Textile Engineering - Masters Thesis Handbook

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TEXTILE ENGINEERING,
MASTER’S THESIS HANDBOOK
30 CREDITS

ANDERS PERSSON
VINCENT NIERSTRASZ

FOREWORD
This handbook is intended to help students complete their Master’s thesis work in
Textile Engineering at the Swedish School of Textiles. In electronic format (a Microsoft Word document) it also provides a general template, in which the heading
of this section (Foreword) could be replaced by the student’s Abstract. The handbook outlines the thesis process, including important dates, and it explains the department’s requirements on format and writing as well as the grading system, supervision and other important parts of the thesis process.
This handbook is based on its equivalent developed by Jonas Stray and Håkan Torstensson for the Applied Textile Management Programme, which is also offered at
the Swedish School of Textiles.

i

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword .................................................................................................................... i
Table of Contents ..................................................................................................... iii
1. Introduction ........................................................................................................ 1
2. Topic and Project................................................................................................ 1
3. Thesis Project Overview..................................................................................... 1
4. Registration ........................................................................................................ 3
5. Project proposal .................................................................................................. 3
6. Supervision ......................................................................................................... 4
7. Thesis Report Structure ...................................................................................... 4
8. Format and Writing Requirements ..................................................................... 6
Format Requirements ............................................................................................ 6
Page Size and Margins ...................................................................................... 6
Font ................................................................................................................... 6
Headings and Table of Contents ....................................................................... 6
Lists of Figures, Tables, Acronyms and Abbreviations .................................... 7
Figures, tables and other floating environments ............................................... 7
Footnotes........................................................................................................... 7
References......................................................................................................... 7
Writing Requirements ......................................................................................... 10
9. Start up and mid-term presentations ................................................................. 10
10. Oral Presentation and Opposition ..................................................................... 11
11. Evaluation and Examination............................................................................. 11
Appendix I. ............................................................................................................. 13
Appendix II. ............................................................................................................ 15
Appendix III............................................................................................................ 17

iii

v

1. INTRODUCTION
The Swedish School of Textiles has one Master’s Programme in Textile Engineering, which is scheduled for two years with a one semester full time thesis project,
i.e. 30 credits. This programme also offers a possibility to settle for one year where
the student makes half a semester thesis project, i.e. 15 credits. There are two different handbooks that cover the thesis courses individually. The thesis projects
require independent scientific work, academic writing and oral presentation at an
international level. As students are expected to produce reports and presentations
of a quality level set by the international peer-review principles, it is useful to have
a manual that outlines the administrative process and thesis project flow, describes
the report format requirements and the student-supervisor relationship, provides
language guidelines and explains the grading system and process. This manual is
intended to assist the student in completing the project on time and in designing
and writing up the outcome of his or her work according to the set standards.

2. TOPIC AND PROJECT
Ultimately the thesis project validates the quality of the programme. This means
that students who master their tools acquired before and during the programme to
such a degree that the thesis project touches the science frontier in a specific textile
engineering domain. A student who is able to synthesize his knowledge, understanding, skills, abilities and judgement during the thesis course can be called a
Master of Textile Engineering. Complete learning objectives are stated in the study
programme syllabus. The project should address the scientific aspects of a professional textile engineering issue or problem. In order to assure proper scientific level
the project is preferably conducted in the proximity of research areas where the
Swedish School of Textiles is enrolled. Alternatively enterprises, institutes or other
academic organizations with research focus can host the project.
With the stressed scientific focus of the project the independence of the student is
jeopardized. To assure that the student manages the project it is mandatory that
students take the initiative to and articulate a topic. The thesis coordinator will not
keep a stock of ready-made research questions to the students.

3. THESIS PROJECT OVERVIEW
The thesis project comprises the following activities in more or less the mentioned
order:

1

2

OK

NOT OK

Assess
ment

NOT OK
Fx

F

Opposition
Presentation

11/6

Submission
Revised

3/6
Submission
final version
29/5 PM
29/5 AM

NOT OK

OK

27/5
Assessment
by supervisor

Idea draft &
request for
supervisor

August r
Presentation

OK
Assess
ment

7/6
Half time
seminar
Start up
seminar
Clearance by
examiner & course
manager

25/3
24/1
14/12-12

9/11-12

1. The student works on finding a suitable project by contacting departmental
staff or scholars in their networks.
2. The student makes sure that enough credits are completed to register for
the project.
3. Registration steps:
a. The student decides on the title of the thesis and fills in the registration form attached in this handbook.
b. The registration form is handed or e-mailed no later than 9 November to the thesis coordinator for assignment of supervisor and
examiner.
4. A clearance process that involves student, supervisor candidate, examiner
and thesis coordinator takes place.
5. Examiner and thesis coordinator approves of the project no later than 14
December.
6. Now, actual work on the project has definitely started. The relationship between the student and supervisor should be well established.
7. The student participates in a start-up seminar 24 January where the research question and scope are put into their context and presented together
with draft outlines of methods and time plan.
8. The student participates in a mid-project seminar 25 March where the introduction, results from literature searches, methods section and detailed
plan of project closure are presented and reviewed by peers and staff.
9. By the beginning of May, the students should start working on their presentations. At this time the thesis coordinator provides the time of day and

10.
11.

12.
13.
14.
15.

16.

17.

venue of each team’s presentation. Allocate 20 minutes for the presentation
and five minutes for questions from the opponents and the audience.
Submission approval is initiated by providing an electronic or printed copy
of the thesis to the supervisor 23 May.
Upon approval by the supervisor, no later than 27 May the student now:
a. Provides two printed and one electronic copy (in Word format) of
the thesis to the supervisor.
b. Provides one printed copy to their peer opponent.
c. Obtains a thesis number from the school expedition.
The supervisor sends one printed copy to the examiner. By sending the
thesis, the supervisor approves the thesis for presentation.
The theses are presented 29 May AM with opposition PM in a joint event
for both 15 and 30 credit Master theses.
Oral peer review comments during the opposition session are followed by
the opponents’ written comments and a grade report from the examiner.
After feedback consideration the student provides the examiner with a one
printed and electronic copy (in Word format) of the report for final grading
3 June.
No later than 7 June the examiner notices the student if the report did not
receive format approval or in the case of the grade Fx, the students have
until 11 June to make corrections and resubmit to the examiner for consideration for a grade. If Fx was graded no other grade than F is considered.
The final grade is reported in the students’ LADOK accounts no later than
21 June.

A student that fails to deliver a manuscript by 23 May or is stopped from presentation in the 29 May seminar is handled individually. Still the student should be prepared for the peer review part 29 May. Next available opportunity for presentation
is in August 2013.

4. REGISTRATION
In order to register for the 30-credit thesis project (from now on just ”thesis”), the
student must have earned at least 52.5 credits and 7.5 credits from the course Scientific Methodology and Communication under the programme in LADOK by the
end of week 4.
The registration form is included in Appendix I of this document. It may be filled
in electronically and emailed to the thesis coordinator.

5. PROJECT PROPOSAL
The project proposal should be handed to your designated supervisor, or the thesis
coordinator if you have not been assigned a supervisor. It should outline the things
you intend to do during your project and when you plan on doing them. This type
of document is common when communicating research projects for interested parties to understand what activities are needed and how long they will take in order

3

for the project to be successful. Use Gantt charts or other illustration tools according to your own judgement. A sample proposal is given in Appendix III.

6. SUPERVISION
The role of the supervisor is to help the student complete the project on time and to
produce a report of high quality. The student and supervisor first agree on a timeline for the project, and adherence to this timeline becomes part of the final grade.
The student and supervisor should meet or talk directly several times over the
course of the project. The student should submit written work several times as well,
especially while working on the problem description. Each student are entitled to at
least twelve hours of direct communication with their supervisor and the supervisor
has the right to the same amount, upon failure on part of the supervisor up until two
weeks before the deadline to hand in the report the student is entitled to be assigned
another supervisor. Upon failure on part of the students up until two weeks before
the deadline to hand in the report the supervisor has the right to disallow examination. In order for this right to disallow examination to come into effect, there must
be evidence of written requests (letters or electronic mail) for direct communication sessions from the supervisor detailing the time and form of these sessions.
Furthermore, under the same consequences as described in the case of direct communication, the students have the right to adequate supervision in terms of the contents of the report and the supervisor has the right to a printed, or, in the case of
long geographical distances between the student and supervisor, electronic, copy of
the report within two weeks notice as the report stands at any moment during the
thesis project. The total supervision time available for each student is 30 hours
including reading time.
The supervisor should make sure that the student is fully aware of the requirements
to get the thesis accepted for presentation. If this issue arises the course management should be noticed asap.
Ping-pong should be used for communication.

7. THESIS REPORT STRUCTURE
A thesis can be structured in many different ways. You must ensure that the flow
of your scientific argument is unbroken and solid throughout the document. To be
well prepared for structuring your document, you should ask your supervisor to
help you find some good examples of theses or papers which you then read and
reflect upon. However, some of the common headings are mentioned here. Use
them to reflect on what is to be included and where in your thesis it should go.
Abstract – Present in a condensed way what’s been done, why it was done, how it
was done, most important results and their implications on science and society.
Popular abstract – Write a popular version of the abstract that can be used as
press release. Make sure that lay men are able to understand this section. It should
not be longer than the abstract.
4

Introduction – Introduce the topic and make the reader interested. Important concepts may be briefly introduced and should be maintained exactly throughout the
document.
Problem description – describe your problem in as much detail as you possibly
can. Tell us why it is an important problem; tell us how solving it may change the
world. Every term you use not described in the dictionary must be properly defined
or referenced. If it is used several times in your document it can be helpful if you
place a referenced definition in a footnote.
Research questions – if you are not tackling a specific problem it might make
sense to outline your goals by means of a research question or more. The question
should guide your research and can be more or less specific, but the answer you
provide must rest on your method, results and on the literature review. It is important to discuss the research questions with the supervisor.
Literature review – explore the literature to convince the reader that you have
read everything that may actually contain a solution to your problem, but does not.
Refer to the literature for definitions of concepts that you have not invented yourself. Do not include several paragraphs describing common knowledge or even
cutting-edge research unless you are describing the method that you used.
Theoretical frame of reference – this is more or less the same as a literature review and is more often used in doctoral dissertations. It should constitute a set of
ideas that you want the reader to presuppose when interpreting your work. It
should also contain a number of definitions of concepts that might otherwise be
interpreted in a vastly different way than you would like. These definitions and
ideas should mostly be based (if not all) on accepted literature in the research field
of your thesis.
Method – describe your method in such a way as to make it possible to repeat your
work. If you have developed a new method, you must provide reliability and validity tests and discussions. If it is a well-known, accepted scientific method, find a
good book or paper that describes the method properly and follow the method to
the letter. Reference the book or paper you use and describe what you did, don’t
repeat the text of the book or paper. If you suspect that your choice of method
might be questioned, provide a discussion on each of the alternative methods that
conceivably might have been applied to solve your problem, and end this with a
motivation for your particular choice. This is not always relevant; in the case of
mathematics, for example, if you have proven a solution to a problem, the way you
did it might not matter as long as it holds.
Results – this section or chapter usually contains tables and graphs depicting the
numerical or other output produced by your method. Present the results in welldesigned graphs and carefully described tables so that they may actually be read
and understood without having to read the next section or chapter.
Analysis – complicated result may require further analysis to become useful
knowledge. Use this section to interpret graphs, explaining to the reader what they
are telling us. As an example, in the results section a table might contain the values

5

12, 15, 18 and 21 under the headings January, February, March and April, respectively. In the analysis section you might want to say “The value increased by 3
units per month over a four-month period.” In the analysis section, you should
draw on the literature review and weave it together with your results and come up
with an answer to your problem.
Conclusions – here you simply state the solution to your problem and perhaps say
something about its implications on the rest of us.
Future research – during your project you should collect the ideas that can’t be
investigated and write them up in a future research section. This may be of benefit
to other people or yourself for future research projects.

8. FORMAT AND WRITING REQUIREMENTS
The format and the writing quality are crucial in scientific reporting. Without them
scientific work becomes harder to compare and more difficult to understand for a
wider audience than the author’s immediate colleagues. The requirements laid out
in this handbook for our subject area are general in character, but are designed to
ensure consistency, clarity and unambiguity. English skills may be improved at
HB’s Language Lab, which you can read more about at: hb.se/Current Student/Support/Language & Speech/The Language Lab.

FORMAT REQUIREMENTS
The report must contain a title page, abstract, table of contents, list of figures, list
of tables, list of abbreviations, list of acronyms, the main document, references and
appendix. The list of figures, list of tables and appendix are necessary only if there
are respective figures, tables or material suitable for inclusion in an appendix in the
report.

PAGE SIZE AND MARGINS
Print the report on A4 paper. The A4 is 210 mm wide and 297 mm high. The top
and bottom margins should be 25 mm. The text width should be 130 mm if you are
using Times New Roman or Courier fonts of size 11, while size 12 warrants a text
width of 140 mm. If you are using other fonts, check the letter width of the font
and choose an appropriate text width of either 130 or 140 mm. A text width of 130
mm corresponds to 40 mm right and left margins while a text width of 140 mm
corresponds to 35 mm left and right margins. The edges of tables, figures or other
floats may not appear outside the margins.

FONT
There may generally only be a single font (Times New Roman, Arial etc.) in the
document. The only exception is that you may use a serif font in the text while
using a sans serif in the headings. The font size of the main text should be 11 or 12
(never mixed). Headings should be larger than 11 or 12, but must be the same for
the same heading level across the document. Never use fantasy fonts.

HEADINGS AND TABLE OF CONTENTS
Headings should be numbered at least to the third level.
6

The table of contents should contain headings down to at least the third level.

LISTS OF FIGURES, TABLES, ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Use the same style for the lists of figures, tables, acronyms, abbreviations and similar lists as for the table of contents. Place these lists directly after the table of contents.

FIGURES, TABLES AND OTHER FLOATING ENVIRONMENTS
The quality of images in the report should be good. Figures, tables and other floats
should be numbered consistently. Figures should follow their own numbering sequence (Fig. 1, Fig. 2, … , Fig. n) and tables follow their own numbering sequence
(Table 1, Table 2, … , Table n). If you include other types of floats, such as algorithms, give them their own numbering sequence.

FOOTNOTES
In scientific texts it is occasionally good for the readability to refrain from clarifying terms directly in the text. As an example, consider the flow of the following
sentence: ”… the subjects all had to have prior experience of asphyxiation, which
is defined here as the subject having being deprived of oxygen during a neardrowning experience, which entailed a large search and recruitment effort before
the study could start.” In this case the word asphyxiation1 is given a slightly more
precise definition than that found in dictionaries, and the flow would have been
improved if this definition had been placed in a footnote. It is, however, sometimes
crucial to present the definition directly in the text, so exercise judgement when
using footnotes.

REFERENCES
References play an important role in scientific texts. By referencing clearly and
unambiguously, the reader can determine who says what, when they said it and
where the source of each fact or statement is located. The quality of the research
presented in the text is dependent on the extent and range of the body of literature
and other sources that have been used in supporting the background, problem formulation, frame of reference, methods, results, analysis, conclusions and future
work. The referencing has to be clear and provide enough information to identify
the sources precisely. Primary sources should be used if available.

The reference in the text
The reference in the text to the source contains the name(s) of the author(s) and the
year of publication of the source, in parentheses. This system is based on the wellknown Harvard referencing system, which you can read more about if you open:
http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm
If your sentence uses the name of the author(s), just use the year of publication in
parentheses as the reference. This is called direct use of the author name(s).
If your sentence does not use the name, put the author(s) and year in parentheses as
the reference. This is called indirect use of author name.
1

Asphyxiation is here defined as oxygen depravation induced by drowning.

7

If the source has a single author, include the surname of the author, if there are two
authors, include both authors’ surnames separated by the word ”and”. If there are
three authors or more, use the surname of the first author followed by ”et al.” (an
abbreviation of the Latin expression et alia, meaning ”with others”).
The following sentence exemplifies the reference rules and how to write more than
one reference for each statement: ”Smith and Johnson (1977), Tomlinson et al.
(1978) and Bergerand (1980) showed that books become larger by adding words,
while current research indicates that the number of words decreases as more work
is put into writing the text (Cobbleberg et al., 2011) and that the length and complexity of words also decreases with effort (Ardent and Dumanoir, 2009; Steinbeard, 2010).”
When referencing or quoting a specific claim in the source, indicate this by including the page numbers: “Ardent and Dumanoir (2011, pp. 23-24) argue that ‘nothing
can substitute a well chosen word.’” You could alternatively write this in your own
words: The authors argue that the criteria for a judging whether a word has been
well chosen is that it is hard to replace the word with a better word (Ardent and
Dumanoir, 2009, pp. 23-24).
If a quote is longer than 50 words, place it in an indented paragraph, with quotation
marks: “Hardy (1882, p. 330) tells us
‘There were so many lions around us that we could
have walked on their backs across the river, if only they
had been of a more benign species and had been standing in the river. As it was, their benevolence was limited to ignoring us, for which we thanked them, so we
quietly waded across.’”
Perhaps you are wondering about the usage and placement of quotation marks,
commas and full stops (“.”)? Put the full stops and commas inside the quotation
marks when they are part of the word or quote you are referring to. Put the commas
and full stops outside of the quotation marks when they are not part of the word or
quote (this is called logical punctuation as opposed to aesthetic punctuation). Use
single quotation marks (‘) as “inner” quotation delimiters.
If a statement refers to several works of the same author, include the author name
once, followed by a list of the years of publication: Direct use: “Cobbleberg (2010;
2011)” and indirect use: “(Cobbleberg, 2010; 2011)”. If the works were published
in the same year, use a, b, …, etc. to distinguish them: “Smith (1974a; b) was first
contradicted by Tomlinson (1980a), but Tomlinson (1980b) later retracted the contradiction.”
Compilations of work by several authors, such as encyclopaedias, usually name the
editor or publishing company of the compiled work. The reference to work in such
a compilation should be specified by using the author of the work, not the editor of
the compilation. Reference to the compilation as a whole should be specified by
the name of the editor.

8

References to work by organisations is similar to that of authors but if the organisation is mentioned more than once, an acronym should be introduced: “The Swedish
Royal Book Preservation Society (SRBPS) has performed research on the size of
books and conclude that books are getting shorter (SRBPS, 2009).” If the organisation is well known by an acronym, use that one: “SIDA (2010) states…”
If you can’t establish the name of the author (which should always be done), use
Anonymous or Anon. instead of the name: “Books are good (Anon., 2010).”
If the year of publication cannot be established, use n.d. (no date): “(Tomlinson,
n.d.)”.

The list of references
Use References as the heading for the list of references and place it directly after
the main document, before any Appendix. List the references in alphabetical order
by the first letter of the reference work as it appears in the list. The following list
illustrates some of the common types of references. Each example is followed by
its anatomy.
Single author article in peer-reviewed journal (often called journal paper):
Cobbleberg, J.P., 2010. Decreasing the number of words by working on one’s text.
The Internal Journal on Book Science, 21(2), pp. 331-346.
Author surname, punctuated initials, publication year. Article title. Full journal
title in italics, volume(issue), page numbers.
Multiple author article in peer reviewed journal:
Cobbleberg, J.P., Dumanoir, P.Y. and Smith, J., 2010. Decreasing the number of
words by working on one’s text. The Internal Journal on Book Science, 21(2), pp.
331-346.
Author surname, punctuated initials (last author preceded by “and”), publication
year. Article title. Full journal title in italics, volume(issue), page numbers.
Book:
Smith, J., 1976. The length of sentences. 2nd ed. New York, Reader’s Publishing
Company.
Author name, year. Book title in italics (Look at the title page, not the book cover
for the correct title). Edition (only if second edition or more). Place of publication
(city, not just country), publisher.
For books with more than a single author, follow the same rules as for journal articles. If the books have an editor or editors, add a field with ed. or eds. after their
names, before the year of publication.
Distinguish references to multiple books of the same author and same year by using letters:
“Smith, J., 1976a…
9

Smith, J., 1976b…”
Book chapter in edited book:
Cobbleberg, J.P., 1974. The number of words in sentences. In: J. Smith, ed. 1976.
The length of sentences. 2nd ed. New York, Reader’s Publishing Company, pp. 3241. (or ch. 3. instead of pp. 32-41.)
Dissertation or thesis:
Author name, year. Dissertation/thesis title. Level. Full name of University.
Reports by organisations:
Authorship/Organisation, Year. Full title of report. [type of medium] Place: Publisher: Available at: include web address/URL [Accessed on date] (If nonelectronic, leave out: medium type, available at url and access date).
Electronic books freely available:
Author name, Year. Title of book. [type of medium] City, Publisher. Available at:
web address or URL for the e-book [Date when you accessed the book].
Electronic books not freely available:
Author name, Year. Title of book. [type of medium] City, Publisher. Available
through: web address or URL through which it may be accessed [Date when you
accessed the book].
If you come across problems regarding the correct way to reference your text, talk
to your supervisor.

WRITING REQUIREMENTS
The examiner will grade your writing style and language. The report should be
written in American or British English, not a mix of the two. Try to write in active
form, but be clear about the usage of ”I” and ”we”. The authors of this handbook
recommend using ”the author(s)” instead of ”I” or ”we”. There are numerous language and style guides available, and it is a good idea to select a guide for writers
of research papers, dissertations, theses or reports, or combinations thereof, and to
follow the rules laid out in the style guide carefully.
As far as formal requirements are concerned, sentences must be complete, unambiguous and devoid of slang or expressions. Should this not be the case, the report
may be returned to you before grading (format disapproval).

9. START UP AND MID-TERM PRESENTATIONS
To present the research question, its context, the measures to address it and later on
results gives excellent learning opportunities for the presenter when faced by the
task to clarify in a concise way. In this way the students become more confident on

10

where they are in their project and it becomes much clearer where they are heading. Hence, the 30 credit thesis project includes two such presentations.
It is compulsory for peers to attend and it is strongly recommended that supervisors, examiners and thesis coordinators attend.
During the start-up seminar the students put their research question and scope into
context and also present draft outlines of methods and time plan. The time limit is
10 minutes, plus an additional 5 minutes for discussion.
At the mid-term seminar the students should make sure that relevant literature is
digested, further work is planned in detail and the validity of the research question
has become reinforced or modified. The time limit is 15 minutes, plus an additional
5 minutes for discussion.

10.

ORAL PRESENTATION AND OPPOSITION

Presentations should be concise and clearly communicate the problem, chosen
method, results, analysis, conclusions and future research. Avoid irrelevant material, but include as much detail as you expect your audience to be able to absorb.
The time limit is 20 minutes, plus an additional 5 minutes for questions.
During opposition the reviewing students should question and criticise another
thesis report and presentation, and the presenting students will defend their findings and statements. The opposition must also be documented in writing, consisting of a paper of approximately one page, containing the main critical issues and
questions. The thesis coordinator will inform each student on whom to review.

11.

EVALUATION AND EXAMINATION

Examiner and supervisor are assigned during mid-December. The examiner examines the report between the submission date and the oral presentation and opposition date, and is present at the oral presentation and opposition. After all of the
presentations for the day are completed, there is a short recess and the student
teams are then called back and given their grade reports.
The thesis will be assessed according to the ECTS grade scale. A is given for excellent work, B is given for very good work, C is given for good work, D is given
for satisfactory work and E is given for sufficient work. Even though the examiner
considers the work to be of A, B, C, D or E quality, the work may contain formatting errors. This is reflected by an incomplete grade report (an example of the
grade report is included in Appendix II) with the tick-box labelled ”No” ticked
under ”Thesis format approved”. The grade Fx is given when the thesis is insufficient, but a better grade can be achieved by resubmitting a corrected report. The
grade F cannot be improved by resubmitting, the student has to register for the
thesis again and start over.

11

12

Appendix I.

13

REGISTRATION – TT THESIS
Filled in by the student and emailed to thesis coordinator:
Project title
Short description
Report number
Student name
Programme
E-mail
Proposed project starting date
Affiliation
Name of company, organization
Company supervisor
Address
Phone, fax, e-mail

Filled in by the thesis coordinator
Thesis coordinator
Name
Phone, fax, e-mail
Received project proposal, date
Project approved for starting, date
Supervisor at Swedish School of Textile in Borås
Name
Phone, fax, e-mail
Examiner
Name
Phone, fax, e-mail

14

(Obtained from school expedition)

Appendix II.

15

GRADE REPORT – TT THESIS
This grade report is filled in solely by the examiner and presented to the student
upon completion of the course. It is not valid without the examiner’s name and
signature. If the thesis report requires formatting changes, this report will not contain the grade or the examiner’s signature.
Thesis and grade
Students
Thesis information
Supervisor
Examiner

First and last name
Title

Number

First and last name

Supervisor approved
Yes
No
Thesis received date

First and last name
Grade

Thesis format approved
Yes
No
Date

Signature

Grade/signature

Remarks and score
Remarks and scores are the examiner’s voluntary notes on the strengths and qualities of the thesis. A score of 7 indicates excellence and a score of 1 indicates insufficiency.
Area
Relevance and level
Problem formulation
Literature review
Sources and references
Methods and materials
Results
Analysis
Conclusions
Future work
Thesis consistency
Originality
Independency
Language and structure
Oral presentation
Opposition

16

Remark
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7
7

6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6
6

5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5

7
7

6
6

5
5

Score
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2

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Appendix III.
Wet-to-dry Initiative: E-Mass Customization reflected from a Sustainable
Point of View
This master thesis is a part of an initiative at the Swedish School of Textiles that
aims to develop and test applications within mass customization businesses for
digital printing on textiles. The initiative is interdisciplinary between design, technology, business and supply chain management.
Theoretical assumptions
Since recent years mass customization is a widely used paradigm in the textile
industry which offers several opportunities, like coming closer to customer’s
needs, withstand market volatility and being able to gain economies of scope
through a different manufacturing approach compared to mass production. Hence,
it becomes more and more attractive for unique start-ups to apply this efficient and
effective strategy. Since nowadays corporations cannot any longer sustain a competitive advantage with a one-sided view on the economic development, a new
paradigm-shift is constantly being discussed by academia and entrepreneurs. These
debates include social and ecological aspects into business reality to foster a triple
bottom line approach; consisting of people, planet, profit that sets the foundation
for a sustainable development in future.
Choice of topic
The wettodry initiative provides a vision for a cleaner future that encompasses the
evolution of digital clothing supply chains, from design to distribution and an endof-life supply chain focus. It is aimed to minimize returns and in turn reduce waste.
This web-based supply chain is the new approach to realize a more sustainable and
efficient apparel industry and global trade by focusing on e-configurations, digital
design and manufacturing toolkits, online dressing facilities and the development
of a virtual shopping market. Different types of waste can be controlled as part of a
lean manufacturing within an agile chain, or sustainable project. Also technology
plays a role in developing a more sustainable supply chain including computerized
sketching, CAD pattern design, digital grading and marker-making, digital direct
on textile printing and computer numerical control (CAM) single-ply cutting.
Objectives and goals
The objective of this master thesis is to reflect e-mass customization from a sustainable perspective. Although sustainability always covers the three aspects of
people-planet-profit, this thesis highlights only the ecological and economical relevancies that are crystallized from this business strategy. Moreover, it will be analysed how far the integration of a digital textile printing machine contributes to a
more ecological aspiration for the textile industry, besides focusing only on the
economic outcomes by increasing profit margins.
Key topics: Mass customization, Longtail economy, e-commerce, Sustainability,
digital textile printer, digital supply chain network, supply and demand chain management
17

Problem and Research question
The textile industry contains severe current problems that increase worldwide depletion. Besides belonging to an industry that contributes significantly to environmental degradation, regarding water usages, soil degradation, CO2 emissions or
long transportation distances based on global production, the textile industry is
more and more confronted with increasing labor costs in former low developed
countries. Furthermore, a change within our consumption society can be observed
that shifts towards a more conscious buying behaviour where customers demand
unique, personalized, meaningful and qualitative products which are produced
under fair conditions. Regarding all these issues with which the textile and fashion
industry is confronted, the pressure for a paradigm shift increases. Still, most companies hold tight on these old business-as-usual frameworks which decrease costs
through mass production in low labor cost countries with loose or unclear social
and environmental regulations. Without understanding today’s need to see the big
holistic picture of corporate wealth, that goes beyond the bottom line and considers
social and environmental aspects, our world might never experience real, sustainable prosperity. Therefore this thesis is constructed which claims to solve the following research question:
Is the concept of e-mass-customization with the use of digital technologies an ecologically sustainable solution for the fashion industry?
Methodology
The research for this thesis will be mainly performed with an emphasis on a deductive approach to clarify the literature foundation of mass customization, sustainability, digital supply chain management and surrounding theory. This theory is
worked through separately and at the end set into relation to each other to recognize a new opportunity for the textile industry. Secondary data is collected through
a profound desk research of the main literature, scientific articles, research journals
as well as reliable internet data bases within each theoretical field; mass customization, demand chain management, digital supply chain management, sustainability
and digital technology. This secondary data provides a basis for the primary investigation. Therefore, an inductive approach through qualitative research is held to
test given theory with real life examples. For that reason, it will be tried to contact
a state of the art e-mass customization company located in Belgium, called
Bivolino which produces fashionable shirts with a digital textile printer. Also dialogues with teachers and professors from the School of Textiles in Borås, Sweden
who are involved in the wettodry initiative will help to bring the research to a successful outcome. Through the combination of both research methods a gradual
growth of understanding should be possible for the reader, as well as the author
itself which is a perfect combination and known under abductive reasoning.
Expected Results and their relevance
The result should give a scientific proof to the assumption that it is more sustainable to create and buy a garment in a digital form. Moreover, the possibility for the
next future trend of going back to local or national production with a local supply
chain set up will be considered. It is aimed to verify that marrying ecology and
18

economy in business leads to a win-win situation for companies, the society and
the eco-system; simply for everybody taking part in the supply chain. Moreover, it
will be expected that the best realization potentials for this approach lie within
mass customization concepts. Consequently, this thesis is of great relevance for
any textile and fashion corporation that is already involved in customizing products
to individual needs, or wants to change its current business strategy and processes
in a more sustainable and profitable manner in order to maintain a competitive
advantage in future. Also, it aims to point out the flexibility of a digital supply
chain management reinforced through a digital printing machine that eases cost,
location and risk advantages.
Time and work plan

12.316.3

19.323.3

26.330.3

2.46.4

9.413.4

16.420.4

23.427.4

30.44.5

7.511.5

14.
518.
5

21.525.5

Lecture “Art
of Business”
Trying to
contact
companies
and experts
of interest
Proposal
Research
Introduction
Methodology
Theoretical
Framework /
Literature
Review
Practical
Framework
Analysis
Discussion
Conclusion
Further
Research
Proofreading
Preparation
for Presentation

19

29.5

Opposition
Final Presentation &
Celebration

20

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