FT 522 — History of Western Textiles

3 credits; 3 lecture hours

Examines the history of Western textiles from antiquity to the early twentieth century, including significant developments in the style, technology and function of such materials. Surviving evidence and representations of textiles in the arts and literature are used to examine their social and historical context and their central economic role in pre-industrial societies. Textiles as works of art and as constituents of dress will be presented as expressions of novelty and fashion. Their designs will be used to trace cultural continuities that span the societal strata, and the role technological advances play in their evolution will be examined. Pattern-woven silks, tapestry, embroidery, lace, and printed/painted fabrics are covered.