The Fabric Design program at the Lamar Dodd School of Art allows students to learn the various aspects of fabric design. Courses include instruction in the design process, woven structure, surface printing, material exploration, and various non-woven techniques. The program emphasizes studies in drawing, painting, and color as a way of building the foundation for individual artistic expression.

Fabric Design

A degree in Fabric Design prepares one for several career possibilities. Designing fabric for industry could involve designing woven, printed, and knitted fabrics, as well as carpet and rug design. Many graduates from the School of Art hold responsible positions with a variety of textile firms. With an additional degree in Art Education or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree, there are possibilities for teaching fabric design. Outstanding craftsmen might establish their own studios, receive commissions from interior designers, or sell work through galleries and craft shops. Whether the student is training to design for industry or to create fine artwork, the Fabric Design program expects students to research new ideas, materials, methods and design, and application.

Undergraduate Fabric Design

The ability to draw is essential in order to bring ideas to reality in most of the work in fabric design, especially for designing flat pattern in fabric surface design. Students are required to visualize objects in two-and three-dimensional form and "construct" these ideas. Students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in the area of Fabric Design must first submit work through the portfolio review process. Learn more about the portfolio review process by which undergraduate students apply to their area of emphasis here. A successful student in the program enjoys working with a variety of materials and must be able to master hand-manipulated techniques as well as the tools that are essential in the various fabric processes. In addition to a sensitivity and appreciation for color, pattern, and texture, he or she must be willing to spend long hours working in the studio in order to meet deadlines. Learn more about BFA degree requirements at the Lamar Dodd School of Art here.

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Graduate Fabric Design

The Master of Fine Art (MFA) degree in the area of Fabric Design focuses on the design of textiles for interiors, apparel, and fine art applications. It spans a broad spectrum of design, studio, and professional practices. Working from a foundation of solid technical skills and a proficient design process, students are encouraged to develop their own vision. Broad experience in weaving, non-woven, and surface design is essential. The program includes work in both woven structure and surface design as well as courses in conceptual and advanced design topics. Directed study courses allow for specialization. 

The program is designed to support students in becoming active and innovative leaders within the textile-related fields of design, art, and fine crafts. It relies heavily upon the development of expertise, self-initiation, research experimentation, critical thinking, and design concepts. The first year of the three-year MFA program focuses on enriching the student’s technique and skills. The second year allows for more individual experimentation, research, and self-direction. The third and final year culminates in a thesis project that entails both studio work and writing. Students are encouraged to create and design a body of work that reflects a depth of research and a well-developed material sense along with a strong relationship to the visual language of textiles. For more information about graduate programs at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, contact our Graduate Office.

To see a list of recently completed MFA theses, click here.