From Jacquard to Pointcarre: Back to the Looming Future

There’s a great story behind the groupings of textile samples 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 designs by: Mia Nazzaro

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 in keeping with the inherent limitations of looms and software, require critical thinking as well as artistic sense,” says Professor Nomi Kleinman.

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, is to develop collections coordinated through color and one of three trend options.

She points to student work that stretches the limits of design using the technology:

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

Fabric designs by: Stephanie Stickle

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

“The use of Pointcarre 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 for production. We can see from the examples that the students have woven, that understanding those parameters enables 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, (“to prick” in French). The name comes from the quilted quality of the construction. It can be seen in all of 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], has 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 Central American heritage 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 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.”

Clicke here to learn more about Textile/Surface Design at the School of Art and Design.

Photos by Rachel Ellner

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