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University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries

Research Guides

Textiles : Getting Started

Information about textile studies and resources for textile research.

Textile Studies

Definitions of "textile":
  • "A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw wool fibres, linen, cotton, or other material on a spinning wheel to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibres together (felt)." (Retrieved from Wikipedia, February 24, 2010.)

  • "Anything made by people from fibrous materials.  The term includes fabrics made of adhered fibers like felt, items made of relatively unmodified plant materials like baskets and mats, fabrics made of spun yarns such as knitted or woven cloth, and items made of synthetic linear elements such as nylon window screens" (Retrieved from The Textile Museum's publication, "An Introduction to Textile Terms", March 30, 2010.)

Here are some schools of thought regarding textiles:

  • Textile Design
  • Textile Science
  • Textile Technology

Within those schools are various fields of study:

  • Care and Preservation of Textiles
  • Dyes and Dyeing (Color Systems)
  • Fiber Types and Treatments
  • Surface Design/Decoration
  • Textile Marketing/Industry
  • Textile Production

Related disciplines and professions:

  • Anthropology
  • Apparel and Fashion
  • Art and Art History
  • Decorative Arts
  • Environmental Design
  • Interior Design
  • Performing Arts

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