Assesment on the Usage of ‘Real’ Fabric Draping for Design in Public Institutions of Higher Learning and by Fashion Designers in Nairobi County, Kenya
Isika, Juliet Kaindi
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„Real‟ fabric draping involves use of sample textile, fabric or cloth to make patterns or garments on a model or dress form stands manually. Final material used to produce garments has similar characteristic to one used to drape. Technique is suitable for ready to wear and couture garment designs with numerous advantages. These are such as satisfaction with garment fit, accurate proportions of fabric division and reduced time waste as pattern making technique. Numerous studies in Kenya have been carried out to investigate Home science. However, there is limited ongoing research or documentation on „real‟ fabric draping for design in Kenya. These demands for a study to assess the usage in „real‟ fabric draping for design in public institutions of higher learning and fashion designers in Nairobi County, Kenya. Specific objectives included: Identifying competencies of fashion design teachers, determine the usage of „real‟ fabric draping for design in public institutions of higher learning and among fashion designers, establish the influence of learning resources. Determine the relationship between use of „real‟ fabric draping for design and teachers‟ area of training, source of curriculum, garment categories created, pattern development taught and student‟s attitude. The study was guided by the Activity theory and pedagogic activity system structure. A cross-sectional survey research design was employed. Five public institutions of higher learning were purposively selected in Nairobi County namely: Kenyatta University, Technical University of Kenya, Kenya Technical Teachers College, Kenya Textile Training Institute and Nairobi Technical Training Institute. The sample size comprised of five heads of department, 32 teachers, 266 students and 30 fashion designers. The data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedules. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were used. The results revealed that very few public institutions of higher learning using „real‟ fabric draping for design. Majority of the teachers (respondents) in this study were not trained in the area of fashion design. Most of the fashion designers used „real‟ fabric draping for design and recommended all fashion design students to be taught. The absence of body forms, draping manuals posed a challenge learning „real‟ fabric draping for design. Chi-square results yielded a fairly strong relationship between use of „real‟ fabric draping for design and pattern development technique taught (V= 0 .646; p < 0.0001*), sources of curriculum (V= 0.623; p < 0.0001*). Use of „real‟ fabric draping for design had a weak association with teachers‟ area of training (V = 0. 018; p < 0.006. It was concluded that pattern development technique taught, sources of curriculum and teachers‟ area of training are issues associated with the use of „real‟ fabric draping for design in public institutions of higher learning. On the contrary availability of learning resources and students‟ attitude were issues not associated with the use of „real‟ fabric draping for design. It was recommended that a need assessment research should be carried out in institutions teaching fashion design courses. This would establish the technological gaps in fashion design curricula in Kenya hence would reduce the inconsistency in skills acquisition.