Voices of Textiles

Unraveling the personal and the political

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The Voices of Textiles Exhibition is a student-curated project in partnership with the Women Make Cities Research Network. The exhibition highlights textile-related items from the University of Edinburgh's Collections showing how women used textile production to share their political and personal voices.

Textile production, maintenance, and repair have frequently been used as a means of objectifying, constricting, and oppressing women, particularly those from lower socio-economic and ethnic minority backgrounds.

Some individuals have inverted these instruments of control, reforming textile work to reclaim agency and authority. Creative freedom can be liberating, and the making process is a reliable companion to all kinds of change. This emphasis on making and work aims to celebrate communities of women. The following pages seek to foreground those whose relationship with textiles has allowed them to craft their voices and to forge new paths. These themes, and additional textile artwork, will be discussed in the subsequent pages.