EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Textiles of the Islamic World

John Gillow

Out of stock


An unrivalled, comprehensive, lavishly illustrated survey providing a wealth of information on the rich art of Islamic textiles


This book surveys the astonishing array of textiles made, worn, used and displayed throughout the Islamic world, from the glorious fabrics of the past to those still being produced today. Hundreds of lavish illustrations feature examples from around the globe, including embroidered Persian prayer cloths, Anatolian ikat coats, Ottoman knitted purses, Caucasian striped silk bags, Berber women’s shawls, Arab appliquéd tent decorations, Yemeni indigo robes, Indonesian batik sarongs, West African strip-woven cloths, and much else besides.

Region-by-region coverage offers concise details of local history, particular textile traditions, materials, dyes, special forms of decoration and information on current practice. Also explored is the fascinating fusion promoted by the merchants, missionaries, migrants and conquerors who travelled the world promulgating Islam and trading textiles widely.

The sheer variety on display is stunning, from cloths of cotton, hemp, linen and wool to sumptuous velvets and silks; from techniques of quilting, felting, beading and knitting to block-printing, tie-dyeing and hand-weaving on a range of looms.

Specially taken colour photographs, portraits of weavers and dyers in action, and rare historical material complete a remarkable visual panorama. Together with a glossary, bibliography and guide to textile collections around the world, this comprehensive survey provides a wealth of information and will be invaluable to anyone interested in the rich art of textiles, costume or craft.

Read More


'Excellent … as colourful and as full of joie de vivre as a room full of Matisse paintings'
The World of Interiors

'Superb … the illustrations are special, unusual, sometimes intriguing … the book is a delight renewed each time one opens it'
The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers

'Excellent for print and pattern inspiration'

'John Gillow is the great traveller scholar; in all his books you feel the adventure of the world observed through textiles'

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 30.8 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Illustrations: 638

Publication date: 8 April 2013

ISBN: 9780500290835

Contents List

THE OTTOMAN WORLD Turkey • The Balkans | ISLAMIC SPAIN AND NORTH AFRICA Spain • Morocco • Algeria • Tunisia • Libya • Egypt | THE ARAB WORLD Syria • Palestine • Iraq • Saudi Arabia • Kuwait • Oman • Yemen | THE PERSIAN WORLD Iran • The Caucasus | CENTRAL ASIA Uzbekistan • Turkmenistan • Tajikistan • Kyrgyzstan • Afghanistan | THE MUGHAL WORLD India • Pakistan • Bangladesh | EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA China • Malaysia • Indonesia • The Philippines | SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA East Africa • West Africa

About the Author

John Gillow has spent over thirty years studying, collecting and lecturing on textiles. His books include Arts and Crafts of India (with Ilay Cooper and Barry Dawson), Indian Textiles (with Nicholas Barnard), Traditional Indonesian Textiles, World Textiles (with Bryan Sentance) and African Textiles.

Related Topics