• Exploring the relevance of manual pattern cutting skills in a technological environment

      Pritchard, Catherine (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-01)
      Are students losing the ability to visualise and instead ‘allowing the computer to do it’? Today there is a requirement for pattern cutters entering the garment industry to use the computerised pattern design system that makes the transporting of patterns to overseas factories quick. Whilst a computer screen can display visual images representing digitised data, this is possibly at the cost of the professional or trainee losing the skill to visualise, an absolute necessity when required to construct a three dimensional design that is illustrated in two dimensions. The aim of this thesis is to look at the relationship between creative manual practice and computerised technology when creating a garment pattern. Through practical studies and background knowledge the advantages and disadvantages of traditional and modern methods are investigated together with what is gained or lost when substituting tactile processes with the computer screen. By personal application it was experienced and documented how to use computer digitisation to create garment patterns. The findings from practical studies to explore the skill of interpretation led to further questions and went on to reveal how important training is as well as the capabilities of an individual. From this outcome the need for change in fashion design courses is suggested with regard to greater training time. Computerised pattern design systems are an essential tool to enhance advances in the garment industry, but this research shows it is imperative that a future generation, in a world of fast paced technology, learn from skilled manual workers in order to maintain a high standard of technical knowledge.