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University of Delaware Faculty



Kelly Cobb
Assistant Professor
University of Delaware
202 Alison Hall West
Newark, DE 19716


As a fashion scholar I have developed a research program that examines the complexities inherent in apparel and textile supply chains through creative project based work that seeks to reintegrate the wearer of clothes to local trades and economies, restoring integrity and kinship to the origins of materials and to the human labor involved in textile and apparel production. Examples of key projects include the 100-Mile Suit, a simulation of a regional textile supply chain surrounding Philadelphia.  Global multi-disciplinary research conducted collaboration with Vertically Integrated Denim manufacturer Denimatrix, involved tracing the denim supply chain with the objective of demystifying it, from a Texas cotton field, to a Guatemala denim factory, to a New York City trend showroom floor. Recently, I guided undergraduate product development research in collaboration with Reebok  to identify US based sourcing and manufacturing opportunities. My current project MOBILE UPCYCLE: A Portable Maker-Platform and Educational Outreach Unit will be featured in Design Philadelphia 2016.  Physical to Virtual, an EPA funded P3 Design Project will launch in May of 2017. Ongoing studio projects include: Loom built garments and "second generation" material studies.; The Braided Approach, a collective design project and Wearing-Well Being.


MFA, The University of Florida (Terminal degree in the field of design)

BFA, The Maryland Institute, College of Art

Courses Regularly Taught

Interdisciplinary Approaches To Creative Problem Solving

Product Development and Management Studio

Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

Re-Design methods in Sustainable Fashion

Fashion Drawing and Rendering

Portfolio Preparation

Recent Scholarship


Cobb, K.  & Orzada, B. (2015). Facets of Indigo: Combining Traditional Dye Methods With State-Of-The-Art Digital Print Technology, A Sustainable Design Case. In Muthu, S.S. &  Gardetti, M (Eds.), Green Fashion (tbd). Singapore: Springer-Verlag Singapur.

Cao, H., Dickson, M. A., Cobb, K., Carper, M., Scudder, C., & Wong, C. (2014).  Applying Sustainability performance measurement tool in designing and developing automotive employee uniforms. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education.

Cobb, K. (2013). 100-Mile Suit in Rodgers and Yee (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Design Research (Ch. 5: How we conduct design research), Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group Publishers.


Cobb, K. (2015). Saori Ensemble. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Acceptance rate 41.7%

Cobb, K. (2015). SAORI garment. SAORI Weaving x Fashion Design. Tenri Cultural Institute. New York. (Invited)

Cobb, K., Kallal, J., Orzada, B., Hall, M., Roelse, K., & Gorea, A. (2014). Cloud Eater. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition, Target Market Live Exhibition. Charlotte, NC. Acceptance rate 43%

Cobb, K. (2013). Cloth yardage, Beyond the Selvage: A History of Screen-printing at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA. (Juried)

Cobb, K. (2012). Balengiaga Kapakahi, International Textile and Apparel Association, Honolulu, HI. Acceptance rate 39.9%

Cobb, K. (2012). Practical Religion: Affirmation, Agency and Survival through Dress: ITUTU aÿô ìgúnwà factory. Artist-In-Residence and project finalist. Structure and Surface, Mural Arts Program. City of Philadelphia, PA. (Juried)

Cobb, K. (2011). Batik with QR Code, American Batik Competition Exhibition, Textile Museum, Jakarta, Indonesia. (Juried)


Cobb, K.  (2015). Presentation of Personal Creative Research Methods: Design and Social Practice. Presented as part of a special session on “Design research: retrievable, contextualized, and making a contribution to knowledge in the field” at the annual conference of the International Textile and Apparel Association, Santa Fe, NM. November 2015.

Cobb, K. (2015). On-the-Ground: Integrating Sustainability into the Higher Learning Curriculum through Factory-Floor Experiences. Feeding Fashion Energies: New Pathways For Fashion Education. Fashion Colloquia Milan, World Expo 2015

Tortorice, C. Cobb, K. Lopez-Gydosh, D. (2015) Fashion CSI: Exploring the Application of Virtual Design Software in Historic Costume and Textiles Collections. Presented at  CSA Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas.

Grants and Contracts

Cobb, K. (PI, faculty Advisor), Cao, H, DuBreuil, M.,  Stellato, M.,  Scarry, M. (2016). From Physical To Virtual: Optimizing the Apparel Product Development Process to Reduce Solid Waste in Apparel Production with the use of 3D Models and Maps. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, P3 Award: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity, and the Planet.

Cobb, K.(2016). Mobile UPCYCLE: A Portable Maker-Platform and Educational Outreach Unit. General Research Grant Program. University of Delaware.

Cobb, K. (2016) UDXLOCAL Ethical Fashion Collection: A Lifecycle Approach To Apparel Product Development That Considers The Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability Implications from Fiber to Consumer. University of Delaware Center For Teaching and Learning Travel Grant.

Cobb, K. (2014). LEUCO State: College Fashion Innovates Indigo on Cotton using Digital Print technology. Cotton Student Sponsorship Grant, Cotton Incorporated.

Cobb, K. (2013). Digi-Atelier: A 24/7 Video-Based Design Tutorial Resource Library University of Delaware IT Transformation Grant.

Cobb, K. (2012). CAS Faculty Research and Enrichment Grants for the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences for presentation at the 2012 International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference, Honolulu, HI.

Cobb, K., Carper, M., Wyatt, N. "Cotton Lab: 2012: From the Ground Up. Product Development and Management collaboration." Cotton Student Sponsorship Grant, Cotton Incorporated.

Huantian Cao, Martha Carper, Kelly Cobb, Marsha Dickson. (2011) Sustainable Automotive Uniform Design and Development. In collaboration with The University of Delaware Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies and International Sportswear brand.

Cobb, K., Cotton Lab: 2010. (2010). Cotton Student Sponsorship Grant, Cotton Incorporated.

Honors and Awards

Finalist, Structure and Surface Textile Industry Project. Mural Arts Program and The City of Philadelphia, PA.

Finalist in Hawaii Professional Design Award sponsored by Paris American Academy

Grand Prize Winner, American Batik Contest. The Indonesian Embassy and Asia Society

Nominated for Arts and Sciences outstanding teacher award, The University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Best Teaching Paper: ESRAB. From the Ground-Up: Cotton Lab 2010. International Apparel and Textile Association 2011.

Awarded Paper of Distinction Cobb, K. and Orzada, B. Partnering with Industry. International Textile and Apparel Association 2010. Sustainability Track.

Research Interests

Fashion and social practice through collective design

Local textile and apparel production as it relates to environmental, economic, and socio-cultural health

Developing external partnerships with Government, Industry, and Community: emphasizing participatory design approaches to practice-based projects

Tactile + Technical: Innovating Textiles



Integrating sustainable textile and apparel concepts into FASH undergraduate curriculumCao, Huantian;Carper, Martha;Dickson, Marsha;Cobb, Kelly;Shaffer, Brendahcao;mcarper;mdickson;kcobb;bshaffer
Bonnie and Bye: A Braided Approach to DesignCobb, KellykcobbElizabeth Davelaar, Cara Tortorice Cobb 2.jpg
Synthesis Design CollaborationCobb, KellykcobbSummer Scholar-Mikayla Dubriel 2.jpg

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  • Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies
  • 211 Alison Hall West
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8714