Follow the Thread

a textile & costume history blog from the Design Center at Thomas Jefferson University

Student Project: object re-design, by David Kramer


original textile design by David Kramer

My name is David Kramer, and I am a textile design major at Thomas Jefferson University. My interest in textiles began as something I did not realize had a connection to textile design. Beginning in the first grade, I would create non-representational designs made up of lines—lines woven together in a sense. As I continued with this medium through the years, many different people who saw my work reacted by stating that they envision the drawings on fabric. It would be several years later, after earning my associate’s degree in graphic design, that I would be introduced to what textile design actually was and decided to finish my bachelor’s studying it.

Ultimately, I used the technique described above for the History of Textile & Costume class project which is the subject of this thread. For our final project we were to first choose an object for research from the university’s vast Textile and Costume Collection. After studying and writing a fresh analysis of the artifact, we were to complete an “object re-design,” meaning the creation of a textile or costume concept inspired by the artifact of choice.

T&CC 1986.1.185a,b, stiletto heel shoes by Valentine, circa 1950 (fabric, leather, Lurex)

The figures above show my artifact of choice, which I discovered in the online collection while searching not for “shoes” or “stilettos,” but with “tapestry” as the key word. The fact that these shoes had elaborate, tapestry woven fabrics sewn onto them struck me in such a way that I knew these shoes would be my artifact of study. The real intrigue was seeing yet another application for textile, which I have been discovering is a possibly endless road.

Textile having such a relationship to reality was the main inspiration for the object re-design. First, I created a pattern similar to my other drawings, but with the lines representing a weave; this weave would be meant to represent the concept some have termed “the fabric of the universe,” which would be the ultimate application for textile. I then took a section of this drawing and repeated it reflectively to create a greater pattern, as seen below. To view my full portfolio, read more about the philosophy behind these drawings as well as view the apparel which the patterns decorate, visit

The Multiverse, original textile design by David Kramer (colorway: dahlia purple, white, metallic silver, chartreuse, and 10% cool grey)

final design, with motif placed in mirrored repeat

Works Cited

Valentine. Shoes. p. 1, Textile and Costume Collection, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA.

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