Vintage 1940s two- and four-harness looms indicate that weaving has been a part of the Arts curriculum at WNMU for a long time. Mexican tapestry weaving was added to that tradition in the 1970s. In the fiber arts studio students trace the full development of fiber arts as we know it today, beginning with fleece preparation, carding and spinning yarn, and weaving.
Both beginning and advanced students experience a variety of techniques, including felt-making, hand manipulating yarns for belts and straps, tapestry, and inkle and card weaving for small format projects. Students create textiles on harness looms and the computer loom, a recent addition to the department. Through organized methodology, patience and shared experience from fellow students and department faculty, a rich fibers tradition continues to grow.
Students in the Fiber Arts program explore nearly every process used for the construction of texitles and fabric. Part of the program covers age-old processes from basic carding, sprinning, dyeing, and felting of wool, to the use various new and vintage looms and the sudy of complex weave structures. The BFA degree allows for a concentration in fibers with an emphasis on the history of textiles along with contemporary fiber artists and emerging alternative fibers. WNMU's fiber program is unique because of the long history of textiles and fibers in the American Southwest