ICT Literacy in Fashion


Compiled by Dr. Lesley Farmer, California State University Long Beach


Association of College & Research Libraries. (2008). Guidelines, standards, and frameworks.



  • Key terms: fashion, apparel, costume, clothing, decorative arts, fabric, fiber, textiles, visual literacy
  • Arts / Design
  • Arts / FiberArts / Theatre
  • Business / MarketingAcademic Support Services/ ICT literacy
  • Academic Support Services/Library and Information Services  







Historic Costume







Fashion Design 


Fashion Merchandising 



  • Batra, M., Marcketti, S. B., & Ratute, A. (2011). Multimedia in the university textiles and clothing classes. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 103(3), 45–46.
  • Fernandez-Stark, K., Frederick, S., & Gereffi, G. (2011). The apparel global value chain. Durham, NC: Duke Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness.
  • Gelderblom, A., Collewet, M., de Jong, J. M., de Jong, N., van der Zee, F. A., Enzing, C., ... & Vermeulen, S. (2012). Assessment of impacts of NMP technologies and changing industrial patterns on skills and human resources. Rotterdam: SEOR and Technopolis, on behalf of the European Commission.
  • Homlong, S. (2006). The language of textiles: Description and judgement on textile pattern composition. Doctoral dissertation, Uppsala University.
  • Homlong, S. (2013). Like or dislike: Aesthetic judgements on textile patterns. In The 2nd International Conference for Design Education Researchers, 14-17 May 2013, Oslo, Norway (pp. 731-742).
  • Lau, K. W., Kan, C. W., & Lee, P. Y. (2017). Doing textiles experiments in game-based virtual reality: A design of the Stereoscopic Chemical Laboratory (SCL) for textiles education. International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 34(3), 242–258.
  • Pasricha, A., & Kadolph, S. J. (2009). Millennial generation and fashion education: A discussion on agents of change. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 2(2-3), 119-126.
  • Sinclair, R. (2015). Dorcas legacies, Dorcas futures: Textile legacies and the formation of identities in ‘habitus’ spaces. Craft Research, 6(2), 209-222.  
  • Sini, R. sini. riikonen@helsinki. f., & Pirita, S.-H. pirita. seitamaa-hakkarainen@helsinki. f. (2018). A multi-method case study of textile craft-design applications – usability and effects on the design process. Art, Design & Communication in Higher Education, 17(2), 217–236.
  • Strimel, G. J., Morehouse, A., Bartholomew, S. R., Swift, C., & Woessner, J. (2019). Integrating computational thinking through wearable technologies and programmable e-textiles. Technology & Engineering Teacher, 78(8), 16–19.



 Fashion Design 

  • Ask students to create a timeline of a fashion element (e.g., pants, shoes).
  • Ask students to use drawing or image editing software to make variations of a fashion design.
  • Ask students to research trends in sewing patterns over time, ideally using primary sources (e.g.,
  •  Ask students to research how computer programming has impacted fashion design (e.g.,
  • Ask students to research the fashion design industry relative to possible gendered roles; ask them to note changes over time.
  • Ask students to compare fashion design practices in different countries.
  • Ask students to trace the career ladder of people in the fashion design industry.   


Fashion Merchandising 

  • Ask students to research a garment manufacturer or a fashion “house” in terms of history, economics, styles, manufacturing, and marketing.
  • Ask students to research the design, manufacturing, marketing, dissemination, and sales of a piece of clothing. Ask them to make a flowchart of that process. 
  • Ask students to research intellectual property law (both copyright and patents/trademarks) as it applies to fashion.
  • Ask students to interview personnel in different jobs within the fashion industry.
  • Ask students to research the total cost of a garment, from growing the fiber (e.g., sheep, flax) to its processing, including all manufacturing/production costs, marketing and sales.
  • Ask students to research the same topic in two database aggregators (e.g., ABI/INFORM, Art Full Text), and compare the process and results.
  • Ask students to research the history of technology as it impacts fashion merchandising.
  • Ask students to develop a video about one aspect of fashion merchandising.
  • Ask students to critique fashion advertisements in terms of body image.
  • Ask students to critique fashion advertisement in terms of diversity: age, gender (and their roles), ethnicity, physical differences including disabilities. 
  • Ask students to analyze fashion advertisements over time using primary sources (e.g.,
  • Ask students to identify, and find examples of, all the mathematics involved in fashion merchandizing. 
  • Ask students to critique movies (e.g., Pret a Porter, The Devil Wears Prada, about fashion merchandising in terms of their realism and “image.”   


Historic Costume

  •  Ask students to research the history of fashion logos.
  • Ask students to create a virtual museum exhibit about an aspect of fashion history.
  • Ask students to compare traditional costumes around the world.
  • Ask students to investigate the history of fashion illustration using primary sources (e.g., the Library of Congress’s American Memory collections:
  • Ask students to create a virtual exhibition of fashion of one period (e.g., Elizabethan era, Edwardian period, World War II) as depicted in film and television over the years (e.g., Mary of Scotland, 1936; Mary Queen of Scots, 1971; Reign, 2015).
  • Ask students to conduct a content analysis of a costume museum website (e.g.,, and then compare analyses. Aspects of analysis may include time periods; diversity of age, sex, class; presentation (mannequin with or without body parts; alone or in a group, etc.), setting (decontextualized, background image, props, etc.).
  • Ask students to create a timeline that traces theatrical costume styles for a theatrical genre (e.g., opera, comedy, musicals, Greek plays, Shakespearean plays, etc.).   


Fashion Culture/Aesthetic 

  • Ask students to research the cultural connotation of colors in different cultures.
  • Ask students to research historical or cultural influences of contemporary fashion.
  • Ask students to analyze the impact of movies on fashion.
  • Ask students to research the impact of technology on fashion trends.
  • Ask students to research the impact of fashion on technology (e.g., the Jacquard loom).
  • Ask students to research wearable technology.
  • Ask students to create an infographic about fashion.   



  • Ask students to create a timeline about of a fiber’s production methods (e.g., cotton). 
  • Ask students to create a virtual image museum / exhibition of weaving methods across cultures.
  • Ask students to compare the styles and influences of two textile designers, possibly from different periods.
  • Ask students to create a database of textile sources by type (e.g., animal, plan, mineral, synthetic) with their characteristics, production, application, and other factors.
  • Ask students to create a flowchart that traces an example of a textile from its origin (e.g., plant, chemistry) through its manufacturing, and sales.
  •  Ask students to research the history of technology as it impacts textile manufacturing. 
  • Ask students to research the environmental impact of textile manufacturing.