It’s National Textiles Day on May 3, and we’re recognizing the major role textiles play in our everyday lives. Textiles are woven from natural and synthetic materials into the clothes we wear, the bedding we sleep on, the rugs we step on, and even the canvases we paint on. One of the major pioneers of sustainable and environmentally friendly textiles — and the creator of this fun day — is a company called Valley Forge. Take a second and think about what life would be like without textiles. Our clothing, home decor, and way of life would be totally different.
History of National Textiles Day
Textiles have been impacting our lives since the late Paleolithic era, with the discovery of dyed flax fibers in a cave in the Republic of Georgia dating back around 34,000 years. Prior to textiles becoming widespread and accessible, humans would have used things like animal skin, leaves, and bark as clothing to protect themselves from the elements.
Textiles are made by spinning raw fibers into long, twisted lengths to create a flexible network of yarns. These yarns are then made into fabrics by means of weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, tatting, felting, bonding, or braiding these yarns together. They are formed into the clothes we put on daily, the bedding we sleep on, the material that covers our furniture, and the rugs we use all over the house. Even the canvases we paint on are made from textiles.
Environmental sustainability is an overall fighting cause in the modern manufacturing era, and this also applies to textiles. Valley Forge Fabrics is a company dedicated to living and working harmoniously with the environment. They have been creating sustainable textiles for many years.
Dan and Judy Dobin opened Valley Forge in May 1977, in Pennsylvania. A year after, they relocated to New York, taking Valley Forge and their five children with them. In 1980, they ventured into the hospitality business and never looked back. In 1991, they created their first set of sample books to be sent to hotels to enable them to choose the fabrics that they wanted to use for their upholstery. A year after, the Dobin family packed up again and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In 2007, they launched their first major grouping of FRESH products or Fabrics Redefining Environmental Standards for Hospitality. They are the creators of National Textiles Day.
National Textiles Day timeline
Dyed flax fibers are created in a cave in the Republic of Georgia.
Valley Forge is founded by Dan and Judy Dobin.
Valley Forge launches their first major category of environmentally friendly textiles.
Valley Forge creates a reclamation take-back program for their products.
National Textiles Day FAQs
What are examples of textiles?
Everything from silk, wool, linen, and cotton to rayon, nylon, and polyester fall into the textile family.
Which country is famous for textiles?
China is currently the largest producer and exporter of textiles. Textiles form one of the important pillars of China’s economy.
What is the difference between fabric and textile?
Textiles stand alone as an unfinished product, or they can combine with other materials to create something different. Fabric is mainly an ingredient mixed with other materials, creating the finished product.
How To Celebrate National Textiles Day
Think about what you’re wearing
If you’re wearing clothes today, then you’re wearing textiles! Think about what your favorite kinds of clothing are and about the value of wearing natural, environmentally sustainable textiles.
Appreciate the textiles around you
A lot of the time, we forget just how important textiles are to us. Today, take some time out to note all the textile-made things around you and appreciate how much they do for you.
Purchase new textile
In need of some new outfits, or bedding, or curtains, or even carpets? Today will be the perfect time to go textile shopping. Visit your local textile shop, and pick out some beautiful pieces to add to your collection.
5 Interesting Facts About Textiles
They are highly recyclable
95% of textiles can be recycled.
Your cotton outfits contain a lot of water
To make a cotton shirt, you’d need about 700 gallons of water.
They don’t disappear easily
Clothes can take up to 40 years to decompose.
Your shoes take even longer
A pair of shoes can take around 1,000 years to break down and decompose.
They’re highly repurposable
Used textiles can be used to create a range of new things, from sports fields to paper money.
Why We Love National Textiles Day
We love clothes
If you love clothes or fashion, or even just appreciate the fact those things are around, then you’re a textile lover too. National Textiles Day recognizes textiles for the many ways they make our lives easier.
We love creativity
Textiles can be made into beautiful designs, colors, and patterns. They also boost our creativity through the creation of canvases and other art supplies. If you’re a fan of the arts, then you’ll be a lover of textiles.
We love resourcefulness
If you didn’t know just how resourceful textiles are, we hope you do now. These resourceful, versatile pieces boost our standard of living in so many ways.
National Textiles Day dates