Bachelor's Degree in Fiber and Fashion Design

You are surrounded by fiber and textiles designed and produced for clothing, upholstery, window treatments, and floor coverings. The mysteries of these constructions are revealed in our fiber studio.

Inspired by the spirit of design study in Finland, Finlandia University’s Bachelors in Fiber and Fashion Design fosters the thoughtful integration of materials and processes allowing you to explore and develop your own path in the fiber arts.

Clubs & Organizations – Fiber Arts & Fashion Design

SDA (Surface Design Association)
SDA inspires creativity, encourage innovation and advocate for artistic excellence as the global leader in textile-inspired art and design. The mission is to promote awareness and appreciation of textile-inspired art and design through member-supported benefits including publications, exhibitions and conferences.


Scholarship Opportunities

Program Policy

For the ISAD cross-concentration degree, a student chooses two pre-existing concentrations and combines them to create an individualized learning experience. The cross-concentration degree is offered under the special circumstances listed below:

  • A grade point average in Art & Design classes of 3.5 or higher.
  • A letter of intent from the student to the dean explaining the desire and rationale for a cross-concentration degree.
  • The curriculum for the combination of two concentrations will be evaluated by the respective faculty members on a case-by-case basis.

Study Abroad Opportunities – Fiber Arts & Fashion Design Programs

Art & Design students considering study abroad opportunities must have a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA and apply to and make arrangements with the dean of the International School of Art & Design. Students are encouraged to study at least one year of the Finnish language (or language of destination country) prior to departure for study abroad while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and fiber arts.

CCSA – Cooperative Center for Study Abroad
The Cooperative Center for Study Abroad is a consortium of U.S. colleges and universities, which jointly offers study abroad programs in English-speaking regions. A not-for-profit organization, CCSA is headquartered at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Participants can receive higher education credit (undergraduate or graduate) for successfully completing the CCSA program in which they are enrolled. Classes are taught by faculty from consortium member schools.

Today, CCSA offers programs on five continents, sending at least five hundred students and faculty abroad each year. Course offerings have also grown extensively to include subjects as different as marine biology and fashion design, watercolor painting and nursing, in addition to regular offerings in theatre, business, psychology, english, history, and political science.

International Partners

  • Kuopio Academy of Design/Savonia University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Art & Design Helsinki – UIAH
  • University of Lapland
  • HAMK – University of Applied Sciences

International Study Programs International Admissions (906) 487-7208 |

Stories & highlights – Fiber Arts & Fashion Design

Meet Eric Hinsch

What have you enjoyed about studying at Finlandia?
I would have to say Phyllis’ (Fredendall) teaching style. She gives you the basics, then lets you explore on your own, including making mistakes. She is always available for advice and encouragement…and a cup of tea. Also, the variety of equipment available (looms, sewing machines, etc.). It was great to be able to work with tools I’d never seen before. Without those opportunities, I never would have known I loved weaving so much!

What has been one of your most memorable experiences (ie. people, professors, specific course)?
This is a tough one as most of my experiences at Finlandia were memorable. I would have to say, however, that one of the things I will always remember is how tightly knit (pun partially intended), the International School of Art & Design is. Students, faculty, and staff were always very helpful and encouraging. This was true for the school as a whole, as well as within each subgroup (fiber+fashion, painting, illustration, etc.).

How has your education in fiber + fashion gotten you to where you are in life currently?
This is an interesting question considering I am now working on my PhD in Wood Science. My background has gone from science, to art, and back to science. However, I have always tried to incorporate both, a movement usually termed “artscience.” Denise Vandeville encouraged me in this area, and it lead me to a great opportunity for graduate school. As it happened, my major professor was looking for a fiber artist to work in her lab (she has an art background as well). With my previous experience in the sciences, and my degree in Art & Design with a concentration in fiber+fashion, it was a perfect fit. I would not have had the amazing opportunities I have had without my education in fiber+fashion from Finlandia.

Additional Links and Forms – Fiber Arts & Fashion Degrees

What you will learn

Students learn the garment design methods of pattern drafting and draping. CAD design for garment is integrated. Jacquard design for upholstery allows students to design for industry with the latest software. Weavers find our looms varied from four- and eight-harness jack looms to a 24-harness computer aided AVL.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor's Degree in Fashion Design and Fiber Arts?

Graduates will be able to:

  • Design and construct original garments, print and dye textiles for garment and interiors, design textiles woven on industrial looms for upholstery, hand weave original fabrics, design for knitwear, identify fiber content and construction processes for textiles, design and produce accessories, etc.

Sample Courses (CORE)

  • Weaving and Off-loom Structures
    Students discover fiber structure through sampling construction methods, including twining, coiling, knitting, crocheting, knotting, and weaving. Emphasis on loom preparation, drafting graphics, basic structures. Includes research and analysis of historic and contemporary examples. Students use these techniques to create art objects, one-of-a-kind garments, or design prototypes for multiples. Available fall semesters.
  • Fundamentals of Garment Design
    An introduction to garment design that includes both flat-pattern drafting and draping methods. Students develop designs through sketch ideating. Understanding of fabric structure and fiber content inform the process and results. Students machine and hand-sew their final designs. Participation in a student fashion show is part of the class. Available spring semesters.
  • Jacquard Design
    Builds on knowledge of woven structure and surface design principles teaching students to create patterns and weaves for jacquard upholstery. Through the use of professional software, students’ designs are woven as samples in a textile mill. Students use drawing, color theory, basic math, and organizational skills to complete design projects for industry. Spring semesters.

Career Opportunities

Designer and/or producer of accessories, carpets, knitwear, fashion fabric, industrial textiles, upholstery, garments, yarns dye specialist, fiber artist, independent garment designer, textile consultant/weaver, textile publication designer
Denise VandevilleDean, International School of Art & Design Associate Professor, Ceramic DesignFinlandia Universitydenise.vandeville@finlandia.edu906-487-7379
Lisa BroemerAdministrative Assistant, International School of Art & Design (ISAD)Finlandia Universitylisa.broemer@finlandia.edu906-487-7225
Phyllis FredendallProfessor of Fiber and Fashion DesignFinlandia Universityphyllis.fredendall@finlandia.edu906-487-7376

Stories & Highlights

Student Work

  • Fiber Arts Artist Emily Pierce Chasuble and Stole set for Daughters of the King

Art & Design

Art & Design toggle menu
Applications now being accepted for $20,000 Competitive Art Scholarship