Visualizing the Story Through “Text”iles: Visual Storytelling

Barbara Wesselman, Apparel & Design, Northwest School of the Arts

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


A textile is a documentary piece of evidence which conveys a message and is
able to tell a story. It is a visual that can be touched and manipulated. In our world of
constantly changing images guiding our students to analyze those images or just one
image, to stop and understand the story the image is telling is an important
comprehensive skill. This unit challenges students to select an iconic textile and
understand the story it tells. Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of shared
communication; textiles offer a look into history, style, economics and design through the
end product created with the fibers. Representations of textiles throughout humankind
share a glimpse into lives and stories that helped us become who we are.