A general image analysis and segmentation method using fuzzy set classification and learning is described. The method uses a learned fuzzy representation of pixel region characteristics, based upon the conjunction and disjunction of extracted and derived fuzzy color and texture features. Both positive and negative exemplars of some visually apparent characteristic which forms the basis of the inspection, input by a human operator, are used together with a clustering algorithm to construct positive similarity membership functions and negative similarity membership functions. Using these composite fuzzified images, P and N, are produced using fuzzy union. Classification is accomplished via image defuzzification, whereby linguistic meaning is assigned to each pixel in the fuzzy set using a fuzzy inference operation. The technique permits: (1) strict color and texture discrimination, (2) machine learning of color and texture characteristics of regions, (3) and judicious labeling of each pixel based upon leaned fuzzy representation and fuzzy classification. This approach appears ideal for applications involving visual inspection and allows the development of image-based inspection systems which may be trained and used by relatively unskilled workers. We show three different examples involving the visual inspection of mixed waste drums, lumber and woven fabric.