Creative Design: Graduate

Inside-Out, Back to Front

  • Lida Aflatoony (University of Missouri–Columbia)


This design concept, Inside-Out, Back to Front is part of an ongoing qualitative research project that investigates tactile design strategies for vision-impaired people. According to the statements of the participants of this study, they need to touch the neckline of their garments to find the label of the dress to identify the direction of their garment. However, apparel companies sometimes use a stamp or heat-press label instead of a woven garment label to indicate the back neckline of the dress. “Labeless” garments make it difficult for blind individuals to identify the direction of the garment, especially if the garment has a round shaped neckline as the front and back appears the same for them. Therefore, the design strategy was to create a garment for women that is reversible and at the same time is the same back and front so users can donn the dress without worrying if the garment is being worn correctly. Three different patterns were developed to reach the final and desirable result. Each pattern was followed by muslin and fitting test to assess if the garment fits well in both front and back. A shoulder dart helps the garment follow the shape of the body around the shoulder on both front and back. The dart is followed by a deep pleat that gradually expands towards the hem of the dress. The pleat can be gathered right below the bust by means of magnets that are sewn inside the garment on both sides of the pleat. In this way, the garment gets shape below the bust. A round elastic cord was inserted around the neck and sleeve hems to fix properly the inside and outer layers to minimize the chance of sliding layers when the garment is worn. The collar of the dress is designed in the way that easily fits over the head, but does not look too large or too small. The raised texture in the form of padded shapes has been used in parts of the dress to assist the user in locating pockets without searching for the pockets for a long time as well as add aesthetic feature to the garment. The pattern is made with foam inserted between the two layers. The foam was cut in the shape of rectangles and attached on the fabric first by the fabric glue on the specific spots and then contained by a line of topstitching that goes through both layers. Vision-impaired and blind individuals cannot safely iron their garments. According to the statements of the participants, ironing is a dangerous task for them. Therefore, the materials used in the garment were a 100% wool twill with cut pile backing and 100% cotton twill with a terry cloth loop. Both fabrics are heavy weight and were chosen because they would not wrinkle much. Measurements: Female medium (size 6-8): Chest: 34”; Waist: 26”; Hip: 35”

Keywords: Clothing identification, Haptic, Vision-impaired

How to Cite:

Aflatoony, L., (2017) “Inside-Out, Back to Front”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 74(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2017
Peer Reviewed