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The purpose of the weaver and the place of the craftsperson through history has developed from being purely utilitarian to a medium of personal visual expression. Early man used weaving as a functional craft building structures and making cloth to protect himself from his environment. Medieval weaving was artistic and utilitarian, it was used as decoration and insulation in housing. With the advent of new architectural advances of the Renaissance weaving was no longer required to function as housing insulation. During this time, with the growing emphasis on painting and the development of chemical dyes, weavers turned to new colors which resulted in textural imitation of painting. It was not until this century that weaving has risen from the shadow of painting to reassert and establish its own identity as an art form.


A Statement Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science. Illinois State University, 1979.