From Jacquard to Pointcarre: Back to the Looming Future

There’s a great story behind the groupings of textile samples now on display in the Feldman Center fifth floor hallway. The swatches, with their 3D texture, have themes, style and color suitable for upholstery or apparel. Woven samples like these are used for student portfolios and as selling tools by the industry.

Textile Surface Design students use computer-aided hand looms to develop the weaving and software skills used in industry production.  “Developing the technical and creative skills that are in keeping with the inherent limitations of the looms and software,” says Professor Nomi Kleinman, “requires critical thinking as well as artistic sense.”

Textile designs by: Mia Nazzaro

The collections were created in Complex Dobby Wovens (TD 334) class, which focuses on industry practices for designing woven fabrics using the computer-aided design program Pointcarre.  Part of the assignment, says Prof. Kleinman, was to develop collections coordinated through color and one of three trend options.

Prof. Kleinman pointed to various student work that stretches the limits of design using the technology.

“Mia’s work [above] is successful because of the stylized shapes and minimalist look. She responded creatively to a trend that was assigned, by drawing her own shapes and then adapting those using the software,” said Prof. Kleinman.

Fabric designs by: Stephanie Stickle

“Stephanie [above] did a beautiful job interpreting her sketches from idea to fabric. The software allowed for highly detailed adaptation of original sketches,” said Prof. Kleinman.

“The use of Pointcarre has allowed students access to industry-wide textile software to produce real world fabrics. Their knowledge of weaving, coupled with Pointcarre’s advanced tools and functions, enables students to design within the constraints and rules they would apply when going to production. We can easily see from the examples the students have woven that understanding those parameters has  enabled them to be ready for anything that is asked of them.” – Steve Greenberg, President, Pointcarre USA. 

Fabric designs by: Alexa West

The students used a construction technique called Pique, which means “to prick” in French. The name comes from the quilted quality of the construction, which can be seen in all the student work.

“Alexa accomplished beautiful dimension in her fabrics [above]. They have an almost carved out quality. She’s walking this line between organic and geometric shapes,” says Prof. Kleinman.

Fabric Design by: Donna Schneiderman

Donna Schneiderman’s work, above, is a unique theme, says Prof. Kleinman. “She did alternative camouflage. She developed this brightly sun-kissed colored look. The shapes are reinterpretations of standard camouflage. She worked within the parameters of the loom to develop sophisticated patterns.”

Fabric designs by: Miriam Ortega

Says Prof. Kleinman “Miriam Ortega drew on her family’s Central American heritage as inspiration and redrew traditional motifs.  The yarns she chose give it a water-color-painted effect and bring something very unexpected to the surface.”

Fabric Designs by: Keira Wiggins

“One of the fabulous things about these fabrics [of Keira Wiggin’s above] is the scale,” said Prof. Kleinman. “In weaving we’re limited by width, but not height. She used that to her advantage to develop designs that appear very large scale. She reinterpreted the diamond in several different ways to bring something new to the familiar motif.”

If you’re thinking you can buy a yard of fabric from a student you may be out of luck. These take up to an hour an inch to weave.

“Industry employers would be motivated to hire students based on seeing structure like these,” says Kleinman “It shows how they understand the building blocks of woven designs, their color abilities and sense of style.”


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