On Teaching Fashion: Textile Resources

Textile courses can be very tricky to teach.  Knowing the physical properties of fibers is vital to fashion design and merchandising.  Yet lecturing about polymers and chemical reactions for the entire course may leave you with disgruntled students.  There is no way of avoiding some dry moments.  However, with the right resources, you can solidify the course content by engaging your students.


Textile Arts Center: Located in New York, this center is dedicated to preserving ancient handcrafts and techniques.  Classes in weaving and dyeing enable participants to fit such processes into contemporary life.  There are many small centers that offer weaving demonstrations and day classes.  The opportunity to see and work with a loom integrates the lessons learned in the classroom.  It also introduces a creative element, making for happy students.  Check your local area for weaving centers.  Crossnore Weavers have a similar program.

Looms at the Textile Art Center.


Spoonflower: This is a fantastic site when discussing surface design.  Students should create a design and upload it to their site.  Once the design is uploaded, students can manipulated pattern repeats.  The students can then order test swatches to check the color of their newly designed textile.  Spoonflower offers a 9 different fabric weights.  And for $1, you can get a fabric sample kit.   This activity is always a hit.  Most students are blown away by seeing a small sketch turned into fabric.

Textile design by Parisa Zahedi. Repeat pattern was made possible by Spoonflower.com


Movies like A Weaverly Path are helpful to show in class to stimulate discussion.

There are also many helpful websites and blogs that can be used to make assignments or activities.  Here are a list of some I’ve come across.  Please comment with others you may have found!

Irish Textile History

The Textile Blog



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