The process of cultivating, harvesting, and processing silk from silkworms, primarily the domesticated caterpillar Bobyx mori, which is a type of moth. Silkworms are fed a diet of mulberry leaves, increasing their body weight nearly 10,000 times in their month-long lifespan. The silkworms extrude a protein-based liquid that when exposed to air becomes the filament…


Process of applying one or more colors to parts of a fabric by means of blocks, stencils, engraved plates, rollers, or silk screens, to create sharply defined designs. Traditional textile printing techniques include direct printing of the desired pattern, printing of a mordant prior to dyeing fabric, resist-dyeing, and discharge printing onto previously dyed fabric.


The joining of pieces of fabric to make a larger textile. The top layer of “patchwork” American quilts is pieced before being quilted.

Oriental carpet

Any of a variety of pile carpets traditionally from regions east of the Mediterranean Sea (once referred to as the Orient). The terms carpet and rug are often used interchangeably, but “carpet” specifically refers to floor coverings with pile.

Metallic-wrapped thread

Contrary to myth, gold and silver cannot be spun, and they are generally too precious and heavy to be woven. Frequently, the glint of gold or silver that embellishes many traditional textiles is a silk or linen yarn that has been wrapped with thin strips of metal.


A technique using a single element or yarn in which the free end and full length of the yarn is pulled through previous work at the edge of a fabric to form each new loop. The element crosses over itself in proceeding to make the next loop. Looping is an ancient technique that existed before…


A device for weaving, containing a means of lifting selected warp yarns above other warp yarns, forming a space called a shed through which the weft is passed. Such devices cannot function unless the warp is under tension, so all looms also contain a means for stretching the warp. The invention of the loom greatly…


A technique using a single element or yarn in which a loop is drawn through a previous loop at the edge of a fabric. It first appeared during the Middle Ages, probably in the Islamic world, and spread to Europe, and from Europe to the Americas.