Textile Semantics: Perception and Memory

Sonja Andrew

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


This paper focuses on a semiotic exploration of textiles, examining the relationship between the designer’s authorial intention as the maker and the interpretation of their work by the viewer, particularly how visual images within textiles are read, and if the designer shares a common ‘visual grammar’ with their audience. The first stage of the paper discusses cultural perceptions of the tactile qualities of textiles and how the visual image in textiles has been used to communicate with the viewer. The role of context as an influencing factor in the meaning generated from image and cloth/fabric, and the dominant cultural codes by which textiles are read, are considered. The second stage examines viewer perceptions of a printed textile installation designed to communicate a family history narrative. Viewers’ interpretations of the narrative and the installation sites are discussed, highlighting examples where personal memory and shared cultural memory influenced their responses.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTextiles, Identity and Innovation
Subtitle of host publicationDesign the Future: Proceedings of the 1st International Textile Design Conference (D_TEX 2017), November 2-4, 2017, Lisbon, Portugal
EditorsGianni Montagna, Manuela Cristina Paulo Carvalho Figueiredo
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781315100210
ISBN (Print)9781138296114
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2018
EventTextiles, Identity and Innovation: Design the Future: 1st International Textile Design Conference - University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 2 Nov 20174 Nov 2017
Conference number: 1


ConferenceTextiles, Identity and Innovation
Abbreviated title(D_TEX 2017)


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