Fabric Arts and Art Therapy

by Maryann Miller

The purpose of this report is to investigate the potential value of using fabric arts as a medium in art therapy as presented in a workshop. The format of the study was a one-day workshop in which the participants experimented with three distinct fabric art processes: making a wish doll from fabric, needle felting, and wet felting. This final report provides a brief overview of the underlying theoretical approaches to art therapy applied, a description of what happened in the workshop, personal reflections on the therapeutic value of fiber arts, limitations of the workshop, and recommendations for future applications. The highlights of the workshop, Fabric Arts and Art Therapy, naturally fell into three areas: connections, transformation, and resiliency. The three overarching themes that emerged were: inherent properties of the materials, transformational properties of the materials, and metaphoric properties of the materials.