History of textile: Analytical Skills Task

Choose one of the 6 documents (or document pairs) that follow. Write a paragraph (c. 150 words, more if you get inspired) that explains what this historic source (or sources) reveals about the textiles depicted or discussed and how the source gets across those points (eg, in its visual imagery, in its language, in the nature of the object itself, etc). Some of the ‘messages’ may be informational/factual (eg, ‘this sweater is made of wool’: this is a factual statement that might be written directly in the text); some of them may be perceived or persuasive (eg, ‘this sweater is designed for an upper middle-class market’: this is never said in an advertisement but the visual imagery may suggest it through models, settings, uses to which the sweater is put, etc); and some of them may be contextual (eg, ‘the market for this rug is women’: this may not be said in the text but because the advertisement is in the Ladies’ Home Journal, we can learn from that context). This is a short assignment, but try to mine these sources for as much depth of meaning as you can.

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