BFA Individualized Major student Maya works screenprinting fabrics in the dye lab

BFATextiles

In hands-on, topic-driven courses, learn how to engage with the histories and practices surrounding textile thinking as it relates to issues in contemporary art practice, activism, and design thinking.

Overview

Make textile thinking radical

Explore the interdisciplinary potential of textiles and material thinking

One of the oldest aesthetic traditions in the world, textiles and the artwork produced from textiles are currently on the cutting edge of contemporary art practice and critical inquiry. Textiles is an interdisciplinary fine arts program that introduces students to a vast range of textile construction methods, such as weaving, printing, dyeing, and hand-work, through conceptual and experimentally driven frameworks.

Textile thinking—the way we radically discuss and examine the implications of structure, ornamentation, pattern, color, material, and process—is always changing and expanding. Our broad curriculum prepares students to make a positive impact in fields including but not limited to studio-based practice, activism, design, theory, and environmental sustainability.

textiles class explores the studio of Lia Cook, professor Emeritus

Join an internationally recognized program

Our internationally recognized Textiles program teaches you to think beyond the crafted object. Compared to other programs in the United States, our courses are topic-driven, developed to promote critical thinking, research, and problem-solving alongside skill building and technique. Students are encouraged to investigate the implications of pattern and repetition, explore technology’s relationship to industrialization and mass production, and interrogate systemic forms of oppression. Contemporary critical race theory, gender theory, queer theory, and slow methodologies aid in our inquiry to understand the shape of an innovative and relevant textile practice today.

Unlike traditional textile surface and textile design programs, ours is rooted in a fine arts practice with a strong relationship to painting and sculpture. Students have the freedom to pursue formal abstraction, personal narrative, public art, and countless other capacities for textile thinking and creation.

Studios + Shops

Textile practices for the 21st century

A student follows a pattern while working on a weaving machine

Equal parts analog and digital, our state-of-the-art studios are designed to foster a range of applications: experimental, functional, and industrial. Planar and linear forms of textile construction and surface manipulation, including but not limited to weaving, screenprinting, dyeing, stitching, felt-making, knitting, crocheting, surface embellishment, basketry, and soft sculpture techniques provide the backbone of our curriculum. As you develop and refine your conceptual and foundational skills, you’ll gain the confidence to experiment with sustainable materials and try your hand at cutting-edge digital processes.

We’re one of the few programs in the United States that teaches digital weaving on Jacquard looms for both art-based and commercial applications. You’ll meet alumni who use the Jacquard loom as their primary tool through the Lia Cook Jacquard Weaving Residency. Students learn from their experimental work during studio visits, critiques, and public lectures and demonstrations.

Student working with wool in the Fiber Sculpture Studio

Exploring diverse cultural traditions

Each year, the Textiles program hosts a range of events and lectures, including our Textile Futures series, which introduces you to textile practitioners from around the world. This series helps us explore how artists—from Tibetan rug weavers to Haitian Vodou flag makers and priests—work to preserve culturally significant practices within the landscape of modern textile manufacturing.

Students collecting plants to use in natural dye processes.

Integrating slow-textiles techniques

The program’s Dye Garden, an important part of our Soil to Studio course, is the site of many community gatherings, including a campus-wide indigo-dyeing event. We use the garden to cultivate and harvest plants for fabrics and dyes and enrich our conversations around responsible modes of production and sustainability.

Studios outfitted with a range of equipment

  • Two computerized TC-2 Jacquard looms
  • AVL 24-harness computer-controlled dobby loom
  • Multi-shaft floor looms
  • Spinning wheels
  • Print Studio with a 33-foot print table for large-scale projects
  • Industrial dye studio
  • Large-format exposure unit for screenprinting
  • Industrial serger
  • Vacuum-forming machine
  • Industrial and home-sewing machines
  • Light tables

Faculty

Learn from leading textiles artists

Our internationally renowned faculty have diverse studio practices. As visual artists, designers, and historians, our instructors guide students through contemporary discourse and help them develop thoughtful, nuanced creative practices.

Portrait of CCA's Joshua Faught

Josh Faught, Chair of Textiles

Chair Josh Faught combines textiles and fiber with found cultural objects to create highly ornamental works that weave together personal and social narratives exploring the history of the queer body. He's exhibited in numerous venues internationally and was recently recognized as a finalist for the 2018 Burke Prize. His work has been reviewed by numerous publications, including Artforum, The New York Times, and the New Yorker.

Curriculum

We think with our hands

Create truly meaningful work

Textiles at CCA is one of the preeminent textiles programs in the U.S. Courses develop a strong historical and theoretical knowledge of the field; explore sustainable design, slow-textiles practices, craft-based principles, and fine arts materiality and process; integrate disparate environmental, cultural, and conceptual issues; and weave together traditional skills such as spinning and knitting with contemporary interdisciplinary strategies and digital technology. View sample courses

Investigate ideas through every dimension

Before diving into their chosen major, every undergraduate participates in the First Year Experience. Students explore a wide range of materials and tools over the course of two semesters. Faculty from different disciplines guide studio projects, group critiques, and theoretical discussions, setting students up for success throughout their major coursework.

BFA Textiles

Core Studio

Drawing 1
3 units
2D, 3D, and 4D
9 units

Textiles Major Requirements

Level 1 Textile Studios
9 units
Level 2 Textile Studios
6 units
Textile Topic Seminar
3 units
Contemporary Issues in Craft Theory
3 units
Digital Tools
3 units
Craft Workshop
3 units
Level 3 Textile Studios
6 units
Senior Project: Textiles
6 units

Additional Studio Requirements

Interdisciplinary Critique
3 units
Interdisciplinary Studio
3 units
Diversity Studies Studio
3 units
Studio Electives
12 units

Humanities + Sciences Requirements

Writing 1
3 units
Writing 2
3 units
Introduction to the Arts: Antiquity to Early Modern
3 units
Introduction to the Modern Arts
3 units
Foundation in Critical Studies
3 units
Media History: Textiles
3 units
Literary and Performing Arts Studies (2000 level)
3 units
Philosophy and Critical Theory (2000 level)
3 units
Social Science/History (2000 level)
3 units
Science/Math (2000 level)
3 units
Visual Studies (2000 level)
3 units
Humanities and Sciences (3000 level)
9 units
Diversity Studies Seminar
3 units
Humanities and Sciences Electives (2000 or 3000 level)
3 units

Total 120 units

Careers

Think urgently through slow processes

After graduation, our students are ready to pursue careers as interdisciplinary artists, designers, activists and community organizers, writers, and entrepreneurs. They have the skills to work within the industry and push beyond it, successfully expanding narratives about materiality and craft. Some students become designers in textile production, but many more pursue careers as fine artists and achieve international gallery representation.

Potential career paths

  • Independent artist
  • Independent designer
  • Surface designer for industry
  • Woven/knit designer for industry
  • Textile producer
  • Textile historian/cultural anthropologist
  • Political activist
  • Designer focused on permaculture, slow fashion, and sustainability
  • Educator

News + Events

Showcasing diverse perspectives

How to Apply

Evolve your craft

Textile students are artists who want the freedom to chart their own conceptual paths. Whether you’re interested in activist-inspired work, fiber arts, or experimental modes of design thinking, you’ll find the raw materials, inspiring theoretical discussions, and supportive community to achieve your goals. Our program’s correlation to painting, printmaking, and sculpture presents you with many opportunities to investigate and expand the capacities of cloth as a tool in a range of fine arts practices.

Find your creative community at CCA

Apply now