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From Chinese painting to wearable art: the development of wearable art design process model and evaluation methods for wearable art designers
Graduate Theses and Dissertations
  • Ling Zhang, Iowa State University
Degree Type
Date of Award
Degree Name
Doctor of Philosophy
Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management
Apparel, Merchandising and Design
First Advisor
Eulanda A. Sanders

Wearable art is “art composed of materials structured so they can be worn on the body and that exhibit visually exciting design elements and principles” (Bryant & Hoffman, 1994, P.86). It is a unique (Becker, 1987) and visible symbol that not only depicts the mood of a designer, but also communicates her/his belief, life style, culture, knowledge, and aesthetic tastes to the world. The goals of creating this wearable art collection were to: (a) incorporate traditional Chinese Xie Yi painting themes, ideals or motifs into modern fashion designs with the silhouettes of Western clothing through the use of a variety of handcraft techniques such as nuno felting, wet felting, hand beading, bead embroidery, tambour embroidery, and silk painting techniques, and (b) find the intermediary between Chinese painting and wearable art design and ideally bonding two artistic forms.

In order to undertake the inspiration of Chinese painting, the researcher/designer tested 276 dyed and painted fabric samples to ascertain the feasibility of using Chinese ink as a natural colorant for submersion dyeing of 100% cotton and 100% silk fabrics, as well as a textile painting medium on silk organza and silk charmeuse. The results provided valuable information and confidence in the use of Chinese ink in the creation of the textile and wearable arts.

After the three lines were created, a new design process model specific for wearable art design, was proposed at the onset of the project based on the researcher/designer’s planned design process. A refined model was created after the documentation of her entire process was completed.

The final collection was also evaluated by collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data from professional artists and designers. The results were used to help develop a framework for wearable art designers to evaluate the performance of their wearable art designs.

Copyright Owner
Ling Zhang
File Format
File Size
251 pages
Citation Information
Ling Zhang. "From Chinese painting to wearable art: the development of wearable art design process model and evaluation methods for wearable art designers" (2016)
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