In recent years the challenges for the textile industry has changed because of technological development and outsourcing. The consequence is an increased focus on innovation in the textile trade. This article describes the objectives in a three year research project. In order to contribute to the establishment of an initial framework for the project it has a focus on how to explore costumers and users emotional experiences with fabrics. The three year research project is based on experimental design research and the textile designer’s competences and knowledge. During the research project exploring approaches will be developed and carried out with the intention to involve specific stakeholders within an industrial value chain in the design process.

More specifically this article reports on a pilot experiment initiated to explore if repertory grid models could be a way to investigate tactile and visual sensing of fabrics in function. It is proposed that tactile and visual sensing of fabrics is a way to investigate and express emotional utility values. The further purpose is to use experiments with repertory grid models as part of the mapping of the entire research project and also as a basis for developing further experiments and approaches based on experimental design research and participatory action research.

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