Why is it important to keep textile art skills and traditions alive?
Textile arts are basic life skills and can be a lifelong hobby and creative outlet. Textile art skills such as sewing, mending, weaving, knitting and so many more are basic life skills that are not being taught in schools or at home. We know that these skills are an important part of STEAM education, teaching math, 3-dimensional and creative thinking as well as chemistry and environmental awareness.
Throughout history the practice of making and crafting, especially around textiles, has brought community together. We believe that a community that participates in creative making, especially in collaboration, is more united, vibrant, cohesive and tolerant community. Through making we find our differences are small compared to our similarities and passions.
What is the big deal about textile sustainability?
The textile industry is widely considered the second largest polluting industry on the planet. We are surrounded by textiles every moment of our lives but we rarely give a thought to their impact on the earth, the workers who create them or where they go when we discard them. The lack of education in textile arts techniques and processes combined with cheap materials and labor has created a throwaway society that doesn’t understand the cost of their actions.
How we drive change
Textiles West provides experiential learning opportunities (events and classes) for teens and adults to inspire change at a grassroots level. We teach simple ways to reduce the toxic textile footprint in each of our lives. By providing access to skills and tools in our classroom and makerspace, we encourage action to create more eco-conscious lifestyles.