Introduction to Textiles

Textiles, by their very nature, are interdisciplinary. This course is an introduction to the diversity of textile arts, focusing on three basic areas of concentration: printing, fiber sculpture, and weaving. Students learn hands-on processes such as twining, plaiting, spinning, knitting, dyeing, hand printing, and loom weaving. After initial experimentation with time-honored techniques, students are encouraged to push the boundaries of the media, using both traditional and non-traditional materials. In addition, this class investigates historical and ethnographic antecedents of the genre, providing a springboard for the development of contemporary practices. Students are challenged to harness the unique physical properties and conceptual principles of textiles: the three-dimensional potential of fiber construction; the meaning and metaphor of material; the philosophical nature of time investment; and the narrative capacity of cloth.