New Digital Tools and Training for Textile Manufacturing
The apparel industry in the United States has traditionally relied on manual techniques, such as in-person fit sessions using live models, to move clothing designs from concept to final product. New two- and three-dimensional digital technologies are at the cusp of transforming these practices. Emerging digital technologies enable instant product iterations, moving garments quickly through stages of development and into production.
Apparel designers have been reluctant, however, to adopt the new digital technologies currently available because of concerns about their accuracy. And fashion and apparel curricula have yet to integrate three-dimensional digital technologies, making it a challenge to develop a tech-savvy future workforce and to provide training for the existing workforce.
With this CAREER award, Fatma Baytar, Fiber Science and Apparel Design, is creating a computational tool that will replace in-person fit sessions during new product development. She is concurrently designing training modules for the existing and future workforce to strengthen their core knowledge and digital competencies. The resulting computational tool and cyber-learning approaches will benefit industries at the intersection of design, ergonomics, and technology. Research outcomes will have applications in textiles, learning sciences, computer science, and human-computer interaction. This project aims to support and develop new manufacturing jobs, capacity, training, and infrastructure in the United States.