pattern pieces as well as simulated and strategically placed winkles/ruching/textures. Additional videos were developed to instruct students how to virtually test their garments on the custom body scan avatar models that will be wearing their garments. Students also had videos to instruct them how to take snapshots of different views of their virtual 3D garments with and without the custom model.
The students began by developing a concept board, color board and description of their inspiration. The video tutorials guided and encouraged the students to creatively experiment with a variety of techniques to develop engineered garment designs on a prototype sample garment pattern. During this time a trip to the Buffalo Zoo was arranged where students took many photos of fauna and flora to incorporate into their collection concepts.
Normal wear of a 100% cotton dress or pants would produce naturally occurring wrinkles in specific areas (ex: in the bending areas of the body.) Initially, a basic muslin sheath was wear tested to locate naturally occurring wrinkle areas during normal wear. During the first half of the semester when students were experimenting with techniques, six student models were located and each one underwent a body scan. A customized virtual avatar was developed for each model. Customized garments styles that were all modifications of a fitted long sleeve sheath were developed and one style was assigned to each model. Each student was assigned three garment styles/models and developed two engineered garment designs for each model. Each student developed a minimum of six engineered garment designs for a total of thirty-six engineered garments. These engineered garment designs were designed to strategically integrate with and/or camouflage wrinkles. The garments were all virtually tested and photographed (virtually) by each student.
At the final presentation, each student presented their concept, description, inspirations and color boards in addition to each of six engineered garment designs for a total of 36 engineered garments. A combination of students and faculty determined which three engineered garment designs best represented the creative and technical range for each student.
Printing took place on the departments Mutoh VJ-1638 dual-head Valuejet using Nano Pigments of dyes onto 100% cotton fabric. The fabric is then processed with a Practix Manufacturing OK-08 heat press to set the dye.
The garments were constructed by students in an Apparel Assembly class.It is intended that this project will integrate with the overall Buffalo State Runway 8.0 theme, Innovation, which will be held on Saturday May 25, 2015.
Dr. Lynn Boorady
Project under the direction of Elaine Polvinen
Fabric Printing and Setting: Maggie Keef & David Brinson
Muslin Prototypes: Marybeth DiPaola, David Brinson & Lynn Boorady
Garment Assembly Director: Denise Needham