Digitally printed textiles: A number of specific issues surrounding research

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The digital printing of textiles currently encompasses a wide range of processes, from craft related to technology based. As a result, artists, designers and craft practitioners are increasingly provided with new and exciting ways of combining and intertwining multiple layers of meaning from within the handmade and the digital. This article focuses on doctoral research into some of the opportunities for, and consequences of, using craft practices as interventions in the digital printing of textiles.

The article discusses a number of issues surrounding research through design (Frayling 1993: 1; Scrivener 2009: 76), and considers the impact that multiple materials, multiple processes and multiple technologies can have on practice. It seeks to explain why established research methods and methodologies are often inadequate for capturing and analysing the range and depth of interactions that exist between the material and the immaterial in digitally printed textile design. It argues instead for the development of a new generic methodology to take advantage of advanced technologies and extend existing methods for the benefit of researchers, practitioner–researchers, artists and designers, in order to bring the digital printing of textiles into line with established disciplines, such as those from the social sciences.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2011

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  • The aim of Craft Research is to advocate and promote current and emerging craft research, including research into materials, processes, methods, concepts, aesthetic and style. This may be in any discipline area of the applied arts and crafts, including craft education.
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