The Language of Textiles Description and Judgement on Textile Pattern Composition
Abstract: The present study concerns ways to describe, judge and discuss aesthetic qualities of designed textile patterns. Specific aims were to study how colours and compositions used in Old Amish Quilts can be systematically described, to study how simple and complex patterns in printed textile fabrics are perceived and expressed verbally and to study judgements, concepts and values in relation to designed textile patterns as expressed by schoolchildren, consumers, teachers of textile handicraft and designers.The study design is qualitative in order to collect concepts used by subjects from different user groups when describing textile patterns and of the reasons for their judgements of the designed patterns. A modified Repertory Grid Method was used. Describing colour design and composition using graphic models was also attempted.The experience of aesthetic qualities in designed patterns is complex and not possible to describe using clear-cut concepts. Descriptions and choice of words are part of different language games outside the field of textile design and their contents are found in a dynamic interplay between a number of experiential contexts. The dominant inner contexts of individuals, basic perceptual patterns of apprehension, direct experiences of the surrounding world, and influences from the cultural context all give different and complex structures of attention. Different structures of attention lead to different perceptual choices and different descriptions, judgements, notions and values concerning designed printed patterns.The present study shows that subjects make their judgements on the basis of formal, functional, cultural and emotional contents. These content categories are related to the multiple contexts of different dimensions of experience. For judgement and communication in the process of design and in design education, mutual understanding calls not only for concepts and notions in the field of design, but also consideration of conditions of experience and communication in life.
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