Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Textile Society of America 9th Biennial Symposium (2004)


Presented at “Appropriation • Acculturation • Transformation,” Textile Society of America 9th Biennial Symposium, Oakland, California, October 7-9, 2004. Copyright 2004 Textile Society of America.


Located at the University of Nebraska, our textile department launched the International Textile Works (ITW) in 2002. The department built on existing resources of a Mimaki Textile Jet Tx-1600S direct inkjet 65” fabric printer and an industrial steamer. The competitively awarded University’s Arts and Humanities Enhancement Fund provided start-up funds to invite an artist to design and print on this equipment. Internally we began applied research to test the best use of this technology for artists.

This initiative enables our design faculty, in collaboration with our scientific faculty, to create a fertile environment for developing innovative applications of digital technology. Our goal is to develop The International Textile Works as a laboratory for experimental artists from around the world to create cutting edge design, grounded in textiles.

This presentation will describe the work of the first two visiting artists to the program. Cynthia Schira and Ana Lisa Hedstrom spent a total of 14 days in residence to work at our facility. The results of their digitally designed fabrics are presented in two nationally touring exhibitions of their work. Both shows have 32 page color catalogs which discuss how digital technology has influenced their creative process.

The combination of artists and scientists working together in one department is unusual in this academic arena. Typically, the technology and scientific work that supports industry is housed in a different college than the textile design area. We have a unique opportunity to create an environment where these two disciplines interact and directly inform each other.