Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Digital Imaging: its current and future influence upon the creative practice of textile and surface pattern designers

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posted on 2022-10-17, 13:35 authored by Cathy TreadawayCathy Treadaway

This thesis describes research into the impact of digital imaging technology on the creative practice of artists and designers in the field of printed surface pattern for textiles. It examines how digital tools support creative thinking and enhance innovation through the visualisation, manipulation and communication of imagery, and assesses the role and importance of memory and physical experience in creative digital practice. Recent developments in digital ink jet printing technology now enable practitioners to translate digital imagery directly onto textiles. The research provides evidence to assist future technological development, and effective design strategies are identified for implementation within creative textile practice. A contextual review, informed by visits to practitioners, industry and education, and a critical review of published literature, identifies key issues examined in the research. These include the ways in which digital technology supports creative thinking and how communication of visual data facilitates collaborative practice. The rationale for the use of qualitative research methods in the project is explained. A case study, documented using video and audio recordings of interviews, and photography and research journals to gather data on site, is described. Practical investigations, emanating from the field study visits, and an independent experimental body of work created by the researcher, provide additional data to elucidate how digital tools support creative practice. The findings are informed by feedback and evaluation from telephone conversations and personal correspondence from the participants, along with analysis of the research data. Digital tools are shown to support creative thinking, providing a means of stimulating, manipulating, and outputting printed digital imagery. The collaborative investigations demonstrate how communication of visual imagery, via the Internet and portable digital memory storage media, is able to enhance creative practice. Recommendations are also made for future research in areas including colour communication, 3D printing and flexible textile displays.



  • School of Art and Design

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD

Publication year


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