The Prospects of Introducing Design Theory to Master Craftsmen in Dressmaking Within the New Juaben Municipality in Ghana

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The study was conducted to introduce design theory to master craftsmen in dressmaking within the New Juaben Municipality. Consequently, the study focused on identifying the teaching and learning processes in the production of ladies’ apparel, analysing the impact of design theory on the performance of master craftsmen in dressmaking, determining the readiness and preparedness of master craftsmen for the introduction of design theory into dressmaking industry within the New Juaben Municipality. Concurrently, the study reviewed literature related to the Concept of Design and Designing, elements and principles of design, design theory, concepts of clothing, theories of cloth wearing, concept of figure types, sewing equipment’s and tools, teaching and learning techniques in dressmaking, concepts of craftsmanship and master craftsmen and concept of apprenticeship and apprentice. A mixed research method was employed in the study where structured questionnaire and semi structured interview were used to solicit information from the respondents. The questionnaire was designed and self- administered to 83 master craftsmen and zonal leaders and 12 were administered to apprentices totaling 95 respondents. Purposive sampling technique was employed in the selection of respondents for the study. Both quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0 and the analysis were presented using simple descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The study yielded some interesting results and provided deeper insight into the design theory. The study revealed that master craftsmen use no formal curriculum in training their apprentices and training is solely practical based while at the same time, teaching techniques are left to the discretion of the master craftsmen. The study again revealed that both master craftsmen and apprentices agree to a large extent inculcating the design theory in their activities will increase their dressmaking opportunities and also increase their effectiveness and efficiency. Finally, the study concludes that Design Theory would significantly improve the skills of master craftsmen in training apprentices. The study thus recommends that, a workshop should be organized by Ghana National Tailors and Dressmakers Association (GNTDA) for all master craftsmen within the municipality on the application of the design theory to keep them abreast with modern techniques in dressmaking.
A Thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY