Synopses & Reviews
From the earliest needles of 25,000 years ago to techno textiles used in Space Shuttle parachutes today, textiles have been fundamental to human existence and achievements, and have informed developments in other areas from agriculture to metallurgy. Textiles are global commodities, common to every culture and for a long time the motivation for trade, the exchange of ideas, and sometimes even conflict. Silks from China, carpets from Persia, ikats from Indonesia, cottons from India, fine linens from Flanders--each of these has helped to shape the modern world. This groundbreaking book surveys, from prehistory to the early twenty-first century, how textiles are made, what they are made from, how they function in society, the ways in which they are valued and given meaning, and the messages they contain. The author shows the intricate relationships between different cultures' textile traditions and demonstrates the significance of the materials we all take for granted in our everyday lives.
"Groundbreaking....An invaluable introduction to this vast and fascinating subject." New England Antiques Journal
Written as a chronological survey spanning prehistory to the early 21st century, this book is organized around five themes - materials, methods, trade, technology and social structures - which allow textiles from all ages to be investigated from many angles.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 216-217) and indexes.
The history of textiles, more than that of any other artifact, is the history of human ingenuity.
About the Author
Mary Schoeser graduated from the University of California and has since worked as a textile curator and consultant for, among other institutions, the National Trust, English Heritage, Liberty of London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A respected writer on textiles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, she has contributed to numerous publications and has lectured widely. Her books include World Textiles and Sanderson: The Essence of English Decoration. She lives in England.
Table of Contents
Prehistoric materials and techniques -- The dye and loom age, c. 3000-400 BC -- Trade and trends 750 BC to AD 600 -- Church and state, AD 600-1500 -- Western ideas and styles dispersed 1300-1900 -- Oriental influences 1450-1900 -- Surface patterning from Indigo to Ikat 600-1900 -- New technology 1600-2000 -- The art of textiles 1850-today.