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Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World

by Virginia Postrel


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Available for Pre-Order. This item will be available on November 10, 2020


From Paleolithic flax to 3D knitting, a global history of textiles and the world they made

The story of humanity is the story of textiles — as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.

In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code.

Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781541617605
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 11/10/2020
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 1.50(h) x 9.50(d)

About the Author

Virginia Postrel is an award-winning journalist and independent historian. She is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, the New York Times, and Forbes. She is the author of the highly acclaimed The Substance of Style and The Power of Glamour. Her research is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She lives in Los Angeles, California.