Fashion design and fashion technology courses: Practical skills in patterns making, garment manufacturing techniques, technologies, and applications for fashion industry
Authors: Marta Bicho, Maria Madalena Pereira, Rui Miguel, Nuno Belino
Abstract: In higher education of national and international courses, there appear the designation Fashion Design, Fashion Technology, and the techniques of pattern making and garment manufacturing which are not always associated in the same curricular unit. The practical skills associated with these two techniques are complementary in fashion product development; but the separation or the failure of interaction between them in the past, contributed to the deficiencies in the validation of the fashion product in the learning phase and in many cases, they present deficiencies in the transfer of knowledge to the labor market. The type of textile and clothing industry differs from country to country, in Portugal it is still essentially based on exporting companies, accounting for 10% of the national exports, where the profile of the professional required is mainly for product development, with skills in techniques, materials and market. In other countries, the profile is adapted for departments, from the creation and development of collections for fashion brands, product development, market, global and local sourcing, among others, result of the evolution that the sector had in the last 20 years, after the multifiber agreement and with the relocation of production to countries with cheaper labor. However, the textile and clothing sector, although belonging to the same chain differ from each other, capital intensive versus labor intensive. The objective of this investigation is to answer a main question: What competences, from a practical point of view, are necessary for the Portuguese garment exporting industry in graduate students specialized in fashion design and fashion technology? The objective is to know what practical skills the Portuguese clothing exporting industry needs, as well as the necessary relationship between the various techniques in the learning phase that contribute to the development of a value-added fashion product. To answer this question, a program of visits/ classes in companies was developed with students in the fashion design specialization, to sensitive them of the needs of the industry and was developed a program of collaboration between two curricular units: pattern making and garment manufacturing. A practical lesson plan for two curricular units was developed for two groups of 25 students. Were also interviewed 10 entrepreneurs from the sector, about their needs and deficiencies in terms of qualified staff in the area. It is concluded that, after contact with companies in the sector and in a classroom model in the company, students show changes in behavior regarding the commitment and acquisition of technical skills. The interconnection between the two curricular units also allowed students to validate the results of their practical work, in the image of industrial model. It is also concluded that the contribution of teachers with recent experience in the clothing industry is essential in the contribution of student’s acquisition of skills to the labor market of the Portuguese clothing industry.
Keywords: Fashion Design, Fashion Technology, patterns making, Garment manufacturing techniques
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