Textiles The Whole Story by Beverly Gordon is another addition to my collection of textile books this year.
This is a book to be read, and re-read, and also one which dazzles with illustrations of paintings and photographs of historic and contemporary textiles which are being created, exhibited and worn today. You can see some of these in a slide show on Gordon’s website.
The sub-tile of Uses, Meaning and Significance encapsulates the depth of this book in which Gordon reminds us of the significance of textiles throughout human history.
With six chapters:
- The Very fabric of Existence
- Living on the earth
- The Ties That Bind
- Cloth and Temporal Power
- Cloth as Communication
- Textiles and the Spirit
and over 380 illustrations and a very comprehensive list of Further Reading and Resources and Citations, this is a book that any textile enthusiast should have on their bookshelf. Combining perspectives from art, craft, history and anthropology Gordon reminds us that many of our experiences of cloth take place in a social context, and for me, that is their real joy. Unlike many other art forms, I can always “connect” to textiles regardless of their purpose or origin. As the preface says, this book reminds us “why textiles matter“.
I have been reading it by dipping in and out and I sometimes pick it up just to marvel at the stunning creations that it contains.