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Textiles: The Whole Story: Uses · Meanings · Significance Hardcover – 10 Oct 2011

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (10 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500515662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500515662
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 0.4 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 686,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


...presents a more connected and personal view of the subject that will encourage readers to reconsider the significance of fiber.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By arty veggie on 15 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is an exceptional volume - it has a wealth of contextual detail and will enhance/ refresh opinions regarding the place of textiles in our world. The range of images and research is vast, and I keep dipping in and reading passages that really extend my understanding and enjoyment. I have recommended this book to my students and would suggest any artist or design technologist involved with education acquires their own copy.
Beverley Gordon's seminal text on Feltmaking, published decades ago but no longer in print , is another book worth searching out in public library collections
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms A. MPlace on 22 Jan 2012
Format: Hardcover
This truly is a book worth having on your bookshelf to keep. I only wish it was available 12 months ago when I was writing my dissertation as it would have provided some excellent research material. Any tutor, student or textile enthusiast would enjoy the insight provided to textiles across the globe for its cultural, practical and emotional aspects. I have a vast collection of textile related books, but this is one that I do and will cherish. Just enjoy some of the smaller sections, it's a great book !!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Terrific read, truly global view 9 Aug 2012
By Laura M. Gottlieb - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Hardcover (edit)

The aptly named TEXTILES: THE WHOLE STORY is the best book I've ever read on the subject. I was drawn to the book when I saw it at the library by my passion for quilting. Part scholarly book, part coffee table book, part textbook, this highly illustrated work is a non-chronological social and cultural history of textiles from their origins through contemporary times. Defining textiles in the broadest possible way--including rope, string, basketry, even fiber optic cable!, Beverly Gordon discusses their making and manufacture; fabric metaphors in language; how their uses have helped human beings survive; how they appear in every significant life event from birth to death around the world, imparting to each event social, spiritual, and cultural meaning; their connection with money, trade, status, and control; the "messages" they impart; and the spiritual and healing significance of making, wearing, and giving away cloth. This material could have been dry as dust, but the author's self-described "conviction and excitement about the meaning and power of textiles" are contagious, her writing is clear and un-academic, and her apparently encyclopedic knowledge of world cultures and how textiles are used in them provides a truly global perspective on a part of our daily life that we generally take completely for granted.

Here's a typical rich thought from her book: "Textile-making has a magical quality--it is a creative or generative process, associated with the life force--and the process can be comforting. It is an almost hypnotic, healing activity; engaging with the repetitive, rhythmic steps of sewing, knitting, weaving, and similar techniques create a sense of peace or calm. The action...is strengthened by the sensual pleasure of handling the thread or yarn, and watching a new form grow beneath one's hands."(less)
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Must have book for textile /fiber lovers;meant to be shared 17 Dec 2012
By A. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book is a most wonderful exploration of all things textile. It is written with the utmost scholarship and soul. There are over 300 photos and you can tell everyone was chosen and placed with care. The history, geography, science, are fascinating, the ideas inspiring and thought provoking. But this book is beautiful and fun! If you are a quilter, weaver, embroiderer etc., if you love cloth you will get so much enjoyment from dipping into this comprehensive text anywhere. I even read the preface! (I never read the preface). "scholarly" often connotes dry, but this book is written beautifully with clear love and respect for the subject matter. I have gotten great enjoyment from this book and want to share it with everyone.--it's that kind of book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Literally the fabric of our lives! 22 Mar 2013
By Weber D. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book offers the story of human culture, looking at the uses and influences throughout human history and around the world. Quite an undertaking for one book, but I learned so many fascinating things about what it means to be human. Plus the pictures incorporated are absolutely amazing. I don't believe there is another volume like this anywhere.

Beverly Gordon makes her research accessible to the average reader - no academic background required! I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in sociology, issues of gender and power, art and ecology, anthropology, women's issues, human history and development.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very worthwhile 3 Mar 2013
By H York - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't have time to review this book as it deserves. I'll just say I'm a serious student of textiles and this is a welcome addition to my library, especially for its discussion of e-textiles (conductive textiles). Recommended.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Everything you need to know about textiles 20 Nov 2012
By Vintage lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book touches on every outlet textiles produced for many many years. Easy to follow, wonderful facts you would never know about textiles is found in this book.
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