From the Archives: Why fashion deserves its…

I was recently interviewed by a Chilean journalist* who asked when I had the first inkling that textile history might provide a subject for a book. It was a more precise question than the usual one about what inspired The Fabric of Civilization and brought me back to the research for this article, which was originally published in the May 2007 issue of The Atlantic. At the time, I didn’t think I’d done the subject justice. But reading the piece now, I think it’s excellent. During the research, I saw the purple-and-black dress that got me thinking about the connections between textiles and technology. The research also put me in touch with the marvelous Dennita Sewell, who later encouraged me to attend the Textile Society of America conference that ultimately led to the book.

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