The International Textiles and Apparel Association has its roots in the first half of the twentieth century.
In 1935, the United States Office of Education cooperated with institutions of higher learning in studying the curricula. As a result of these curricula studies, conferences of textile and clothing professors have been held annually in at least one of these three geographic regions of the U.S. since 1944. The first national meeting of textile and clothing professors, planned by a committee representing three geographic regions, was held in Madison, Wisconsin in June, 1959. A National Steering Committee was chosen to coordinate the work of the three regions, encourage means of strengthening college teaching, and develop future plans. The National Steering Committee, composed of delegates from the three regions, developed guidelines for operation and membership eligibility. Interregional conferences and seminars were sponsored and at the second meeting in 1968, the National Steering Committee was empowered to write a constitution for the organization. This was accepted in 1970 by the three regions who voted to become affiliates of the national group. The organization was incorporated in 1979 and became the Association of College Professors of Textiles and Clothing, Inc. In 1983, a Futures Committee was appointed to investigate and discuss the philosophical foundation of the field and potential courses of action for the organization. Member input was sought through sub-regional meetings in each region. In 1985, officers and regional representatives processed member input at a retreat in Milledgeville, Georgia, which led to a restatement of the purpose of ACPTC. The organization was restructured into a national unit with annual national meetings in 1988.The name was changed to International Textiles and Apparel Association in 1991 to reflect its global perspective and growing international membership.