Textiles

A 300-thread count sari woven out of a hybrid Dhaka muslin thread

How Modern Researchers Are Trying to Recreate a Long-Lost Fabric

Dhaka muslin was immensely popular for millennia, but the secrets of its creation faded from memory by the early 20th century

A dress worn by Martha Washington from the collection of the National Museum of American History. The gown's basic style is typical of the early 1780s.

Women Who Shaped History

Why Martha Washington's Life Is So Elusive to Historians

A gown worn by the first First Lady reveals a dimension of her nature that few have been aware of

In honor of Black History Month, Etsy debuted nine online stores featuring work by Gee’s Bend quilters (including Doris Pettway Mosely, who is pictured here).

Thanks to Etsy, You Can Now Purchase a Gee's Bend Quilt Online for the First Time

The Alabama community of women quilters launched nine new Etsy stores in honor of Black History Month

The color purple has long been associated with royalty. This wool fabric found in Israel dates to around 1,000 B.C.

Cool Finds

'Royal Purple' Fabric Dated to Time of Biblical King David Found in Israel

Derived from the bodies of snails, the dye used on the wool fibers was extremely valuable in the ancient world

A fragment of 1,500-year-old cloth is still attached to a metal brooch found at the site.

Cool Finds

Rare Scraps of Mineralized Anglo-Saxon Textiles Found in England

Archaeologists unearthed the cloth, as well as 3,000 grave goods and assorted ancient structures, ahead of construction

The baths featured both male and female pools, as well as laundry facilities.

Cool Finds

'Stunning' Victorian Bathhouse Unearthed Beneath Manchester Parking Lot

The facility offered laundry and bathing services for 19th-century textile workers and their families

A "crazy quilt"—a chaotic style without repeating features—by an unidentified 19th-century artist incorporates politicians' campaign banner portraits.

The Surprisingly Radical History of Quilting

Works on display in an Ohio exhibition highlight political art by marginalized people

The classic Turkey red, sported by everyone from Rosie the Riveter to Tupac Shakur.

The Global History of the Bandana

How an Indian export became part of the fabric of American life

Beets can be used to dye fabric red or pink.

How to Make Clothing Dye With Excess Fruits and Vegetables From Your Garden

Here are step-by-step instructions for giving your clothes and food scraps a second life

Bisa Butler, I Am Not Your Negro, 2019. Cotton, wool and chiffon, quilted and appliquéd. 79 x 60 in.

Artist Bisa Butler Stitches Together the African American Experience

Her dynamic quilts that reimagine old portraits will be on display in New York in her first solo exhibition

Americans who distrusted their Catholic, French-speaking neighbors burned the Old South Church in Bath, Maine.

When an Influx of French-Canadian Immigrants Struck Fear Into Americans

In the late 19th century, they came to work in New England cotton mills, but the <i>New York Times</i>, among others, saw something more sinister

Sai Mado (The Distant Gaze) (detail) by Aida Muluneh, Ethiopia, 2016

Women's Voices Ring With a Resounding Roar in This New Show

The African Art Museum raises the profile of female artists showcasing their works from its collections

Sensing threads prepared with bromothymol blue (top thread), methyl red (middle thread) and MnTPP (bottom thread) are exposed to ammonia at 0 ppm (left panel) 50 ppm (middle panel) and 1000 ppm (right panel).

Clothing May Soon Be Able to Change Color in the Presence of Harmful Gases

Tufts University engineers have developed dyed threads that change hues when exposed to carbon monoxide and other hazards

Trending Today

Looks From 'The Favourite' Go on Display in Queen Anne's Home

See the elaborate dresses and outfits inspired by the monarch's 18th-century court at Kensington Palace

New Research

Brown Recluse Silk Is Stronger Than Steel Because It's Constructed Like a Cable

Thousands of nanotendrils come together to form the flat, super-strong spider silk

Ptil Tekhelet sells tzitzit, or fringes attached to the corners of Jewish prayer shawls, colored with dye from the Murex trunculus snail

Jerusalem Museum Untangles History of the Color Blue, From Biblical Hue to Ancient Royalty

The show inks out the history of the enigmatic sky blue dye known as ‘tekhelet’

Milwaukee Bucks center Lew Alcindor (13), later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Los Angeles Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain, left, at the L.A. Forum on November 21, 1970.

A Brief History of the One-Size-Fits-All Tube Sock

Originally marketed as sportswear, the tube sock became a stylish accessory thanks to Farrah Fawcett and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Math in yarn

What Knitting Can Teach You About Math

In this professor's class, there are no calculators. Instead, students learn advanced math by drawing pictures, playing with beach balls—and knitting

Sahkanush and Haykanush Stepanyan became experts at rugmaking while still teenagers.

Armenia

The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug

A new generation is emerging to craft the ancient rugs

Gentile de Fabriano’s gold-encrusted 1423 “Adoration of the Magi” altarpiece features Arabic script on the Virgin Mary’s and Saint Joseph’s haloes

Two Florence Museums Are Tracing the City's 500-Year Connection to Islamic Art

The Uffizi explores East-West interactions between the 15th and 17th centuries; the Bargello features donations from 19th- and 20th-century collectors

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