Welcome to our second instalment of the Slubbed Book Club. We hope you all enjoyed our last recommendation on the history of cotton in India. Today we have something a little less heavy and more pictorial.
Title: World Textiles - A Visual Guide To Traditional Techniques
Authors: John Gillow & Bryan Sentance
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
I imagine a lot of you are already familiar with John Gillow. He has after all published a whole number of books on textiles from around the world. This was the first book of his we purchased and it's been a huge source of knowledge and inspiration in our quest to not only offer quality artisanal textiles through our website but to also give the story and background behind them. It is important to us for our customers, should they be interested, to understand exactly how our fabrics are made, where they are from and what the story and history is behind them. This book covers a lot - it starts with all the natural materials used to make fabric, it moves on to explain the different techniques used to create fabric wherein they differentiate between loom and non-loom textiles. The rest and majority of the book is dedicated to the countless ways in which fabric can be dyed, painted, printed and generally embellished. As it says in the title it is a visual guide, so there are a lot more pictures to look at than actual text to read. The descriptions of materials and techniques are clear, concise and to the point. The images to accompany the texts are stunning - examples of old and new fabrics from the world over. There is also an image of a Bagh print, a collection of which we've just recently added to our shop.
It was from this book (& 'The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity' by Kwame Anthony Appiah) that we learnt about Adinkra symbols. They are traditionally block-printed onto fabric and pottery by the Ashantis in Ghana. One of the symbols we adopted as our logo.