Interview with Capstone student Gabriella DeBlasio

Gabby is one of a kind and I’m so honored to have had her in my classes. She’s smart, grounded, and has a great work ethic. Gabby’s work ranges between knitting and weaving and she has proven to be quite adept at both. I can’t wait to see where she ends up applying her skills post-graduation.

How did you choose Textile Design as a major?

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a chemist because Chemistry was the only class that I actually enjoyed. During my senior year, I took fashion as an elective and I was encouraged by my teacher to combine chemistry with my new love for fashion. I came to PhilaU on a tour interested in Textile Engineering. When I sat down with an advisor as part of the tour, I asked to hear about all of the textile majors that were offered. She handed me a few documents that outlined each major in detail. I read through them and said that I wanted to major in Textile Design and I have never looked back!

Are there any techniques in textile design you’d like to explore further?

I would love to explore weaving more in-depth. I had so much fun playing with double cloth on the handlooms and I’d like to try again with more intricate drafts.

What do you have on your knitting machine/loom/sketchbook today?

Currently, I am hard at work making some garment swatches for my capstone collection. When I have some free time to knit for myself, I am working on knitting some monofilament pillows. I am passionate about sustainability, especially reusing and reducing waste. After understanding how much yarn scraps are wasted in the textile industry, I thought about how I could use yarn scraps so they wouldn’t have to be thrown away. I’m working on creating a tubular knit monofilament casing and then stuffing it with yarn scraps that I have collected from the studio.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years?

I want to be an Apparel Designer in knits and/or wovens. Although, I think I would be happy in a lot of different areas of the industry!

 How does your personal aesthetic influence your design work? Do you think it should?

My personal aesthetic is pretty wacky. I primarily gravitate towards the vibe of my capstone collection. I like soft and comfy things and especially anything that is olive green. I also love mismatched things, crazy geometrics, and vibrant colors. I wear mismatched socks every day and I have for most of my life. My personal aesthetic is all over the spectrum, so I am able to use this to my advantage when designing. I can adapt any concept or idea to fit into my style and design aesthetic. Really good design is when you can see a piece of the designer or artist within their work. When there is a personal connection and excitement to make something, the design is so much stronger.

What surprised you the most about Textile Design at Philau/Jefferson?

The first time I had heard of Textile Design was on my first tour of PhilaU. I read a small description of it and within thirty seconds I had chosen it as my major. I didn’t fully understand what my major was until my sophomore year, just because the industry is so large and unknown to the average person. After I was immersed in it and began creating fabric is when I really started to understand what I had chosen to do for a living. I was happily surprised that I chose the perfect major without fully understanding what it was when I chose it.

What is your favorite thing about Textile Design?

When I see a cool textile, whether it be a shirt, a scarf, or a blanket, I already have my hands on it to try and figure out what it is and how it has been made. I am constantly reminded that I chose the right path because cool fabrics make me excited! My favorite thing about Textile Design within Jefferson is definitely working with my peers and faculty. The studio culture is unmatched and we have created a little family within our major.

To follow Gabby’s designs, check out her website and Instagram below.


Meghan Kelly

Meghan Kelly is an assistant professor of Textile Design at Jefferson University, where she teaches Knit Design Studio and Knitting Technology to undergrad and graduate […]

Add comment