Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Creating Textiles: Makers, Methods, Markets. Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Inc. New York, NY, September 23–26, 1998 (Earleville, MD: Textile Society of America, Inc., 1999).


Copyright © 1998 by the author(s)


I use the word "primitive" with great care and caution and a certain humility for we now send men and women into space clad in triaxially woven fabrics which stem from a basic hexagonal basket structure perfected eons ago by some "primitive" Chinese artisan. I am consistently amazed by the extraordinary accomplishments of our common ancestors.

Man's need to adorn his or her body with imagery which acts as a signifier of status or aesthetic is a time honored tradition. The transference of this imagery onto textiles was a natural occurrence, once the need for garments was established - either through protection from the elements or the arrival ofmissionaries .... bare breasts and buttocks were verboten!

The TC-l or thread control system developed in Norway is the perfect "sample" loom for designing contemporary complex textiles. Utilizing the latest computer technology in terms of scanning, adjusting color, form and design, the. loom is warped one time only and can be utilized to create any number of varying weave structures. Each thread - up to 3520 - can be programmed to move independently.