Textiles: The Whole Story: Uses, Meanings, Significance
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Textiles: The Whole Story: Uses, Meanings, Significance

by Beverly Gordon
     
 

A worldwide history for anyone with a passion for textiles and textile arts, whether creative, professional, or educational.
There are few aspects of our lives—physical, emotional, spiritual—in which thread and fabrics do not play a notable part. Beverly Gordon reminds us memorably and movingly of the powerful significance of fabric throughout human

Overview

A worldwide history for anyone with a passion for textiles and textile arts, whether creative, professional, or educational.
There are few aspects of our lives—physical, emotional, spiritual—in which thread and fabrics do not play a notable part. Beverly Gordon reminds us memorably and movingly of the powerful significance of fabric throughout human history. Her study of textile art and history is combined with her own hands-on experience: spinning silk from silk- worm cocoons, weaving cloth, and creating natural dyes.
The author bridges past and present from the Stone Age, when humans first learned to make cordage or thread, to twenty-first-century “smart fabrics,” which can regulate body temperature or measure the wearer’s pulse. Her discussion integrates art, science, history, and anthropology, and she draws on examples from around the globe.
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.

Editorial Reviews

Art Libraries Society of North America
“. . . presents a more connected and personal view of the subject that will encourage readers to reconsider the significance of fiber.”
Library Journal
This stunning book leads readers from the Stone Age to the 21st century, while weaving its story from strands of art and craft, history and anthropology, and science and culture. Through six chapters, Gordon (textiles & apparel design, Sch. of Human Ecology, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) portrays the history of textiles in the context of personal and daily lives, as well as the global aspects of this important commodity. The book's chapters, like "Very Fabric of Existence," cover textiles' importance to human consciousness. Others such as "Living on the Earth" explain the role of textiles in human survival. "The Tie That Binds" highlights the social meaning of textiles; "Cloth and Temporal Power" relates the commercial importance of textiles with regard to money, trade, status, and control; "Cloth as Communication" brings forth the hidden qualities of symbolism, meaning, and messages, as well as the outward display of beauty; and "Textiles & the Spirit" discusses the sacred and spiritual significance of fabric. The photographs relate well to the text and serve as visual cues to the role of textiles in society. VERDICT Not a coffee-table book but a title that speaks to the human experience. An outstanding achievement; highly recommended.—Stephen Allan Patrick, Jonesborough, TN

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780500515662
Publisher:
Thames & Hudson
Publication date:
11/07/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
10.52(w) x 8.18(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author

Beverly Gordon is Professor Emeritus in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her previous books include Shaker Textile Arts, Feltmaking, and The Saturated World: Aesthetic Meaning, Intimate Objects, Women’s Lives, 1890-1940.

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