BY LIDEWIJ EDELKOORT
Today the world of art and design is confronted with a debilitating lack of knowledge concerning textiles. Architects, artists and industrial designers as well as fashion designers no longer know the materials they work with each day of their careers.
At a time when textile heritage is at a crossroads and centuries of tradition and knowledge are being compromised, the need arises to protect these endangered species in the same way we have come to defend our animal friends in the natural world; therefore we urgently need to discuss and talk about textiles again.
At this time of decline we simultaneously experience a return of the interest in textiles and their cultural expressions. Fashion design starts to focus on fabric, interior design brings back upholstery and art students reach out the loom. There is a renewed interest in material processes and an urgency to understand what fabric is made of. In the USA the production of textiles has long been lost but begins to make a timid come-back, crafting and producing all American products with local yarns and fibers; weaving the weft of tradition with the warp of innovation. Production is being brought to our doorsteps, as high-tech developments promise a dramatic new way of producing bio fiber and smart matter.
To investigate and celebrate the survival of the different textile components and expressions NYTM will draft a calendar that scripts all events, talks, walks, demonstrations and exhibitions concerning cloth, helping the general public to better comprehend and embrace the textiles of life.