FSAD 3250 Color and Surface Design of Textiles

In 3250, all surface design techniques are explored via color and design prompts.

  • Shibori and indigo dyeing offers the opportunity to explore light/dark contrast via bound resist dyeing.

  • Block printing explores contrast of extension by using a fluid approach to pattern-making. The blocks are simple shapes meant to be printed in a variety of directions to create multiple patterns that energize the negative space between them while exploring the percentage of one color in contrast to another. 

  • Embroidery samplers are made using one of Johannes Itten’s seven forms of color contrast. Embroidery is also used to explore optical blending, a method of color mixing achieved by placing small bits of color next to each other so that the colors blend together from a distance to create a new color. 

  • Screen printing in the Fall of 2021 followed the design prompt of camouflage. Students were shown examples of camouflage in nature (blending in vs. confusing the eye); World War 1 dazzle ships; and contemporary efforts to camouflage against digital surveillance.

  • Each student in 3250 creates a natural dye swatch book, but the process of mordanting and dyeing fabric is a collaborative effort in which notes are shared.

  • The final project in 3250 is to combine a minimum of two of the surface design techniques we learned to create three yards of fabric. Students are to choose a color theory concept to apply to their final project. In the Fall of 2021, students were directed to find a historical textile for inspiration. They researched the use, construction method, and cultural significance of the textile and then created a textile of their own design inspired by their findings. They did not emulate the textile, or the construction method. Rather, they created their own design using surface design methods we covered in class.