The Fabric of Civilization

Sep 12, 2021 2:00PM—4:00PM



Textiles are taken for granted today, but they are one of humanity’s oldest and most influential commodities. From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture. Drawing on her widely praised new book The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World, author Virginia Postrel will take us on a tour of some of the innovations – in fiber, spinning, weaving, and dyeing – that gave us today’s textile abundance and have shaped civilization as we know it.

Virginia will be joining us virtually, so you can choose to tune in from the comfort of your home or you can join us at the SEFAA Center to watch her presentation on our 70″ widescreen tv. Either way, you’ll enjoy a fascinating romp through the history of textiles and the world they’ve crafted!

Virginia Postrel is a Los Angeles-based author, columnist, and independent researcher whose work spans a broad range of topics, from social science to fashion, concentrating on the intersection of culture, commerce, and technology. She learned to weave while researching The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World and is now the program co-chair for the Southern California Handweavers’ Guild. Virginia is also a regular columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and has written several other books, including The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion, The Substance of Style, and The Future and Its Enemies. Visit her website at