Accessible Textile Workshop
May 15, 2015

Special Clothing Design in İTÜ for the Disabled

“Accessible Textile Workshop” took place within the context of the “Accessible Textile” project started by İTÜ last year as a first in Turkey. Clothing designs were worked on by evaluating interviews with disabled individuals and suggestions made. Many designs such as non-slipping and non-pinching socks, jacket with zips at the shoulders, special coat for the walking disabled were made. The samples for the designs will be manufactured in “Textile Design Center for the Disabled” to be founded in İTÜ, which will be a first in Turkey.

Clothing oriented to disabled individuals were designed in the workshop held within the context of the “Accessible Textile” project led by the Faculty of Textile Technologies and Design of İTÜ and supported by the Ministry of Development and ISTKA. In the workshop attended by academicians, fashion designers, textile engineers, physiotherapists, psychologists and volunteers, clothes having 4 basic features of “easily wearable, easy-care, comfortable, having aesthetic value” were designed for the disabled.

Interviews with the disabled

The workshop started with the screening of a short film of interviews with disabled individuals from the designated pilot region Sancaktepe and Metin Sabancı Spastic Children and Teenagers Education, Training and Rehabilitation Center. Views, suggestions and complaints received by the help of the interviews were evaluated by the participants of the workshop. Four separate groups worked in the workshop and handled the most frequently encountered problems such as “difficulties while dressing, unfolding of clothes during movement, irritation by clothes, wearing down of clothes, unfitting sizes, being unaesthetic”.

Zip at the shoulder, non-pinching socks

During the workshop clothes such as “jacket with zips at the arms and shoulders, trousers with zip at the side, tracksuit having a jeans-like front look, undershirt with snap fasteners, non-slipping and non-pinching socks” were designed for easy use of disabled individuals. Coat with a cloak-like look with its front longer than the back for individuals using a wheelchair was yet another design.

Textile Design Center for the Disabled will be founded

Designs resulting from the workshop will be turned into prototypes and tried out by individuals in pilot regions. Designs will take their final form through user feedback. Then, they will be manufactured in “Textile Design Center for the Disabled” to be founded in İTÜ, which will be a first in Turkey.

Prof. Gürsoy: ‘We will set the standards’

“Accessible İTÜ” is a major goal incorporating studies on various grounds. In this sense, Accessible Textile project aims at producing solutions for problems as well as raising awareness and creating consciousness in all walks of society. The Dean of the Faculty of Textile Technologies and Design of İTÜ Prof. Nevin Çiğdem Gürsoy is supervising the project. Gürsoy expressed that it is very meaningful for İTÜ to conduct such an important and pioneering project. Gürsoy said, “In this project, we achieved the collaboration of university, government, industry and non-governmental organization. We are working as a very big team in the project. Our goal is determining the shortcomings in this field and raising social consciousness by making sample studies. It is important to lead the field, not only to dress a few people. With the various designs we make in the workshop we organized, we will set the rules for disabled clothing design and bring a standard to this field.”