Ricky Timms, a well-known textile artist and quilter says: “Art is a language and language is what we use to express everything. Art is an avenue whereby our voices can be heard and our opinions expressed.”

What is textile art? Textile art is art that uses various materials and fibers to produce decorative artistic objects. According to Wikipedia, fiber art refers to fine art whose material consists of natural or synthetic fiber and other components such as fiber or yarn.

Creation methods includes sewing, knitting, embroidery, crochet, weaving and more. There are a myriad of visual possibilities and textile artists constantly showcase the vast differences that are possible. For example, the crochet artist Mondo uses thin wire to create delicate sculptures. Embroidery has had a resurgence over the past few years and artists are continually pushing it in new directions such as stitching designs into rubber objects as produced by Hannalie Taute from Still Bay.

An art quilt is an original exploration of a concept rather than handing down of a “pattern”. It experiments with textile manipulation, colour, texture and/or diversity of mixed media (according to the Art Quilt Association, USA).  The aim is to advance quilt world boundaries.

Textile art could take on the form of a wall hanging, a rug, a clothing item or even a sculpture! It is one of the oldest forms of art in human civilization – we know that the ancient Egyptians made textiles. Between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, woven pieces called tapestries took the place of paintings on people’s walls in Europe.

A closing statement (a point often made): If the maker sets out to create art, the end product is art!