2021 Project Threadways Symposium

Join us on April 15 – 17, 2021, in Florence, Alabama, for our annual symposium where we will explore the deep connection between material culture and making across time and place.

Textiles across time and place

The theme of the 2021 symposium—“Textiles Across Time and Place: Examining a complicated past to create a more sustainable future”—places the story of textiles in our community in to a broader context by providing an overview of the timeline of textile history in the United States from the indigenous people who inhabited this area and the fibers they grew through the cotton economy of the antebellum south leading up to the Reconstruction era, sharecropping, and tenant farming. It also maps out the geography from the northeast corridor down through our region, highlighting the once-thriving textile cities and towns.

Symposium speakers will focus on the geography of textiles, material culture, sustainable fashion, and clothing of the enslaved. The list of speakers includes Carrie Barske-Crawford, Jessamyn Hatcher and Thuy Lihn Tu, Dana Thomas, Katie Randall, and Kate Knowles.

The event will include tours of the area, a special lunch with Lisa Donovan, Angie Mosier, Cheetie Kumar, Judith Winfrey, and Ann Marshall, engaging lectures and talks, workshops, (more) good food, and conversation.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, April 15, 2021

6:00pm – Registration and Cocktails

                  Exhibition Opening: “Textiles Across Time and Place”


Friday, April 16, 2021

9:00am – Late Registration + Rivertown Breakfast @ The Factory

10:00am – Welcome + Introduction

10:30am – The Factory Tour with Natalie Chanin

11:00am – Short Break

11:15am – Material Culture Across Time with Carrie Barske

12:15pm – Short Break

12:30pm – Cloth Bound Lunch featuring Smithy Ironware with Lisa Donovan, Angie Mosier, Cheetie Kumar, Judith Winfrey, and Ann Marshall

2:00pm – The Geography of Textiles with Katie Randall, Jessamyn Hatcher, and Thuy Linh Tu

3:00pm – The Future of Fashion with Dana Thomas

4:00pm – Cocktail Hour + Small Bites @ The Factory

6:30pm – Open evening; optional dinner in downtown Florence

Saturday, April 17, 2021

9:00am – Rivertown Breakfast @ The Factory

10:00am – An Expanded Oral History with Katie Randall

11:00am – Clothing of the Enslaved ­with Katie Knowles

12:00pm – The State of Threadways: Bag Lunch + Brainstorming

2:00pm – Lecture to be determined

3:30pm – Optional: Making Workshop or Open Afternoon

5:30pm – Pope’s Tavern Tour with local historian Brian Murphy

6:30pm – Farewell Cocktails + Small Bites @ Uniform Shop: Tour of the Future ­with Carrie Barske

Topics of Discussion

A closer look at the symposium presentations.

Material Culture Across Time

with Carrie Barske

The Future of Fashion

with Dana Thomas

Clothing of the Enslaved

with Katie Knowles

The Geography of textiles

with Jessamyn Hatcher and Thuy Linh Tu

Oral histories Presentation

with Katie Randall

Can't make it but want to contribute?