As both subject and material, textiles are remarkably fluid, often occupying liminal spaces between art and craft, decorative and functional. These soft boundaries frequently carry over to related practices of engagement, with enthusiasts shifting smoothly between academic, artist, and ardent amateur. This guide attempts to mirror that continuum, presenting resources that run the gamut from intellectual to embodied, from the visual to the haptic.
That said, there are some limits to its scope. In attempting to fill in the margins and build connections, it will not dwell overmuch on resources for creative practices that fit neatly within a single, well-defined technique or medium. Other resources and guides, for example, have covered knitting with yarn in extensive detail. Rather, this guide will attempt to gather resources that either fall just outside the parameters of a single category or cover a range of materials, techniques, or communities. At the other end of the spectrum, it acknowledges that research is often a strange and meandering journey; artistic inspiration doubly so. One guide cannot possibly hope to contain the idiosyncratic richness of even a single individual's web of influence. Regretfully, the fringes are lost.
Hoping to honor the material nature of its subject, this guide is primarily concerned with the IRL, the brick-and-mortar. While some of the resources listed have digital or remote-access components, all also have a physical presence in New York City. Accordingly, the call numbers given for books listed in the Recommended Reading segments are all NYPL.
Having stated these limitations, this guide is a living document. One of the most enduring and exciting aspects of textiles is their ability to act as a connective tissue, bringing together disparate threads and communities. I hope that the incompleteness of this guide encourages you to add your voice to its community. That is to say - I know I have missed things. If you know what they are, please drop me a line!
You are here! This section includes navigation and scope information, as well as links to a broader textile community through current exhibitions and blogs.
This section provides contact information as well as collection overviews for libraries and archives whose materials may be of interest to textile artists and researchers.
This section provides contact information as well as collection overviews for textile collections that provide researchers with access to the objects.
This section lists spaces in the city that offer classes and workshops on techniques and crafts involving textiles.
The following is an RSS feed featuring the most recent stories from a selection of textile-related blogs. At least one of the editors for each blog is based out of NYC.