Textiles: The Whole Story
Uses · Meanings · Significance
- ISBN 9780500291139
- 26.00 x 20.00 cm
- 380 Illustrations, 318 in colour
- First published 2013
‘A hugely involved and comprehensive work … factual and informative, yet with a personal touch that draws the reader in to browse the pages’ – Craft & Design
‘A highly readable account that reminds us powerfully of the significance of fabrics throughout human history. Endlessly fascinating’ – Embroidery Magazine
‘… one immediately sees that Gordon has drawn deeply from a vast stash of knowledge, and she has written with conviction that cloth is essential for human existence … a rich, generous book’ – Surface Design Journal
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This worldwide survey is essential reading for anyone with a passion for textiles, whether creative, professional or educational.
A dazzling array of illustrations includes paintings and photographs of both historic and contemporary textiles and a broad collection of textiles being created, worn and lived with.
The author reminds us powerfully of the significance of fabrics throughout human history. Her expertise is enriched by her own hands-on experience: spinning silk from silkworm cocoons, weaving cloth and creating natural dyes. As a curator she has studied thousands of textiles.
Bridging past and present – from the Stone Age to 21st-century ‘smart fabrics’ which can regulate body temperature or measure the wearer’s pulse – the book integrates craft, art, science, history and anthropology, drawing on examples from around the globe.
Here are topics such as the universality of textiles in human language and experience; their social role in bonding families and communities; the importance of textiles in world trade; their spiritual and sacred aspects; and the work of artists using textiles as their medium.
Beverly Gordon is Professor Emerita from the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was President of the Textile Society of America for several years. Her many publications include Shaker Textile Arts, Feltmaking, and The Saturated World: Aesthetic Meaning, Intimate Objects, Women’s Lives, 1890–1940.