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World Textiles

A Visual Guide to Traditional Techniques

John Gillow, Bryan Sentance

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A dazzlingly illustrated exploration of an amazing range of hand-crafted textiles from around the world


The history of the world can be read in textiles: the rise of civilizations and the fall of empires are woven into their warp and weft along with the great stories of conquest, religion and trade. The legacy of textile design, form and pattern that has resulted from this global endowment can be seen here in all its spectacular richness.

Cultures separated by vast distances have developed similar solutions to design and construction while producing a dazzling variety of styles. Each textile epitomizes the culture that produced it - from the silk brocade saris of Benares in India, to cut-pile raphia cloth from Central Africa, pathwork quilts made by colonists in North America and indigo-dyed tsutugaki cloth from Japan.

Here is the first book to illustrate the whole range of traditional handmade textiles from all corners of the globe. Eight sections cover all aspects of materials and techniques, each giving a succinct summary of characteristics, making and geographical distribution, accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs and drawings. Every kind of textile is described: non-loom and loom-woven, painted and printed, dyed, sewn, embroidered and embellished.

Completed by a glossary, further reading and information on collections with public access, World Textiles is an unrivalled guide for anyone interested in collecting or making and designing textiles.

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'Visually stunning, brimming with well-chosen illustrations that are accompanied by interesting and succinct commentaries'
Times Educational Supplement

'A ravishing book'
World of Interiors

'Extremely valuable ... I would recommend it unconditionally'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 28.0 x 24.0 cm

Extent: 240 pp

Illustrations: 778

Publication date: 4 October 2004

ISBN: 9780500282472

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.

Bryan Sentance is an artist, illustrator and educator in the fields of arts and crafts and is author of Wood, Ceramics, Basketry and (with John Gillow) World Textiles.