Tracing Patterns Foundation

Sharing Knowledge 
of the Textile Arts

Tracing Patterns Foundation is a community of international scholars, educators, and textile makers who contribute toward building a body of research on traditional practices related to fiber and textiles around the world.

Tracing Patterns Foundation
Berkeley, California 

Textiles Forward

Textiles are tangible markers of culture. More than just clothing, their materials, techniques, construction, patterns and colors reflect the richness of people’s environments, beliefs and values. Today, more than ever, we have the resources, expertise and technology available to redefine how we approach the preservation and protection of these precious examples of human ingenuity and creative expression. 

Many exceptional private collections have outgrown their original circumstances.  Likewise, many collectors are keen to know that their hard work and lifelong dedication will live on to delight, encourage and bring joy to people’s lives for years to come…


Representing Papua

The “Representing Papua: Portrayal of Culture from Local, National, and Global Perspectives” project is a six-month cultural exchange program aimed at fostering an international dialogue on the representation and repatriation of Papuan culture. Scheduled from August 1, 2024, to January 31, 2025, this initiative involves the participation of scholars from both Indonesia and the United States, who will travel between the two countries to engage in collaborative research and discussions. Central to the project is the repatriation of the Hampton Archive, an invaluable collection of Papuan artifacts collected by Dr. O.W. Hampton, which includes significant artworks and indigenous technologies from the Baliem Valley…


The Collection

The Tracing Patterns Collection represents gifts from our patrons. Our collection aims to build knowledge of traditional textiles and their technique through material cultures. Objects that we collect tell stories about global cross-cultural influences. They also exemplify the local practices, uses, and values held by the indigenous groups who make them. We use these objects primarily for teaching and research purposes. We incorporate them into lectures and demonstrations, and we use them to create educational content to inspire people to learn more about textiles. In addition, we are donating and loaning some of these materials to assist other educational institutions outside of the United States in building teaching collections.


Fiber, Loom and Technique Journal

The Fiber, Loom and Technique Journal (FLT) is an online journal that publishes peer-reviewed papers about textiles and fiber technologies, from historical, archaeological, and ethnographic studies. It covers loom and non-loom techniques, and woven and non-woven materials, including basketry and bark cloth. It encompasses a global scope that is not restricted by geography and is aimed at academics as well as laypeople with an interest in textiles.

The journal is open-access, and there are no publication fees. 

Submissions are welcome!


Hampton Archive

The O.W. (Bud) Hampton Archive

In December 2020, we received a large gift of Papua materials from the Hampton Family, collected by Dr. O. W. Hampton in the Highlands of Papua, Indonesia, over an 18-year period (1982-1999).

The gift comprises approximately 1000 artifacts from daily and ritual lives, including stone tools and fiber materials. In addition, there are more than 20,000 color slides, 200 sounds recordings on cassette tape made in the field, and meticulous research notes.

Today we are cataloging and conserving the collection for future generations, and we are trying to find a permanent home for it…


The Annual Report