World Textiles: A Concise History

World Textiles: A Concise History

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by Mary Schoeser
     
 

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The history of textiles, more than that of any other artifact, is the history of human ingenuity.
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

Overview

The history of textiles, more than that of any other artifact, is the history of human ingenuity.
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.

Editorial Reviews

New England Antiques Journal
“Groundbreaking....An invaluable introduction to this vast and fascinating subject.”
Library Journal
These two surveys range widely in their coverage of textile arts, which continue to gain ground in both scholarship and popular awareness. In her first book, London designer Cole primarily offers a visual tour. The organization, which works through a general geographic and then chronological arrangement, seems a bit awkward and strained. The page layout is stylish, however, and the colorful illustrations of patterns create a book with a lot of eye appeal. The text mainly consists of captions for each illustration, with a very short introduction for each chapter pulling the themes together. Aimed at lay readers, this book is more comprehensive than Susan Meller and Joost Elffers's Textile Designs, which is nevertheless better organized. Public or academic collections would benefit from having both. Renowned textiles expert and author Schoeser (International Textile Design) has crafted a compact history of textiles for Thames & Hudson's paperback "World of Art" series. Arranged roughly into chronological periods, the book meticulously details technique, materials, and designs and puts them in historical and cultural context. This is truly a fantastic history of textile arts. The pictures are a bit disappointing, smallish and sometimes in black and white. But the text itself is a delight to read and more comprehensive than in other comparable works, such as Textiles: 5,000 Years, edited by Jennifer Harris. Whereas Harris's book is much more visually stunning, Schoeser's is a definitive history, highly readable and intriguing. Highly recommended for all collections.-Karen Ellis, Nicholson Memorial Lib. Syst., Garland, TX Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500203699
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
05/19/2003
Series:
World of Art Series
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Mary Schoeser is a textile historian and curator who has advised English
Heritage, the National Trust, Liberty of London, and the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. She is Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Arts,
London.

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World Textiles: A Concise History 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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