Textiles Task Analysis in Education

Instructor: Stephanie Przybylek

Stephanie has taught studio art and art history classes to audiences of all ages. She holds a master's degree in Art History.

Have you ever wanted to design clothing? What skills do you need to be successful in the clothing design industry? In this lesson, explore a process called textile task analysis and learn how it's used in education.

What Is Textile Task Analysis?

New clothing styles arrive on store shelves each season, and we all love to wear something bright and colorful. But how do designers create new products like dresses or suits? Where do they begin?

Textile task analysis helps to determine how well items might sell.
colorful shirts

Sometimes, a big project is easier when you tackle it in bite-sized chunks. Projects like designing new clothing items are made easier through a process called task analysis, where large projects are broken up into more manageable components. Task analysis is used in fields like education and manufacturing to explore elements like how people do their jobs and what goods a company might consider making and selling. Textile task analysis, then, is used by people who work in the textile industry, including fashion designers, textile pattern and surface designers, and interior designers.

Textile task analysis breaks a complex process with many steps into smaller elements. It allows someone to look at things systematically, starting at the beginning. It's important to understand that task analysis is done at the start of the design process, before any goods are made and sold. Going through the process better ensures that possible problems, challenges and considerations are analyzed before a textile product is put into production.

Role of Textile Task Analysis In Education

Textile task analysis is an important tool for education programs, including secondary school grades and college or university programs related to textiles and fashion design. And why is that? Because task analysis takes students through a wide range of elements required for an idea to go from concept to reality. It demonstrates that an interesting idea is only a starting point, with work to be done for it to result in a marketable product.

Students must examine possible new items from multiple angles, including sales potential. Will people buy the product? They have to research how items might be made and of what materials. They also have to think about marketing challenges, and consider factors like seasonality. For example, is the item better for winter or summer, or does it have year-round appeal?

Students have to consider the seasonality of possible products.
winter coats

Students begin the textile task analysis by writing a brief, a short project description, usually not more than a paragraph. It forces them to put ideas into writing. Then, using the brief, they must identify areas of needed research, which makes them think about their project in ways they might never have considered. They also have to create a flow chart , which looks like a diagram of balloons connected by lines.

Example of a flow chart--notice how the boxes are connected to one another
flow chart example

The process of creating the flow chart is called mapping, and it results in a visual image of how project elements are connected. Students have to consider things like aesthetics, or how an item might look and feel; marketing, where the item will be sold and who might buy it; and manufacturing, how it will be made, what it will cost, and potential environmental impacts. The process makes them examine an idea in multiple ways, incorporating research and writing.

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