Do you love fabric? Patterns? Texture? Then maybe learning more about textiles is something you could have fun with. People have certainly been wearing clothes for thousands of years, and more recently covering furniture with fabric, which even has its own name of upholstery. The word textile covers just about any kind of cloth, and or other appropriate material, and we hope you are interested in all of them. Certainly today you can find textiles patterned in everything resembling fine art to lace to burlap, with loose weaves, rough ones, fine ones and shimmering irridescent fibers for every taste and use. Whole towns grew up in England and other countries around textile mills in the l900’s or earlier, and some now are famous, the towns’ names being known around the world by the same names as their textiles.
Natural materials such as wool, linen (from flax), cotton and silk are a little more expensive these days as supply cannot always keep up with demand and cannot compete with synthetics, but if you’re interested in designing for the industry, this should not be a problem as just about any type of textile can be ‘decorated’ in some way, whether by applying dye or paint directly on the fabric, or even by having it woven in as it is manufactured, and of course you are always free to add your own design with sequins, embroidery, etc.
There are still places in the world where textiles are made by hand, on looms of every kind from narrow ones stretched as belts around the waists of some native American weavers, to their outstretched feet, the material created later being sewn with other strips into clothing, to much larger looms taking up half a room, on which wide and long batches of fabric are woven for use in clothing, but also upholstery or artwork as wall hangings.
You can buy various types of frames on which to either weave or simply stretch fabric for display or function, and again so much of the material will have personalized designs incorporated in or on them for effect, many costing thousands of dollars.
If you like a smooth finish, it’s easy and inexpensive today to find fabric with almost invisible stitching which is made on enormous mechanized looms controlled by computer, but it is also quite possible for beautifully knit warm and strong textiles with wonderful textures to be the products of knitting machines, small ones of which can be found to use in your home, just as table and floor looms can.
Canvas for sails, and parachute cloth for kites are examples of textiles, and examples are endless in feel, design, style and function. So if you would like to learn more, ask questions at a local store selling fabric, an art school designing textiles or hangings, and of course look on the internet for related information. Who knows, you might even find a new career!