15
Research

Research forms a part of any modern professional practice. Each of the textile disciplines, from textile art to textile science, undertakes research of one kind or another, looking for inspiration, techniques or new products and markets. It isn't feasible in this book to cover each category of textile-related research, so in this chapter special focus is given to a range of professions which are, in a way, outside and looking in on textiles. These professions provide us with insights into the value and history of the textile industry and they do much to promote textiles culturally. Some of the professions and industries outlined also represent alternative career routes for those who start with a more practical interest in textiles. Covering academic disciplines such as archaeology, history, anthropology and cultural studies, this chapter also includes such related industries and professions as tourism, entertainment, museology and curatorship. Each area provides different insights about textiles and the people who use and make them. Together these areas, industries and professions form a significant and influential group who, much like journalists and buyers, have vested interests in textiles but are not engaged directly in its production. They affect textile practitioners and industry, in terms both of practice and ideas and of their influence on the economic environment surrounding textile production.


Archaeology and Anthropology

Two academic disciplines that play a very special part in our knowledge of textiles are archaeology and anthropology. In the study of historical textiles they often go together and to the non-specialist it can sometimes be confusing as to where one begins and the other ends. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (Sykes, 1976) defines archaeology as the ‘Study of human antiquities, especially of the prehistoric period and usually by excavation’. Anthropology is a somewhat more recent and complex discipline concerned with the ‘biological, prehistoric, linguistic, technological, social, and cultural origins and development of mankind’ (Bullock and Stallybrass, 1977). Anthropology, in concerning itself with early models of society, and dealing with tribes and peoples, has much in common with sociology. What archaeology and anthropology permit is the opportunity to unearth, preserve or record textiles,

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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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