2014: Patrice George

Ruth Ketterer Harris Lecture — Seven Fibers that Changed the World

Thursday, March 6, 2014
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L160
University of Wisconsin — Madison
800 University Drive, Madison

The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection is pleased to host Patrice George, Assistant Professor in the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City, as its 2014 Ruth Ketterer Harris Lecturer

Lurex Liebes advertisement 1954

Patrice George

75 years ago, nylon fiber was a new invention on exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair. Barely one year later, stockings knit of nylon caused a revolution that altered the fashion and textile industries forever. The 2014 Harris Lecture, “Seven Fibers that Changed the World,” features Patrice George, assistant professor of textiles at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, who will talk about the early years of the man-made fiber industry. From DuPont to Dior, fiber manufacturers and famous designers invested in research, design, and marketing talent to reach the consumer with new ideas about miraculous fibers that made everyday life easier, more comfortable, and more glamorous. Glossy advertising pages promoted rayon, nylon, polyester, acrylic, lurex, spandex, and other new fibers, challenging the world of natural fibers to fight for their share of textile market. The story of the fiber industry connects social, political and cultural developments in postwar America, and innovations in the global textile industry of today.

George, founded Patrice George Designs in 1979 specializing in dobby and jacquard woven design, and also coordinated international projects for UNIDO and Care. She beta-tested early CAD systems for woven textiles in early 1980’s, developed first computer-aided textile design course at School of Visual Arts in 1984, and is faculty member in Textile Development and Marketing at Fashion Institute of Technology for 10 years.


The event is free & open to the public
Contact: hlatc@sohe.wisc.edu | 608-262-1162

About the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection
The Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection is primarily a teaching collection serving the Design Studies Department and other academic disciplines on campus, including the Material Culture program. The collection of more than 13,000 artificts is used to learn about textiles from both cultural and artistic perspectives. Portions of the collection are on view year-round in the Lynn Mecklenburg Reading Room and scheduled exhibitions in the Ruth Davis Design Gallery.

About the Ruth Ketterer Harris Lecture
Since 1992, the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection has proudly sponsored an annual lecture series in honor of Ruth Ketterer Harris, the Collection’s first curator. The lecture series has featured a diverse range of specialists with broad public appeal including textile historians, contemporary artists, museum curators, scholars, and collectors ― all of whom have contributed to an enhanced understanding and appreciation of textiles. The Harris Lecture is free and open to the public. Sign up for HLATC’s email list to receive announcements for this and other opportunities. If interested in participating as a speaker for the lecture series, please click here for more information.