14
Science

There are a number of ways in which science and the scientist deal with textiles, ranging from forensics to archaeology; in this chapter the main emphasis is given over to what is often called ‘textile science’ and how science is involved in the development and manufacture of yarns and fabrics. Modern science is fundamental to the production of both fabric and fabric designs - it is involved in all the traditional textile processes of dying and finishing and the testing and care of yarns and fabrics. Science is also involved in the development of the machinery and equipment used in contemporary textile design and manufacture, including in such areas as aftercare and storage. Finally, science is involved in textile innovation, creating new markets and products and providing new opportunities for business, research and industry. At the level of dyes, yarns and fabrics, science is virtually inseparable from any type of textile activity, whether for art or mass production. The role of textile science is likely to increase. Many of the future circumstances within the textiles industry will be decided by the substantive impact that science is beginning to have on the absolute basics of textiles. The very idea of what a fabric is and what it can do is beginning to change in a manner without precedent. In a time when fabrics can act as a communication device or as a healing cloth, when weaving and knitting may be replaced by new industrial processes, textiles science presents some breathtaking challenges to the broader textile community. These kinds of change will not only impact on major manufacturers, they will have repercussions throughout the educational sector and throughout the professions that have traditionally been the guardians of textiles.


A Scientific History

The history of science has been closely intertwined with the historical development of textiles. It is worth noting that when we speak of science, we are often referring to the model of science established in the last 500 years. In the popular imagination this recent science has been marked by experimental procedure, hypothesis, a pursuit for accuracy and knowledge as truth. It is also true to say that in the latter half of the twentieth century science increasingly became understood as in various ways fallible or subject to the same broad social issues and influences that affect every other sphere of life (Mulkay, 1979). The relationship between textiles and

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The Textile Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Part I - Overviews *
  • 1 - What is Textiles? 3
  • 2 - The Culture Place of Textiles 7
  • 3 - Perceptions of Fabric 21
  • Part II - The Creative *
  • 4 - The Textile Designer 37
  • 5 - The Designer Maker 49
  • 6 - The Craftperson 63
  • 7 - The Textile Artist 77
  • Part III - The Social and Industrial Context *
  • 8 - Globel Textiles Tradition 91
  • 9 - Ecology 107
  • 10 - Industry 121
  • 11 - The Role of Trends and Forecasting 133
  • Part IV - Related Disciplines and Studies *
  • 12 - The Buyer 145
  • 13 - Journalism 157
  • 14 - Science 167
  • 15 - Research 179
  • Bibliography 191
  • Index 201
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