Dr. Cynthia L. Istook (Cindy)

Professor, TATM

Email : cistook@ncsu.edu
Phone : 919-515-6584
Address : College of Textiles - Room 3330

Dr. Cynthia L. Istook (Cindy) post image


Dr. Cynthia L. Istook received her Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising, Clothing, and Textiles from Texas Christian University. She worked for Sanger Harris (a Federated Department store) for almost three years in the management training program as an assistant buyer and department group manager. Dr. Istook obtained a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree from Texas Woman’s University. Her master’s thesis research concerned the durability of Texcellana 80% Cotton- 20% Wool fabric. Research for her dissertation was centered on Computer-Aided-Design (CAD) in the apparel industry.

She has taught Fashion Design at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, Fashion Merchandising at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, and Marketing at Texas Woman’s University.  Dr. Istook was appointed to the NCSU faculty in the Fall of 1997 as an associate professor in the apparel management program.  She teaches FTM 317-CAD for Fashion Design, FTM 497- Senior Collection Studio, TTM 515- Advanced Apparel Production, and TTM 517 Advanced CAD for FASHION.

In May 2010, Dr. Istook became the first female to be promoted to Full Professor at the College of Textiles at NC State University in it’s 100+ year history.  She is now Associate Department Head and Director of Undergraduate Programs.


Fashion, Mass Customization, Body Scanning, Sizing and Fit

Dr. Istook has conducted extensive research in the areas of 3D Body Scanning, sizing systems, fit, mass customization, and rapid prototyping.    These endeavors have been directed at finding ways to enable the industry to meet the clothing needs of its customers. She works on national committees to help establish data integration standards for developing technologies, as well as sizing standards for apparel products.

Since an understanding of the target market is essential for profitability, consumer preferences, needs, and descriptions are a basis for much of the practical side of the research.  Finding ways to meet consumer needs through better market research, improved customization processes, better forecasting, improved fit of ready-to-wear, better use of available technologies, and shorter time to market are all integral inputs to the research being conducted.

Dr. Istook conducts workshops and seminars for industry leaders and educators to facilitate their understanding and use of the developing technologies.  Past workshops have included: 3D Body Scanning, Mass Customization, Rapid Prototyping, Digital Printing, and a Technological Review for the Apparel Industry.Other areas of interest include:

  • Pattern Grading Processes
  • Mass Customization
  • Rapid Prototyping
  • Digital Printing
  • Alteration Processes Fit
  • Grain Orientation in Apparel Production
  • Product Development Processes
  • 3-D Body Measurement Processes
  • Consumer Apparel Behavior
  • Design of Fashion Products

Academic Degrees

Post Doctoral Study, Business Administration,
University of Texas

Ph.D., Textiles and Clothing,
Texas Woman’s University

M.S., Textiles and Clothing,
Texas Woman’s University

B.S., Fashion Merchandising, Clothing, and Textiles,
Texas Christian University, St. Worth


All courses that are core to the Fashion Development and Product Management program have been taught, in addition to marketing, retail buying, visual merchandising, and entrepreneurship.  Current course responsibilities include:

  • FTD 321: Fashion Design 2—Draping,
  • FTD 420: Senior Collection Research Studio,
  • FTM 497: Senior Collection Studio
  • TTM 517: Advanced CAD for Fashion

Recent Publications

  1. Liu, Y.*, Wang, J., & Istook, C. (2015). ). A study on the relationship between the wing tension of a brassiere and under-bust pressure. Fiber Society Fall Meeting and Technical Conference .
  2. Xia, S. * & Istook, C. (2014). Application of body shape factor in sizing design Using SizeUSA data. International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference in Charlotte, NC, USA .
  3. McLendon, D.*, & Istook, C. (2013). An investigation of sizing and fit of commercial sewing patterns. International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, USA. .
  4. Yi, K. & Istook, C. (2013). A Korean-American comparative study of 3d scanned female anthropometric data. . Journal of Fashion Business , 17 (3) , 78-84.
  5. Shin, S. J. H*., Fowler, D. & Istook, C. (2012). Teen size study reveals varied figures and fit problems in juniors category. International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference in Hawaii .

NC State Library Scholarly Publications List

Graduate Projects

Graduate students are currently conducting research in several different areas:

1.     Shape, sizing and fit preferences of:

  • Hispanic consumers
  • Large Size Women
  • Mature African American Women
  • Young Men
  • Mature Women across all Ethnicities

2.     Evaluation and design of product with special functions (using body scanning technologies for evaluation):

  • Bras for 20 – 30 year old Chinese Women
  •  Posture garments for men and women
  • Athletic Shapewear for Mature Women
  • Wicking capabilities of fabrics with and without tension (stretch) for athletic and support use
3.     Design of Product in 3D:
  • Evaluation of Real Garments to Virtual Garments
  • Assessment of Fit using Virtual Methods

4.     Creation of Sustainable Products

  •  Whole Garment Knit Design compared to Traditional Method
  • Up-cycling of Denim

5.     Development of Adjusted Sizing Systems to meet the needs of specific markets:

  • Evaluation of Size USA data by shape
  • Comparison of Size USA data to current ASTM Standards
6.     Smart clothing
  • Development of sensing systems to help the elderly

7.     Development of Product to meet the needs of the Western Consumer

  • Hunar project to aid women in India


American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA)—Member Human Resources Leadership Council

American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC)— Member concept to consumer group

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

Committee Membership: D-13 Textiles: Subcommittee Memberships: 13.54 Subassemblies; 13.55 Body Measurements for Apparel Sizing— Missy & Petite Standards Task Group; 13.66 Apparel & Sewn Products Automation—Body Scanning Data standard Task Group

Fashion Group International–New York City

International Textile and Apparel Association (ITAA)

ITAA Board: Chair of PR/Publicity (2009-2011)
Co-Chair of Design Exhibition Entries Annual Meeting (2010-2012)

Clothing & Textile Research Journal—Editorial Board

Journal of Textile Science & Engineering—Editorial Board

Fashion & Textiles—Editorial Board

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