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Macdonald DeWitt Library at SUNY Ulster

FAS 101: Start Here


This guide is designed to help you complete the research paper for Fashion 101.

Please make an appointment with a librarian to approve your Source Verification Worksheet, which is included in this subject guide.  Included here are links to resources you might need for your research.


Suggested Topics & Tips for Searching

Explore and discuss ONE of these 5 topics :

  1. Technology meets Apparel
  2. Hemp Fibers & Textiles
  3. Bio-regional/sustainable clothing
  4. Clothing and Self-Identity
  5. The Cotton Industry: what is the future?
  • SEARCH TERM TIPS:  Understanding the subject terms and how they're used in the industry is helpful in finding the most relevant resources for your topic.  In searching for resources, use equivalent or related terms to find relevant materials. Searching is never always choosing just one-word or term, and when using 2-word terms, like "hemp textile",  put it in quotes.  Try different, related terms to get the broadest range of resources.  ( For example, words like clothing, apparel, dress: one resource might use one term, if you just use the term clothing in the search box, you will miss those sources that use the word apparel.) 

           Make like Sherlock and keep trying different approaches.

EXAMPLES from articles in our databases. You can link to the full-text articles from scholarly sources quoted here by clicking on the title in parentheses (  ).

1. Technology Meets Apparel. 
"Systems like these would give garments the capacity to surf the Internet, make telephone calls, store and retrieve computer files, monitor the wearer’s vital signs and administer medication without the wearer even noticing."  ( from Techno Fashion, chapter Five)

"In the early twenty-first century, these textiles are more widely used in protective clothing. They provide firefighters with a barrier against heat and radiation, shield welders from molten metals, and offer police officers and soldiers protection against stab wounds, explosions, and bullets, as well as being used for wet suits for divers and space suits for astronauts..."  (from Intelligent Textiles)

Related terms: wearable technology, smart clothing, electronic/smart textile

2. Hemp Fibers & Textiles
Historical background:  " Hemp and flax were cultivated across Europe until the nineteenth century. Linen, the textile produced from these plants, was extremely important, due to its association with cleanliness, and its close relationship with households, particularly women’s work."  ( from Materials)

It has become an important raw material for textile fibers, it has excellent moisture absorption and release properties, air permeability, warmth retention, cold and warm sense, high temperature resistance, insulation, anti ultraviolet, anti radiation qualities, anti-mildew and antibacterial health-care properties and sound deadening properties (from  Advances in the Performance and Application of Hemp Fiber)

Related terms: hemp industry, plant textiles, linen, flax

3. Bio-regional/sustainable clothing

"Eco-dress includes clothing, accessories, and shoes that may be designed, manufactured, transported, consumed, or recycled with methods and materials that reflect an enlightened consciousness about environmental issues and human and animal rights."  ( from Green is the New Black: Celebrity Chic and the "Green" Commodity Fetish)

"The slow approach offers more sustainable and ethical ways of being fashionable that have implications for design, production,consumption, and use. The fashion system has begun to embrace the term "slow fashion" according to articles and blogs appearing on the Internet."   (from Slow+ Fashion: an Oxymoron? --or a Promise for the Future?)

Related terms: slow fashion, eco fashion, sustainable textiles, "green" design

4. Clothing and Self-Identity

Dress is a visual form of communication. Before two people are close enough to each other to exchange words, they communicate a world of information (or misinformation) through dress. They may register gender, age, ethnic origin, income, social status, rank, occupation, group membership, sexual availability, personality, opinions, beliefs, tastes, interests, and mood. ( Dress and Identity)

"Six participants, both male and female, were interviewed wearing an outfit that “made them happy.” The semi-structured interviews highlighted the importance of “intentionally managing identity.”  (  from  Flourishing Fashion: An Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis of the Experience of Wearing a Happy Outfit

Related terms: fashion psychology, personal style, clothing symbolism, fashion identity

5. The Cotton Industry: what is the future

"...cotton is "increasingly causing environmental problems due to its enormous need for water, soil salinisation and the use of pesticides," according to research body, The Nova Institute." " ( from China looking at eco-friendly hemp as cotton alternative)

"Debates about textiles and sustainability have been vigorous with regard to the ethical and environmental issues of cotton production, which is highly significant in the textile and fashion industries, particularly for the production of the ubiquitous denim jeans and cotton T-shirts. Cotton is the most important nonfood agricultural commodity worldwide and accounts for over half of all clothing textile production." ( from Ethical Fashion and Ecofashion)   

 Related terms: natural textiles, cotton clothing/apparel,  cotton AND environment       


Class Documents

Verify Your Sources

Click on the blue bar above to make an appointment.

Meet with a librarian to verify that your sources are acceptable. Drop-ins are always welcome, but availability cannot be guaranteed. You are strongly encouraged to make an appointment. 

Additional contact information:
Reference Desk: 845-687-5208

Image from Berg/Bloomsbury database

  EVENING DRESS : sustainable materials