Frequently Asked Questions

The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) is a destination for the area’s many quilt and fiber art enthusiasts, visitors, and residents to view historic and recent works by quilters and fiber artists from Maryland’s Eastern Shore and Delmarva Peninsula. As a home to exhibit, retail, studio, and instruction spaces, FACES provides a central networking facility for fiber artists in the region; increases public access to and education about fiber art; fosters and promotes creativity in all areas of fiber art; and works to preserve fiber art skills and traditions.

Fiber art is a style of fine art which uses textiles such as fabric, yarn, and natural and synthetic fibers. It focuses on the materials and on the manual labor involved as part of its significance. Fiber art works are works of art that communicate some sort of message, emotion or meaning and go beyond just the literal meaning of the materials.

Traditionally fiber is taken from plants or animals, for example cotton from cotton seed pods, linen from flax stems, wool from sheep hair, or silk from the spun cocoons of silkworms. In addition to these traditional materials, synthetic materials such as plastic acrylic are now used.

In order for the fiber to be made into cloth or clothing, it must be spun (or twisted) into a strand known as yarn. When the yarn is ready and dyed for use it can be made into cloth in a number of ways. Knitting and crochet are common methods of twisting and shaping the yarn into garments or fabric. The most common use of yarn to make cloth is weaving. In weaving, the yarn is wrapped on a frame called a loom and pulled taut vertically. This is known as the warp. Then another strand of yarn is worked back and forth wrapping over and under the warp. This wrapped yarn is called the weft. Most art and commercial textiles are made by this process.

  • Quilting – layers of fabric are sewn together
  • Weaving – a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth.
  • Knitting – a method by which thread or yarn is turned into knitted fabric consisting of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can be passed through them.
  • Crochet – a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook.
  • Embroidery – decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn.
  • Appliqué – a smaller ornament or device applied to another surface.
  • Rug Hooking – a craft in which rugs are made by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff woven base such as burlap, linen, rug warp or monks cloth. The loops are pulled through the backing material by using a latch hook mounted in a handle (usually wood) for leverage.
  • Felting – a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing woolen fibers.
  • Braiding or Plaiting – a complex structure or pattern formed by intertwining three or more strands of flexible material such as textile fibers, wire, or human hair.
  • Macramé – a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of “hitching”: full hitch and double half hitches.
  • Lace Making
    • Needle Lace – created using a needle and thread to stitch up hundreds of small stitches to form the lace itself.
    • Tatting – a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops.
    • Flocking (texture) – the process of depositing many small fiber particles (called flock) onto a surface.
    • Tapestry – special type of weaving in which the weft yarns are manipulated freely to form a pattern or design on the front of the fabric.
    • Basketry – the process of weaving un-spun vegetable fibers into a basket or other similar form.
    • Patchwork – a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design.