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Book Giveaway: “Textiles: The Art of Mankind”

Apr 21, 2014
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Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Shoeser (Thames & Hudson, 2012)

Mary Shoeser’s newest book, Textiles: The Art of Mankind (Thames & Hudson, 2012) features over 1,000 beautiful color illustrations that display the unique textiles that are found around the world. Mary shares her expert knowledge about textiles including everything from what goes into a textile to its structure and the surface of the finished textile. The book embraces everything you want to know about textile design history and techniques, technology’s impact on the industry, and more! Textiles: The Art of Mankind will take you on a journey that may change the way you look at textiles. The wealth of information in the book will astound you and will spark your inspiration and encourage you to experiment with unusual textiles.  

Mary Shoeser has worked with many organizations including English Heritage, the National Trust, Liberty in London, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where she has shared her knowledge of the textile industry.

Comment below not only to win Mary’s book, but also Ann Marguerite Tartsinis’ An American Style(Yale University Press, 2013). An American Style explores textiles from 1915-1928. As you flip through the pages, you will dive into the old Native American culture through Ann’s words with the help of over 100 illustrations.

What culture do you think has produced the most fascinating textiles? Share your comment before midnight on May 2, 2014, for a chance to win. A winner will be randomly selected and announced online and via email during the week of May 5. Good luck!

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  1. User avater Maydge April 21st

    I think the Indian cultures have created some of the most beautiful textiles and wonderfully decorated as well. The colors are so attractive!

  2. user-1050845 April 21st

    It's hard to compete against China with those beutiful traditional satin silks!

  3. moviedoll April 21st

    I love the Chinese silk brocades. They are gorgeous! I am drawn to the dragons and the blossoms

  4. User avater Couture_Academic April 22nd

    I've recently been drooling over the amazing colours in some textiles from Bhutan!

  5. WildSewing April 22nd

    I love the Japanese textiles, from the Indigo dyed to the silks used in Kimono making.

  6. User avater Jen_NYC April 22nd

    Difficult question! However, I have had an interest in Japanese textiles for some time. I am particularly interested in textiles with traditional sashiko stitching – usually on indigo dyed cloth – as a method of recycling and extending the life of the material. Shibori dying and ikat type woven textiles are also favorites.

  7. User avater acatalina2 April 22nd

    My opinion is that there is not one lone culture that produced the most fascinating textile. For that moment in time, in each culture, something new and fascinating was designed and executed. With that said, a fascination of mine is a lovely Maritime Southeast Asian sarong—woven with golden thread—which my father purchased while in the region in WWII. A more (personally) illusive textile lived in the era of those lavish Italian woven silks of the early 1500's. Though I do wonder how they managed to stay cool during warm Mediterranean summer days. ;-)

  8. user-3341960 April 23rd

    Byzantine Silks with their brilliant colors and intricate weaving patterns were one that always caught my eye, however there are so many too choose from that it really makes it hard to pick from.

  9. User avater jamaco April 23rd

    There is not just one - all cultures learn from each other. I love French and Asian fabrics!

  10. user-2910297 April 23rd

    I'm going to say England for the invention of viscose/rayon.
    While lowly viscose is not the most luxurious of fabrics, it does give us a fabric that is great for everyday wear at an affordable price. I love the feel and drape of good rayon. No its not silk, but it is washable and very wearable.
    English chemist Charles Frederick Cross, and his collaborators Edward John Bevan, and Clayton Beadle patented their artificial silk, which they named "viscose", because the reaction product of carbon disulfide and cellulose in basic conditions gave a highly viscous solution of xanthate.

  11. mjz April 24th

    I just got a sheer tie-dyed sari from India. It's so thin I'm not sure how to use it. But the colors are gorgeous.

  12. paulaberon70 April 24th

    I could say the asians, then i would think about the indians, and could go on and on, about these. all of them are just fascinating, I come from colombia, and the embroidery from el salvador and mexico are hallucinating. I just love all of them.

  13. Femme1 April 24th

    I've always loved Japanese textiles in their incredible variety. I've studied shibori, katazome, and nassen dyeing techniques, and have bought many kimono to keep as part of my own collection of textiles.

  14. wlstarn April 24th

    Japan for the amazing dye techniques, including shibori. But, I also love fabrics from China, India, Australia, and there are stunning embroideries from Europe. Love it all!

  15. User avater 2tango April 24th

    Im pretty crazy about all east Indian fabrics and also the chinese brocades. I like pretty much all fabric as long as its not too plasticy man made but even some of those have their merits

  16. Carly_Sue April 24th

    I just love the looks of these books. I think the Indian culture probably started these sort of textiles.

  17. sewclassic April 24th

    Fantastic giveaway! I love Pima cottons! I think the yardage of Pima Cottons I have purchased has come from England and Switzerland.

  18. Carollight April 24th

    The brilliance of colors of Oriental fabrics always catch my eye.

  19. Carollight April 24th

    The brilliance of colors of Oriental fabrics always catch my eye.

  20. vharden April 24th

    Would love to have these books to augment my textile library, assembled over 30 years of sewing.

  21. DMMichaelson April 24th

    The Indian cottons, block prints, always inspire me. There is always such diversity and color in them.

  22. beadembroiderer April 24th

    Native Americans, definitely, have contributed a rich and varied heritage for all to study. The use of natural resources--fibers, gourds, seeds, and animal furs, skin and parts--has individual character for each tribe or nation.

  23. SuzyQCanuck April 24th

    China for their silks.

  24. abifae April 24th

    I really enjoy Japanese shibori and indian resist.

  25. susanna April 24th

    I love felted wools, heavy linens, and silk velvets, and indigo dyed shibori ~ among dozens of other favorites!

  26. DonaMarie April 24th

    I am intrigued by Hong Kong finishing, native american decorative clothing & any techniques that can enable me to simulate coutour sewing.

  27. Melwyk April 24th

    I love Ukrainian embroidery & weaving, and the symbolic elements of those textiles!

  28. User avater parsnips April 24th

    Impossible to only name one culture. Sericulture and the gorgeous colors and patterns in jacquards and brocades in Chinese, Japanese and other far east countries, the dye processes and fineness of the linens in ancient Egypt and other countries in the middle east...Persia,Turkey,etc. and the use of fine metal threads. The dye sources. And one of my weaknesses, Irish linen. Old Irish linen (and lace.) The fineness of the cloth, the sheen, and the damask patterns.

  29. craftybanner April 25th

    I would have to agree that the Chinese culture has the most exquisite fabric and textiles available. The techniques that are used stand alone. As artists we owe so much to the Chinese culture for textiles.

  30. User avater chelosunny April 25th

    Are we talking quality or quantity? I love the quality of Japanese fabrics. Indonesia is a heavy hitter in the quantity department. We have a friend from India who goes to Little India in Artesia CA to buy saris to take back to Bombay. The saris are considered Hugh quality. They are made in Japan!

  31. Nimue325 April 25th

    For pattern and dying techniques, I vote Indian (but reserve a special place in my heart for the jacquard loom which brought us computer programming).

  32. patchoulired April 25th

    I think it would be a totally fair mix between Asian, European, and American. Seriously, we have all produced and introduced certain textiles and artistic designs that have had a major contribution to fashion over the generations, whether the fashion has had to be there for economic and/or social reasons. Culture plays a large role in each and every society, whether small or large, for so many sociological reasons. Such wonderful textiles that have come about because of this, are the reason we are still inspired to create in various ways in our various societies today. Very cool and interesting stuff, that literally makes the world go round! :D

  33. User avater Sindhoo May 2nd

    I am a fashion designer and I find every textile design fascinating! Every culture has produced unique textile/s followed by their perceptions of life. Right from the dramatic impact of the far eastern countries, very classic and the most sought out textiles of India to the very elegant and stylish textiles of the western world it is very difficult to choose any one!

    In spite of stating so, may be since I am an Indian, I have a deep affection for Indian textiles both recognized and unrecognized tribal textiles of over 100 types. I personally feel that Indian traditional textiles are chic and classic at the same time.

  34. user-2871098 January 20th

    I love textiles-vintage, new, the hand, and the design of the cloth, patterns and how they reflect the culture.

  35. sewathome January 20th

    Yarn-dyed stripes are my favorites. Especially seersucker stripes. Stripes to match and miter in a cooling fabric that doesn't need ironing. Will summer be here soon?

  36. SeaGrey February 18th

    As much as Indigo, and the people that make things with it, are fascinating. Saris from South Asia- of all fabrics that I appreciate I always have to stop and admire and touch Saris. They are so beautiful.

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