The University of Calgary is home to two extensive collections of plants and textiles. The Herbarium is home to an extensive collection of land plants from Alberta and around the world, and is dedicated to the collection, preservation and documentation of past and present plant biodiversity. Indigenous plants were used as medicines, as well as for a variety of practical, spiritual and decorative uses.
The Nickle Galleries gained the largest rug collection in Canada in 2003 with a donation of 600 Oriental rugs dating from the 16th to the mid-20th century. Most are from Turkey, Persia (Iran) or the Caucasus regions of East Asia. Many were made and used by nomads and are an important resource for research.
Delving into these two amazing collections with visits to both, we will discover first peoples and early settlers’ uses of and the relationship between Alberta’s Indigenous plants, textiles, fibres and dyes.
By completion of this course, successful students will be able to:
- Describe the relationship between place and plants, textiles and colour
- Identify local plant species that can be used in textiles and basketry
- Apply the techniques used in making and maintaining a herbarium
- Define the principles used to identify plant species used for textiles, basketry and dyes
- Identify natural dyes used in Central Asia, Turkey and India