Textiles are flexible materials consisting of fibers intertwined through weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, tatting, felting, and braiding. From ancient times to today, textiles are often sold as clothing materials, yet exist in tapestries, murals, wall coverings, upholstery, drapery, linens, and more. Textile fabrication, from hand to machine, becomes more efficient as technology develops. Weaving probably originated from basket weaving even before the spinning of yarn. Felt, cotton, and silk materials would follow. Today textile materials are diverse as new articles are continuously created. Textiles are important cultural artifacts throughout human civilization. Since ancient times textile artworks reveal the progressive development of textile techniques.
Activity 1 – Making Textiles
Take your magnifying lens (or open the magnifying glass app on your phone), and use it to check one piece of textile you find in your home. How is textile created? The processes of making textiles include weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, tatting, felting, braiding, and so on. Each method can produce its unique pattern, and one piece of textile can also be made through multiple means. Try to identify the process of making your textile! Try to find an example of each type of textile.
Activity 2 – Cultural Contrast of Textiles
Different cultures and countries create different lineages of textiles. They use and develop different materials over time. These cultural ways of making become rooted in a tradition passed down by artisans over the centuries. Pick three countries and find famous historical textiles.
Activity 3 – Textile Design and Architecture
Identify an interior textile design that connects well with its surroundings! The textile design inside the architecture is often related to the style of architecture itself. For example, in the House of Parliament is an excellent representation of Gothic Architecture with its pointed arches, vaulted ceilings, and mock fortifications. For its interior design of the House of Parliament, Augustus Pugin designed the pattern with Gothic characteristics for the window blind. Find an example of a textile that has a relationship to architecture. Hint: Look for a blanket with buildings form your city or a geometric pattern representing a type of architectural motif. Art Nouveau, Bauhaus, Prairie, and Arts and Crafts Architects produced textiles in the spirit of the times.
Activity 4 – Textile Production Today
Where do our textiles come from today? Take a look at the chart Textile Production by Country. Today, China’s textile industry produces 39 percent of the world’s textiles- more yarns and textiles than any other county. The European Union is the second-largest exporter of textile goods with Italy, Germany, Spain, and France, the leading countries in clothing production. India is the leading producer of cotton. The manufacture of textiles is a big industry. Find the world’s largest clothing producers by exploring World Top Textile Companies 2020. Make a textile production map of the world sharing which textiles come from which country and which companies make the most clothing in the largest producing countries.
Activity 5 – Carbon Fiber Textiles
Carbon Fiber Textiles (CFTs), are an artificial material innovation often applied in bioelectrochemical technologies. Carbon Fiber Textiles compose flexible surfaces with good electric conductivity. Carbon Fiber Textiles can modify their morphology and chemistry. Besides electrochemistry, Carbon Fiber Textiles (CFTs) can also be used for Separation technology, Insulation and protection, Catalysis, Water filtration, Smart Textiles, and even clothes. Find three examples of Carbon Fiber Textiles and write about their performance and characteristics.
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