New book explores the art and technology of fabric production and use
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In order to satisfy clients’ fabric needs regarding residential, contract or hospitality, interior designers and architects must understand fabric structure, content, maintenance requirements, and safety and codes. The second edition of "Fabric for the Designed Interior," written by Frank Koe, associate professor of engineering entrepreneurship at Penn State, presents a comprehensive view of fabric.
The textbook is aimed at students and professionals and begins with the history of fabric, explaining its connection to the growth and development of society. It moves into the fiber structure, then practical applications of fabric, focusing on topics such as specification, dealing with environmental concerns, understanding fabric and carpet-care issues, working with bids and contracts, and learning strategies for navigating showrooms and fabricating facilities. To share real-world experience, leading designers, fabric manufacturers and suppliers offer their views.
Updates to this edition include expanded coverage on sustainable fabrics and world organizations that monitor how fabric is produced and the effects it has on the people who create it. The text adds historic styles, costing methodologies, and a revised art program. The book also examines the role of nanotechnology and digital modeling to create new structures, as well as smart textiles, or fabrics with embedded digital and electronic components.
In addition to increased content, the updated edition features "Fabric for the Designed Interior STUDIO," an online tool for more effective study and understanding. This unique feature provides learners with self-quizzes and answers, personalized study tips, and flashcards of essential fabric vocabulary. A highlight of STUDIO is the hour-long, 110,000-square-foot Scalamandré mill tour video that brings chapter concepts to life. A second hour-long video introduces viewers to to-the-trade showrooms in New York City. It showcases practical skills such as establishing an account, reading tags, costing and ordering product. Showrooms that specialize in both residential and contract fabric are featured.
“Most designers are visual learners, so the idea is to try and amp up the visuals as much as possible. Students can actually see how fabric is made and eventually distributed,” Koe said. “Through the video, students experience mill artisans actually dyeing, drying, winding and warping yarns. The video, synced with the book, explains the mechanics of fabric production by examining how, for example, the Jacquard mechanism and rapier loom function. And if students want hands-on experience with fabric, the optional "Swatch Reference Guide" and pick glass is available with 145 fabric swatches measuring 3 inches by 4 inches.”
Koe said his interest in textiles and fabrics began when he was director of The Design Center at Philadelphia University. After leaving the university to work for Scalamandré, he became curious about what students used to learn about fabric. After researching textiles and fabric textbooks, Koe found there was a need to blend practical aspects of yarn and fabric production with the technical.
“Because the book highlights the technology of fabric production, I wanted to show students how machines function. By putting my academic and Scalamandré experience together I thought there was a real need for a different kind of book,” Koe said.
This different kind of book allows students to experience the world of fabric – whether that be through the physical copy, e-book copy or simply the "Fabric for the Designed Interior STUDIO." Readers have options.
"Fabric for the Designed Interior" is published by Fairchild Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing.