Curriculum & Classes

Class descriptions

Materials and Methods

This new addition to the Fiber curriculum seeks to address the growing trend in the field to dissolve the traditional boundaries of Art, Craft and Design. Advances in technology and global concerns for the environment have paved the way for exceptional innovation in the science, design and art of textiles. This class introduces students to a range of materials and methods commonly associated with Textiles, such as wool, abaca, felting and papermaking and progresses into new materials and construction methods such as light reflective and conductive fibers, needle felting and heat bonding. The emphasis in this class will be on experimental approaches to fiber construction.

The Padded Cell

This class will address two traditional fiber techniques: quilting and knitting, and break them out of confinement. Students will investigate traditional methods of quilt making including stitching, piecing, appliqué, and binding, and learn the basics of knit structures by completing a functional knit object. Manipulation and experimentation of the learned techniques will follow. Research and discussion of both historic and contemporary uses of the techniques will aid in the transformation from traditional to innovative. Emphasis will be placed on technical skill, individual exploration, and concept.

Craft and Social Practice

Throughout history, craft has played an important role in the social structure of communities--communities bound by culture, tribe, region, gender, caste, religion and economics. This course examines some of these communities and their relationship to craft in a number of spheres, including the domestic, education, and social activist. Craft, in the western world, has shifted from its relationship with design in the Arts and Crafts Movement to its current inclusion as a vital component and player in the contemporary art world. How has this shift taken place and how is craft different now than it was even just a generation ago? Meanings for this new “Craftivism” will be explored in terms of craft’s position in contemporary art theory and creative practice. Community-based and collaborative projects will be undertaken in the production/realization of studio work and practice, along with seminar-style discussions in response to related readings and guest lectures on the subject.

Costume Design for Performance

The moving sculpture of a garment on the human body is crated for many purposes, and is infused by thoughtful execution in the art of costume design. This course focuses the exploration in costume construction towards developing artistic statements made for presentation and performance. Theater, dance and music are influences on choices in fabrication, style of movement, and dramatic effect for original costume design projects. This course will require the ease of prior sewing skills in order to advance technique in garment construction.

 Fiber Properties and Structure

This class is designed to teach the elements, fabrication, and treatment of textiles. Textile fibers, both natural and man-made, are examined to increase the understanding of the physical, chemical and structural characteristics of these materials. In addition, basic textile structures and techniques such as felting, yarn construction (spinning), and knitting are taught at the introductory level.

Sewn Construction for Garment Design

In this course students will learn flat-pattern drafting methods and will be introduced to draping methods for constructing original garments. Advanced garment construction methods will be introduced and demonstrated on a daily basis during the first 15 to 30 minutes of class. A focus on garment quality issues will be addressed during the course of the semester. Students will explore advanced design-room construction techniques currently used in the fashion industry, and build appropriate tools to execute these techniques (custom dress form, sloper, etc.) Emphasis will be put on creating one original look to be marketed and mailed in order to explore the importance of unconventional networking and direct marketing with the intention of advancing career opportunities.

Entrepreneurial Textiles

This course will address portfolio preparation, product development and marketing principles related to textiles. Students are expected to have adequate technical skills in weaving, printing, dyeing, knitting or related textile medium to be able to work independently on a product line in their chosen area of interest. It is possible that some students will have an opportunity to also attend the ITMA industry tour of Mills and Design houses in North Carolina at the conclusion of the course.

Color and Fabric

This class is designed to be an introduction to synthetic dyes on natural and synthetic fibers and fabric. Each week will focus on a different dye and fiber to ensure that students acquire a thorough understanding of dye chemistry. Application of dye to fabric will range from controlled immersion dyeing using the percentage system to more expressive direct application and resist processes such as shibori. Students will compile their own dye manuals and sample books for reference and learn how to match color and duplicate results. This class is designed as an introduction to Fiber for non-majors as well as a refresher for majors or transfer students. 

Class schedules and course requirements

For a list of class schedules, click here.

For a list of major academic requirements, click here.


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