Art Principles and History

Art Fundamentals

What are textiles?

Textiles are fiber-based fabrics such as cotton, wool, or silk (or synthetic fibers such as polyester). The fibers are made into cloth through various techniques including weaving, tapestry, and felting. Textiles are a major art form around the world and are gaining in popularity amongst contemporary fine artists.

The Bayeux Tapestry (a section of which is illustrated here) is an embroidered cloth that commemorates the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. At over 200 feet long, the tapestry is a stunning example of the skill of the women who made it and has been called one of the finest examples of narrative art—making the work like an enormous, embroidered graphic novel.


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