Karen L. LaBat

Professor Emerita 

Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor

Research Interests

Apparel product research and development to understand and effectively implement the product design and development process. Two areas of emphasis are:  1) developing products that enhance human health and well-being and 2) studying the human body to improve performance and fit of wearable products.

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Selected Scholarship

Book and Book Chapter

  • Human Body: A wearable product designer’s guide (2019). Karen L. LaBat, Ph.D. and Karen S. Ryan, M.D. Illustrations by Le Wen, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis. PROSE Award, Association of American Publishers.
  • LaBat, K. (2007). Sizing Standardisation, in Ashdown, S.P., Editor. Sizing in Clothing: Developing Effective Sizing Systems for Ready-To-Wear Clothing, Woodhead Publishing.


  • LaBat, K., Ryan, K.S. & Sanden-Will, S. (2017). Breast Cancer survivors’ wearable product needs and wants: A challenge to designers. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education. doi: 10.1080/17543266
  • Lyu, S. & LaBat, K. (2016). Effects of posture imbalance on posture deviation caused by load carriage. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Vol 56, pp. 115-123.
  • LaBat, K., Ryan, K.S. & Sanden-Will, S. (2016). Breast Cancer survivors’ wearable product needs and wants: A challenge to designers. International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education. doi: 10.1080/17543266
  • Lyu, S. & LaBat, K. (2016). Effects of posture imbalance on posture deviation caused by load carriage. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, vol 56, pp. 115-123.
  • Kim, D-E, LaBat, K., Bye, E., Sohn, M-H., Ryan, K. (2014). A Study of Scan Garment Accuracy and Reliability. Journal of the Textile Institute. Online publication: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint
  • LaBat, K. & Kim, H-Y. (2014). Exploring the Relationships of Fashion and Health. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(3), 3-5.
  • Ha-Brookshire & LaBat, K. (2014-2015). co-editors, monograph Textiles and Apparel Research and Teaching in the 21st Century, ITAA online special publication.
  • LaBat, K. & Kim, Hye-Young. (2014) co-editors, focused issue on Fashion and Health, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(3).
  • Kim, D.-E., & LaBat, K. (2013). Consumer experience in using 3D virtual garment simulation technology, Journal of The Textile Institute, DOI:10.1080/00405000.2012.758353
  • Kim, D.-E., & LaBat, K. (2013). Evaluation on accuracy and fidelity of 3D garment simulation technology: a user study. Textile Research Journal. 83(2), 171-184.
  • LaBat, K. & Sokolowski, S.  (2012). Olympic Dress, Uniforms, and Fashion. The Berg Fashion Library. September, http://www.bergfashionlibrary.com/view/bewdf/BEWDF-v10/EDch10412.xml.
  • McKinney, E., Bye, E., LaBat, K. (2012). Building patternmaking theory: A case study of Patternmaking practices for pants, International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education. 1-15.
  • Chen, C. & LaBat, K.& Bye, E. (2011). Bust prominence related to bra fit problems. International Journal of Consumer Studies. 35, 695-701.
  • Kim, D-E & LaBat, K. (2010). Design process for developing a liquid cooling garment hood. Ergonomics. 53(6), 818-828.
  • Chen, C., LaBat, K. & Bye, E. (2010). Physical characteristics related to bra fit. Ergonomics. 53(4), 514-524.
  • LaBat, K. & Ryan, K. (2009) Design and medicine collaborate using digital technology. Australasian Medical Journal, 1(10), 92-92.
  • Ryan, K. & LaBat, K. (2009) Addressing the challenges of patient-centered design. Australasian Medical Journal, 1(13), 204-210.
  • Staker, M., Ryan, K., & LaBat, K. (2009). Medicine and design investigate residual limb volume fluctuations. Australasian Medical Journal, 1(12), 156-161.
  • Bye, E., LaBat, K., McKinney, E., & Kim, D-E (2008). Optimized pattern grading.  International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, 20(2), 79-92. Research project received the Lectra Innovation in Research Award
  • Bye, E., LaBat, K., & DeLong, M. (2006). Analysis of body measurement systems for apparel. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 24(2), 66-79.
  • Schofield, N., Ashdown, S., Hethorn, J., LaBat, K. & Salusso, C. (2006).  Improving Pant Fit for Women 55 and Older Through an Exploration of Two Pant Shapes. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 24 (2), 147-160.
  • Schofield, N. & LaBat, K. (2005). Defining and testing the assumptions used in current apparel grading practice. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 23(3), 135-150.
  • Schofield, N. & LaBat, K. (2005). Exploring the relationships of grading, sizing and anthropometric data. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 23(1), 13-2.
  • LaBat, K., DeLong, M., Gahring, S. (2005). A longitudinal study of sun-protective attitudes and behaviors. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 33(3), 240-254.
  • *Bye, E. & LaBat, K. (2001). A skin cancer intervention program for youth: Research informs teaching. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, 93, (5), 21-22. (Note: LaBat’s name was mistakenly omitted from the article, a correction is printed in Vol. 92, no. 2, April 2002).
  • DeLong, M., LaBat, K., Gahring, S., Nelson, N., & Leung, L. (2000). Implications of an educational intervention program designed to increase young adolescents’ awareness of hats for sun protection, Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 17(2), 73-83.
  • LaBat, K., & Sokolowski, S. (1999). A three-stage design process applied to an industry-university textile product design project. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 17(1), 11-20

Exhibition Planning and Implementation

  • Wright, B., LaBat, K., co-curators. Techno Textiles: Inner Space to Outer Space. Proposal accepted by Goldstein Museum of Design, University of Minnesota for implementation, (planning began September, 2006), May 15-July 27, 2008.
  • LaBat, K. & Nelson, N. Contemporary Irish textile art: The women of Annaghmakerrig (Exhibition). Goldstein Gallery, University of Minnesota, March 17-May 12, 1996.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • American Association of Publishers, PROSE Award – Engineering & Technology Category. LaBat, K. & Ryan, K. Human Body: A wearable product designer’s guide, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis. 
  • ITAA Distinguished Scholar with E. Bye, International Textiles and Apparel Association, November 2017.
  • University of Minnesota, Morse Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award, 2013
  • College of Design, Outstanding Research Award, May 2009.
  • Lectra Corporation Innovation Award for Faculty Research with E. Bye, E. McKinney, & D-E Kim, October, 2007.
  • College of Human Ecology Innovation and Mission Advancement Award with E. Bye and M. DeLong, May 2006.
  • College of Human Ecology Educational Leadership Award, 2005.
  • Design Institute Fellow, University of Minnesota, 2002.
  • College of Human Ecology Award for Excellence in Advising, 2001.
  • Program Excellence Through Research Award for Sun Smart Program. National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, with S. Gahring, M. DeLong, & J. Getting, 1998.
  • Research & Outreach Award for the Sun Smart Program. Minnesota Association of Extension Educators with S. Gahring, M. DeLong, & J. Getting, October 5, 1998.

Karen L. LaBat


240 McNeal Hall
1985 Buford Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
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