Dixon Weaving in Mexico

Dr. Devona Dixon, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, is enriching her spring-semester classroom instruction with insight from her winter sabbatical focused on textile production. Dixon spent two weeks in Yucatan, Mexico on a textile and tourism study-tour for professionals hosted by the International Textiles and Apparel Association of which she is a member.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a hub for embroiders and producers of quality henequen products. Dixon’s tour allowed her to observe henequen production, processing, yarn production, traditional backstrap weaving of fabric; and construction of various products, including hammocks and such accessories as handbags and hats. Dixon even constructed a henequen purse. She also observed the production of hand-made panama hats from sisal fibers.

She also visited Mayan ruins to study various aspects of the ancient culture, including influences on clothing.

“I have shared my experiences with my textiles students and incorporated my newly expanded knowledge of henequen and sisal into my lectures on natural fiber production and uses,” says Dixon, who financed her own tour.

Prior to her Mexican trip, Dixon also spent a week in Italy representing A&T as part of the American Institute for Foreign Study’s (AIFS) Study Abroad programming. The organization arranges site visits to select international sites each semester to broaden faculty members’ world knowledge. Dixon was in Rome and Florence as part of the university’s commitment to developing students’ global development. Dixon was selected to attend by the campus Office of International Programs because at least a half dozen fashion merchandising and design students have studied abroad in either Italy, Peru or Indonesia.