Monday, 19 May 2008

Why Is There A Gender Imbalance In The Study Of Printed Textiles?

I think the phrase "Printed Textiles" immediately has feminine connotations. Throughout history, the general stereotype depicts women as figures that stay at home to care for the family and carry out designated domestic duties. Therefore a degree in 'Printed Textiles' suggests a suitability for females as opposed to males, which is reflected in the obvious gender imbalance. However, the reality of the situation is that the diversity of the course makes it perfectly suitable for males and females alike. The general intention of the course is to produce aesthetically pleasing designs, suitable for an end product, may that be for fashion or interiors.

In terms of subject matter, there is no doubt that in the commercial market, floral prints are highly viable and have been for many years. However, many designers are becoming bored by the relentless theme and there has been an up-surge of quirky, unusual and maybe more 'masculine' designs. A prime example is the design-led manufacturing company Timorous Beasties, formed by Paul Simmons & Alistair McAuley, who produce intellectual, deceptive and sometimes disturbing designs that are aesthetically pleasing and extremely successful. Therefore the view that 'Printed Textiles' is largely suitable for females alone, is a fairly archaic one and I feel that the title is perhaps a little deceptive.

'Iguana' and 'Oriental Orchid'

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