Fiber, Textile, and Weaving Arts

Fiber, Textile, and Weaving Arts

Madelaine Corbin

Artist and Instructor of Fiber Arts,
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

2022-2023 Fulbright U.S. Student Program to Greece.  Host: Hellenic Centre for Research and Conservation of Archaeological Textiles, ARTEX, Athens

Textiles touch us at nearly all times of the day. Think about the clothes you wear, a rug you walk on, or the seatbelt you fasten in a car—fiber is all around. Fiber, Textile, and Weaving Arts is a growing field composed of multidisciplinary makers and designers who, informed by historical techniques, balance technical, conceptual, and functional approaches to contemporary cloth.

Undergraduate studies focus on questions such as Where does fiber come from? How are textiles made? What is the history of weaving and other textile production techniques? How have production techniques evolved over time? What are the contemporary and theoretical applications of fiber? How can textiles contribute to a sustainable model of the future? Often, students explore these questions through embodied artmaking—they learn to dye, weave, felt, screen-print, pattern, sew, and more.

Graduate studies continue to support the student as they develop their own practice and perspective. A student’s technical abilities to produce textiles and understand fiber processes will contribute to their future as a craft artist, textile and material designer, color and dye specialist, production weaver, apparel designer, or many other possible professions.

Programs vary in their specialties and approaches: some focus on conceptual experimentation, while others may push a breadth of technical abilities and design applications. Whatever the primary focus of the department, you will need an openness to learning new techniques, the ability to convey a thoughtful idea, and creative problem-solving skills to be successful.

 Photo Credit: Zuzana Kacerova for Unsplash