Linda Welters

  • Professor
  • Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design
  • Phone: 401.874.4525
  • Email:
  • Office Location: 309C, Quinn Hall


Linda Welters began her university teaching career at the University of Wyoming. She joined URI as a permanent faculty member after receiving her PhD. She served as department chair for 18 years. During her tenure at URI, she has served as editor of Dress, the scholarly journal of the Costume Society of America, and as editor of the series Textiles that Changed the World (Bloomsbury). She has received numerous awards for her scholarship including the Distinguished Scholar award from the International Textile and Apparel Association in 2002 and the URI Foundation Scholarly Excellence Award in 2005.

Linda teaches history of fashion at the undergraduate level; at the graduate level she teaches material culture. She is Director of the Graduate Program as well as Director of the Historic Textile and Costume Collection. Currently, she is working with Susan Jerome to develop an online presence for selected artifacts from the Collection.


Welters’ area of specialization is the cultural history of textiles and fashion, folk dress, and Rhode Island quilts. Her teaching and research is grounded in the study of artifacts, and she employs a material culture approach in her work. This ties in with the TMD Department’s Historic Textile and Costume Collection. Currently, she is co-authoring with Trish Cunningham a book titled Fashioning America. While on sabbatical in 2019 she researched New England’s homespun fabrics from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, about which she has written encyclopedia entries and presented at conferences.


  • Ph.D., Design, University of Minnesota, 1981
  • M.A., Textiles and Clothing, Colorado State University, 1973
  • B.A., Textiles and Clothing in Business, College of St. Catherine (St. Paul, Minnesota), 1971

Selected Publications

Welters, Linda and Abby Lillethun, eds. A Fashion Reader. Third Edition, London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2022. [First edition 2007; second edition 2011]

Welters, Linda and Abby Lillethun. Fashion History: A Global View. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.

Welters, Linda and Patricia Cunningham, eds. Twentieth-Century American Fashion. Oxford, UK: Berg Publishers, 2005.

Welters, Linda and Margaret Ordoñez, eds. Down by the Old Mill Stream: Quilts in Rhode Island. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2000.


Welters, Linda and Sara Marcketti. “History of the Textiles and Apparel Discipline.” Envisioning Textile and Apparel Research and Education for the 21st Century: Envisioning the Future.ITAA Monograph, 2015 (online).

Welters, Linda and Margaret Ordoñez. “Historic Textile and Costume Collections in the Academic Setting.” Monograph #10, International Textile and Apparel Association, 2011 (online)

Articles and Chapters in Books since 2013

Alyssa C. Opishinski, Linda Welters, and Susan J. Jerome. “Frankie Welch’s Cherokee Alphabet Design: Cultural Appreciation or Cultural Appropriation?” In Sustainability Challenges in the Fashion Industry – Civilization Crisis, Decolonization, Cultural Legacy, and Transitions. Edited by Miguel Angel Gardetti and Rosa Patricia Larios-Francia. Singapore, Springer, 2023: 67-89.

Welters, Linda. “Une mode avant la mode?” [“Fashion before Fashion?”] A debate with Margarita Gleba, Timothy McCall, Eiren Shea, and Linda Welters, organized by Ulinka Rublack. Perspective 2023 (2): 33–58.

Welters, Linda. “The Fashion of Sustainability.” Sustainable Fashion: Take Action. Third edition. Edited by Connie Ulasewicz and Janet Hethorn. London and New York: Fairchild Books, a Division of Bloomsbury, 2023: 3–18.

Welters, Linda, Rebecca Kelly, and Susan Jerome. “An Exhibition: ‘One American Family: A Tale of North and South.” Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, Vol. 13, No. 1 (2022): 69–88.

Welters, Linda. “Burberry.” Chapter in Fashion and Luxury Marketing. Edited by Michael R.  Solomon and Mona Mrad. London: SAGE Publications, 2022: 260–262.

Lillethun, Abby and Linda Welters. “Coats and Trousers: Redrawing the Map to Rescript the Narrative.” In Rethinking Fashion Globalization: Fashion De-Globalization and Decolonial Interpretations edited by Sarah Cheang, Erica de Greef, and Yoko Tagaki. 91–107, London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2021.

Welters, Linda and Abby Lillethun. “Introduction to Focused Issue: History of Textiles and Fashion,” Clothing and Textile Research Journal, 2020 (online).

Welters, Linda. “Weaver and Spinner.” In A Day in the Life of an American Worker: 200 Trades and Occupations in U.S. History. Edited by Nancy Quam-Wickham and Ben Tyler Elliott. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO (2019): 95-97.

Welters, Linda. “Expressions of Beauty Across Space and Time.” Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty 10, 2 (2019): 245-68.

Welters, Linda and Margaret Ordoñez. “Delaines: A Forgotten Fabric.” Uncoverings 40, 2019, 102-135.

May, Rachel and Linda Welters. “The Cushman Quilt Tops: A Tale of North and South.” Uncoverings 38 2017: 36-67.

Welters, Linda, Jennifer Pisula, Megan Martinelli, Mary Elizabeth Corrigan, Sarah Lockrem, Sarah Templeton, Sarah Yang, Holly Paquette, Catherine Murphy, and Hilary Baker. “Mapping Fashion in the ‘City by the Sea’: Shopping Districts in Newport, Rhode Island,” Fashion, Style & Popular Culture Vol. 4, No. 1 (2017): 7-31.

Welters, Linda. “The Ladies’ Paradise: A Study of Nineteenth-Century Ready Mades.” Teaching Collection: History and Culture. International Textile and Apparel Association (2015).

Welters, Linda and Abby Lillethun. “History of Dress and Fashion.” In Bibliographical Guides: Berg Fashion Library. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015 (online). DOI: 10.5040/9781474280655-BG005

Welters, Linda and Hannel, Susan. “Careers in Fashion Design.” In Fashion Design for the Curious: Why Study Fashion Design edited by Kishor Vaidya. Amazon Digital Services, Inc.: The Curious Academic Publishing, Kindle Book, 2015 (online).

Welters, Linda. “Alatzas: Handwoven Fabrics During the Early Industrial Period in Greece (1880-1920).” Dress Vol. 39, No. 1 (2013): 59-77.