Foregrounding textiles during the MFA program at UC Davis prepares students for a wide variety of careers including academia, industry, non- government organizations (NGOs), and other entrepreneurial ventures. Textiles are intrinsically a part of everyone’s material culture; as the textile field often overlaps with fashion, interior architecture, lighting/daylighting, industrial design, and/or interactive design, students are encouraged to seek cross disciplinary collaborations. The MFA program provides students the opportunity for research and practice-based textile design work with a focus on exploration, creativity, and problem solving.
Graduate students studying textiles address theoretical problems with practice-based solutions. Status, culture, politics, craft, and technology are among many functional expressions embedded within the language of textiles; students have the opportunity to choose a topic that is meaningful to them and explore it within the textile framework.
Practice based skills include:
Application of color and pattern to the fabric
Direct and immersion dyeing with a variety of synthetic and natural dyestuffs
Mechanical and bound resists; discharge
Stitching and embellishment
Hand, silkscreen, and digital printing
Manipulation of fabric through technology and/or hand constructed methods
Development of new fabric structures
RECENT GRADUATE WORK
Research on the psychological effects of pattern
Textiles as a storytelling device for undocumented communities
The influence of textiles in daylighting
A visual spotlight on laborers in Chinese factories
The creation of kombucha bio-based fabric for sustainable cosplay.
ONGOING PROJECTS OF INTEREST
The significance and viable use of craft in a technological age
Sustainability, including the use of renewable resources
The reclamation of pre-consumer and post-consumer waste and natural dyeing
Global awareness of traditional textile processes, artifacts, and their importance within society
Bridging art and design to create meaningful and conceptual projects that draw attention to contemporary issues
Students focusing on textiles are encouraged to utilize the JoAnn C. Stabb Design Collection which includes examples of ethnographic and historical textiles. Specialized resources in the department related to textiles include a Sewing Lab with industrial sewing machines, a Dye Lab with padded print tables, large exposure O-lite and Mimaki digital textile printer, and a Weaving Lab with 4 harness and compu-dobby looms. Students also have access to laser cutters, 3D printers, CAD embroidery, and CNC router as well as other equipment in the Industrial Design Lab. Additionally, faculty working in the College of Agriculture’s Textile and Clothing laboratories have made advanced textile testing equipment available.