Research Ideas for the Textile Industry

The textile industry provides many topics for those writing research papers. Textiles follow human history and society as closely as agriculture or hunting. From the history of textiles to the influence of textiles on modern culture, you can easily find sources and topics for your research online, in a book or even in your closet.

Early History of Textiles

Textiles have impacted the evolution of modern society. A research paper on the history of textiles could cover weaving, one of the oldest crafts in human history, with beginnings in the Neolithic period. Another topic could be the spinning of fibers such as wool into yarn, and its development until the creation of the spinning wheel in the late 14th century. Research into the history of the loom, which had its origins in the ancient world, progressed through Greek and Egyptian societies and made its way to modern times, would explore a technology that has tied together several eras of textile production. A more advanced research paper should narrow the focus of historical information, possibly focusing on one area in a specific time period, such as weaving in Greece in the 4th century B.C.

Specific Textiles

Each fabric or textile itself provides another opportunity for research. A paper could focus on the history and the creation of a particular textile. For example, textile makers create silk by using the threads of the silkworm. In fact, humans have placed so much importance on silk that the silkworm has essentially been domesticated. The history of silk can prove just as fascinating as the methods of acquiring the valuable material. A more advanced research paper could narrow the focus of the textile's history to a specific locale and type of manufacturing. For example, with silk, the paper could reference the importance of silk to Confucionism.

Sacred Textiles

Over history, certain textiles have taken on sacred qualities. For example, the South Indians consider red and yellow “puja sarees” mystical, with qualities of protection and good luck. In many cultures, people thought of ritualized weaving as a spiritual act. Christians endow many different fabrics with spiritual significance, including the Shroud of Turin and the wedding veil.


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