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Advisory Council Member Faculty

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


I  have developed a research program that examines the complexities inherent in apparel and textile supply chains by design. My creative project based work  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 design reseasarch:

The 100-Mile Suit, a simulation of a regional textile supply chain surrounding Philadelphia.  Global multi-disciplinary research involved a 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. I guided undergraduate product development research in collaboration with Reebok to identify US based sourcing and manufacturing opportunities.

Current Projects:

MOBILE UPCYCLE: A Portable Maker-Platform and Educational Outreach Unit was featured in Design Philadelphia and the resultant collection of post-consumer "second generation" heritage texiles "W=FT" is forthcoming as part of my sabbatical project.  The EPA funded P3 Design Project "Physical to Virtual" launched at TECHCONNECT, the largest global innovation program in physical and life sciences. My passion in meshing technical to the tactile will guide me to Guatemala as a Fubright Specialist in collaboration with Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena. 


MFA, The University of Florida

BFA, The Maryland Institute, College of Art

Courses Regularly Taught

Interdisciplinary Approaches To Creative Problem Solving

Product Development and Management Studio

Lifecycle Approach To Design

Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

Re-Design methods in Sustainable Fashion

Portfolio Preparation + Self Branding and Promotion

Trend Forecasting

Recent Design Scholarship


Davelaar, E., Tortorice, C., Silverman, J., DiSanzo, A., & Blissick, M. (2016). Synthesis. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Vancouver, Canada. (Faculty mentor) 35% acceptance rate.

Cobb, K., Kallal, J., Orzada, B., Hall, M., Roelse, K., & Gorea, A. (2016). Cloud Eater. Contemporary and Wearable Art of Shibori and Ikat, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Cobb, K., Davelaar, E. , & Tortorice, C. (2016). Bonnie and Bye: A braided approach to design. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Vancouver, Canada. 35% acceptance rate.

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.  & 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.


Lapolla, K. & Cobb, K. (2016). Wearing Well-being: Using Context Mapping toward the Development of Garment Therapy for Elderly Populations. Presented at the International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference. Vancouver, Canada.

Cobb, K., Davelaar, E. , & Tortorice, C. (2016). Bonnie and Bye: A braided approach to design. International Textile and Apparel Association Design Exhibition. Vancouver, Canada.

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. World Expo, Milan. Milan, Italy: Domas Academy.

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.

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.

Grants and Contracts

Cao, H., (Principal Investigator), Dickson, M.A. (co-principal investigator), Cobb, K., Carper, M., & Shaffer, B (2016-2019) Textile and apparel curriculum development for a sustainable future. National Institute for Food and Agriculture, Higher Education - Institution Challenge Grants Program.

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

Fulbright Specialist

UD Makerspace Faculty Fellows Program

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

Tactile + Technical: Innovating Textiles

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



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 Collaboration and LCA researchCobb, Kelly;Clarke-Sather, Abigail;Blissick, Megan;Davelaar, Elizabeth;Tortorice, Cara;Silverman, Jillian;Disanzo, Anthonykcobb;aclarke-sather;mblissick;edavelaar;ctortorice;Jillian Silverman;adisanzoMikayla Durbiel-Summer Scholar 2.jpg
Mobile UpcycleCobb, KellykcobbJillian Silverman, Dipti Bhatt Upcycle.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