I was just reading about textile designer Gunta Stolzl. Gunta is probably best known as being the weaving/textile master at the Bauhaus. It was there that as a student she turned around the weaving workshop at the Bauhaus, in her first year she was helping teach other students weaving and fabric dyeing. (Apparently the head of the weaving workshop at the time viewed it as women's work and wanted little to do with it. nice.)
One of the things Gunta did was experiment with fabric dyeing and synthetic materials, also in the spirit of using the workshop as a place for experimentation and improvisation she transformed the weaving department into one of the most successful faculties of the Bauhaus.
There is a great website where you can see hundred's of images of her work as well ready about her life, it is definitely worth a look.