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Textile Design

Textile & Apparel Design

We use Textiles and cloth every day, from the time we are born until the day we die. History of human kind is closely linked with extraction of fibers & construction of structures & fabrics. Textiles and clothing have always been a medium to reflect a culture, an identity of a community or an individual. India has a long history in the production and trade of textiles. From craft based to large Industries there is a vast spectrum of production within the discipline.

How would a young art and design student today move forward with this knowledge to create new ways of expression? What are the demands of modern life on the discipline of textiles as a reflection of culture?

Through a blend of artistic contexts in the discipline of Textile, we visualize a larger understanding of culture, technology and modern life. An approach of enquiry and sensitivity towards current issues is encouraged within the discipline which spans a wide spectrum of sustainable community practices to cutting edge research in smart textiles. This enquiry is encouraged through studio courses, workshops and projects.


We offer studios in the following broad categories

  1. Materials & structures – Fibers, Process of manufacture, construction methods.
  2. Patterns & Surfaces – Image making, colour, texture, media exploration.
  3. Research – Textile history, Design research, Sustainable & ecological practices, Market Trends & Future directions.
  4. Design Process – Methodology and Tools, Principles, Ideation, Product detailing


Fiber Studies: Have you ever wondered what your sweater or your jeans are made of? History of human kind is closely linked with extraction of fibres & construction of structures, products & fabrics. This course will cover knowledge of natural fibre’s that occur in both plants and animals as well as Man made & petro based synthetic fibres. Students will understand the process of converting from fibres to fabric, as well as physical & chemical properties of the fibres through theory inputs, lab experiments, field visits as well as fabric construction exercises.

Repeat to Fit: Through this course a student refines his skill to observe and stylize visual imagery and develop a range of patterns and surfaces for fabric within a given forecast or theme. The main emphasis is on rigorous iterations, working with various color schemes and using repeat methods effectively

Language of Weave: To create magical fabrics it is vital to learn the grammar and language of weaves. This is a course that uses a studio & theory based learning mode. The emphasis is on understanding part of the extensive history of the Indian handloom sector as well as exploring relationships between materials & structures of fabric construction through various assignments. Inputs in the technical aspects of weaves are given through taught modules. The students use the technical knowledge gained combining it with a conceptual idea to explore on the tabletop loom to create expressive fabrics.

Translation from Inspiration to weave.

Translation from Inspiration to weave.


Colour and Pattern
The aim of this Charette was to combine colour and pattern in meaningful ways and arrive at an application either in the context of packaging design or textile design. 

Students were required to explore mood boards and colour boards within the given theme and translate the same into a range of coordinated patterns for a specific user. They were required to do a market and user research and create the screen-printed material according to their findings. Screen printing technical support was provided as part of the Charette.

Students in the Packaging Design Group applied their knowledge of typography and layout and used either fabric and/or paper as the packaging material. The brand and product they designed for was identified at the begining of the Charette.

Students looking at a Textile outcome were assigned a theme. They explored varieties of fabric, colour and screen print techniques.


Visualising Fabrics
How does the Textile designer generate new ideas? What is the potential of converting these ideas into textile surfaces? This Charette required the student to take inspiration from the world around, create artworks/storyboards, which in turn gave direction to create various interpretations into tactile fabric surfaces. The primary focus was to use either stitching, machining or weaving to create tactile surfaces.

Explorations on paper and fabric.


Screen-printing: This course will cover the technique of Silkscreen printing. It is a hands-on workshop where experimentation & exploration of the medium is encouraged. Technical inputs of exposing a screen, mixing of pigments and printing on fabrics of various types will be given.

Dying to Dye: This workshop introduces the students to the technique of using Natural and Chemical dyes. The students get to work with different mordents’, dyes and achieve various shades of colour. As a part of the course, they are also introduced to the basic method of resist dyeing using Shibori technique.

Garment Pattern making and sewing techniques: This workshop helps equip students with pattern making and sewing skills for garments. The method of making a basic ladies top, skirt, and a few accessories like bags, laptop sleeves, belts, etc. will be introduced. The students will gain technical knowledge on aspects related to garment and accessory manufacturing processes, materials like fabric and trims, machines, seams and stitches. Quality, safety and maintenance of sewing machines will also be introduced.


Learning from Quilts

Making quilts was something women all over the world have done for centuries as a way of recycling of fabric as well as a form of self-expression. Quilts were almost never sold but made, gifted and used within the family. What does this craft mean in today’s context and what bigger lessons can we as creative practitioners learn from this seemingly humble craft?

Quilting can be interpreted as a series of tools for multi level understanding and interpretation and as an iconic representation of a culture. Quilting can be seen as layering in a physical (of material, thread etc.) as well as metaphorical sense (of memory, belonging, expression, connections etc) and these components can be seen individually or as a whole.

The insights and understanding from this study can be applied in the way we think and make.

Hand in Hand is a project to weave together the philosophy of quilting as a form of expression and trying it in public spaces. By installing our quilt pieces on trees in public spaces, we intend to marry the idea of protecting and saving what is disappearing. Trees also signify shelter, warmth and life, which is cohesive with the purpose of the quilts. By fusing the two, we are trying to create awareness about the fact that our quilting traditions and culture needs to be preserved as much as we need to preserve trees.


I Sing the Body Electric
“I SING the Body electric;
The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul.”
Walt Whitman, 1900

This was a project in which we looked at the broad range of raw materials that are used to create textiles and artifacts that react to the environment. In this project, students worked with artists, designers and activists and used smart fabrics; sensors and electronics to design and create textiles that are an interface between the body and the external world. We began with basic electronics and moved on to using complex sensors and microcontrollers. At the end of the project, the students had an understanding of the tools and techniques used to create responsive, reactive environments. The workshop culminated in a final project. This project was ideal for performance artists, product designers, textile designers and anyone wanting to create new interfaces and experiences. No previous knowledge of electronics or textiles was necessary.

Beyond Sight: Touch the world of narratives

As an artist and designer we take Sight or the ability to see (visually) for granted, what if the storyteller/artist has to create an experience where sight was not the medium to participate, communicate or evaluate a work of art. This project explored the possibility of creating Site-specific installations and interactive spaces involving Multimodal-learning approach on experiences, which involve sound, touch, and movement in the installation. The collaboration was between students of art and design, visually impaired people, instructors for visually impaired, citizens.

Research partners: Rakum school for the blind, Mathru school for the blind and National Association for the blind, Bangalore

The project was process oriented which involved research, observation, shadowing and experimentation in the real world. The final projects were placed in public space rather than an art gallery so that the ordinary citizens could interact and share their feedback about the success of the endeavor. It was very well received and some of the projects will taken further.

Encoded Textures, Voices, Narratives & Patterns

This Project essentially investigated the co-evolution of textile technologies and computation.

The Jacquard loom was one of the first machines to use ‘punched cards’ to control a sequence of operations to create patterns. This ability to change and make patterns of the weave by simply changing the cards was a pivotal conceptual precursor in the history of computing and development of computer programming.

This ‘mechanic’ eventually inspired Charles Babbage to use ‘punched cards’ to store programmes in what he called an “Analytical Engine” – the beginning of computational machines. Today, computers in place of the original punched cards, control the modern Jacquard looms.

Bangalore was once known for its exquisite woven handlooms and now it is known for Information Technology. How has the development in the IT sector affected the economics and cultures of weaving? What new practices, thoughts and modes have emerged in the area of weaving in Bengaluru?

The historical framework also helped extrapolate, investigate and link how the ‘looming technology’ and the machines inspired the development of computational machines and computational logic.