Books on Textile History and Culture

This is my final post on reviewing the books in my craft library and it covers the history of textiles; the regional variations throughout the world; and a few specialist books on particular areas (South-East and Central Asia); the spiritual aspects of textiles; and special time periods (Arts and Crafts Textiles). Firstly, two excellent general books on textile history!

Women’s Work: The First 20, 000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber 1994

A fascinating book, looking at the history of textiles and the important role of women in its production from the Upper Paleolithic world (40 000 BC to 10 000BC, 5000 BC in some places) through the Neolithic Era; and the Bronze, Copper and Iron Ages to Ancient Egypt and Greece up to 500 BC.

While most textiles are highly perishable, knowledge has been gained from :

Archaeological discoveries:

eg Fossilized string found in Lascaux, France dated to 15 000 BC; and a needle netted linen bag with a stone button from Israel dated 6500 BC, thought to be a ceremonial hat and the world’s oldest preserved clothing;

eg Golden and silver spindles found in Early Bronze Age burial sites  at Alaca Höyük, Central Turkey);

Depictions on ancient artefacts, paintings and pottery:

eg Voluptuous stone Venus figurines wearing string skirts 20 000 years old;  Assyrian clay tablets from 2000 BC in Mesopotamia, recording accounts and letters of entrepreneurial women with their own weaving businesses; Tomb friezes from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt ( 2150 -1800 BC) showing men spinning cord and laundering and women spinning thread and weaving; and the depiction of women weaving together on a warp-weighted loom on a Greek vase from 560 BC, depicted on the book cover);

References in mythology, folk tales and literature:

eg Homer’s Iliad, which describes Hera’s girdle, fashioned with a hundred tassels, and Aphrodite’s special girdle);

Ethnological evidence from traditionally produced textiles and folk costumes:

eg  Mordvin, Walachin, Macedonian and Albanian peasant aprons and skirts; and

 Documented history.

It examines the Neolithic string revolution (snares, nets and cloth); the development of spinning and weaving; the creation of clothing without cutting and wasting precious cloth (togas, chitons, tunics, plaid skirts); the use of textiles as royal gift exchanges; technological developments like the loom; the changing roles of women through history; and everyday life in ancient societies.BlogTextile History40%IMG_0048

5000 Years of Textiles Edited by Jennifer Harris 1993/ 2004

Far less ambitious in scope, covering only 5000 years as opposed to 20 000 years of textile history, this comprehensive book was written by 24 experts in their specialist textile fields and produced by the British Museum Press, in association with the Whitworth Gallery and The Victoria and Albert Museum, showcasing many historical textile items (from the ancient world through to the modern day) in their respective collections.

The introduction discusses the perishability of textiles; early archaeological textile finds from Ancient Egyptian burial tombs (Pharaonic plain linen; Romano-Egyptian decorated wool and linen up to 12 AD; and imported Persian and Syrian silks); felts from the frozen tombs of Central Asian nomadic chieftains; and the clothing of Scandinavian bog bodies; ancient trading routes and their influence on textile design; and the role and function of textiles in society (social rank and status; gender; family lineage and clan identity; symbolism; diplomacy and royal patronage; major life events-births, weddings and funerals; and social, economic and religious functions).

The book is divided into sections:

Survey of the main textile techniques: Weaving; Tapestry; Rug Weaving; Embroidery; Lace making; Dyeing and Printing; Knitting; Netting, Knitting and Crochet; and Felt and Bark Cloth.

Each section describes the history of the technique, the main tools and technological advances, and basic components and techniques and are illustrated by photographs of many historical textiles; production tools and artisans in action; depictions on ancient vases and in ancient manuscripts and paintings; and explanatory diagrams.

Survey of World Textiles:

Ancient World of the Eastern Mediterranean: Fibres and dyes; the earliest textiles and early trade; Ancient Egypt, the Hellenistic Kingdoms of Classical Greece; the Ancient Roman period and Coptic textiles;

Central and Northern Europe: the Stone, Bronze and Iron Age, and the Vikings;

Western Europe: Sicilian and Italian silks (1300 to 1900); Spanish silks (712 AD to early 18th century); French silks (1650 to 1800); Figured linen damasks of the Netherlands (16th to 18th centuries); Tapestry, embroidery, lace and printed textiles;

Central and Eastern Europe (1800-1920);

Greece, the Greek Islands and Albania;

Near and Middle East: Sassanian textiles (Persia); Early Islamic textiles; Byzantine silks; Safavid Iran; the Ottoman Empire; and Palestinian embroidery;

Central Asia : Turkmenistan; Uzbekistan; Tadzhikistan; Kirghizia; Kazakhstan; North-Eastern Iran and Northern Afghanistan;

India and Pakistan and the tribal textiles of Central India;

Carpets of the Middle and Far East;

Far East: China, Japan and South East Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, the Hill tribes, the Philippines, and Indonesia and Malaysia);

The Americas: Colonial North America (1700s to 1990s); Native North America; Latin America (Pre-Hispanic textiles of Meso-America and South America; Post-conquest and contemporary textiles in Central and South America: Mexico, Guatemala; the Cuna Indians of Panama and South America;

Africa:

North Africa: gold and silk embroidery, wool embroidery, appliqué and weaving; and

Sub-Saharan Africa and offshore islands: West Africa, the equatorial forest, Eastern Africa and Madagascar.

There is a glossary of textile terms and an extensive bibliography at the back of the book for further reading. This is indeed a wonderful summary of world textiles and the only area, which was not covered in great detail was Oceania, although there was brief mention of tapa cloth, made from the bark of the paper mulberry tree in the ‘Felt and Bark Cloth’ chapter of the first section.

Extensively researched, it is quite a scholarly and academic book, whereas the next few books are more a pictorial feast!BlogTextile History40%IMG_0049Textiles: A World Tour: Discovering Traditional Fabrics and Patterns by Catherine Legrand 2008/2012

Illustrated with over 700 wonderful colour photographs of ethnic costumes, sumptuous fabric and tribal people from all over the world, this beautiful book is divided into six main areas:

Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, South-East Asia: Hmong tunics and the skirt of 1000 pleats; indigo blues and batik; embroidery and appliqué; tassels and pompoms; trimmings and ornaments; and baskets and bags;

Orissa, Rajastan and Gujarat, India: Cotton saris; block printing; mud and indigo; mirrorwork embroidery; saris, veils and turbans; jewellery and henna;

Mexico and Guatemala, Central America: Indigo; Mayan skirts; Jaspe; shawls, bundles and bags, wool; Huipil flowers and stripes; green Ixil women; traditional mens’ clothing and Lake Atitlán;

Kuna Archipelago, Panama, Central America: Mola and reverse appliqué;

Maramures and Bukovina, Romania: Peasant blouses; haymaking, spinning and felting; and seasonal activities; and

Benin, West Africa: Indigo and cotton; stars, spots and stripes; wax prints and fancy prints.

This is a fabulous book, not just for textile collectors and historians, but also for travellers, who are interested in remote locations off the beaten track and serves as a wonderful source of inspiration for textile and fashion designers. It is also a wonderful photographic record of cultural differences and practices in a rapidly shrinking and increasingly global world.

I adored the skirt of a thousand pleats, worn by the Flowered Hmong- in fact, it was one of the lusted after-purchases I was talked out of on my first trip to Europe in early married life, which I have always regretted, but which taught me a valuable lesson in sticking to my guns if I really wanted something!!!

I also loved the colourful harlequin appliqué of the Lolo, Vietnam; the Hmong reverse appliqué spiral patterns;  huipil floral embroidery;  the reverse appliqué ‘mola’ of the Kuna women in Panama; and the frilled Romanian peasant blouses and smocks, as well as their wonderful floral embroidery.

All the different styles of ethnic clothing are just so interesting, especially the symbolism behind them and I loved reading about all the processes involved with the production of traditional textiles from harvesting, weaving and garment assembly to dyeing (batik, indigo, block printing, silkscreen, tie-dyeing), embroidery and appliqué.

I learnt about breeding silkworms for silk production, Ikat weaving; the different techniques throughout the world for dyeing with indigo; the huge variation in the symbolic meanings of textiles and a huge number of different ethnic groups, which were new to me like the Ixil women of the Acul region of Guatemala, near Nebaj.

I would love to have written this book and visited all the wonderful locations and peoples! I cannot recommend this gorgeous book highly enough!BlogTextile History40%IMG_0050Another wonderful guide to world textiles is the not surprisingly and very appropriately-titled:

World Textiles: A Visual Guide to Traditional Techniques by John Gillow and Bryan Sentence 1999

It has a different format and approach to the previous book, focusing more on the different types of textiles and techniques rather than their geographical area, making it an excellent companion, which adds to our knowledge of textile history and production.  The display of fabrics from many different areas side by side serves as a basis for comparison and furthering a greater understanding of the techniques involved and an increased awareness of the diversity in stylistic interpretations. Like the previous book, it is also lavishly illustrated with over 778 illustrations, 551 in colour and explanatory diagrams.

The introduction defines textiles and discusses their history, the first fabrics, textile decoration, spinning yarn and traditional textiles.

Chapters include:

Materials: Skin and hide; wool and hair; felt; woollen yarn; cotton; silk; bark; linen; other bast fibres like hibiscus, jute, nettle, ramie, milkweed and hemp; raphia and other leaf fibres like palms, yuccas, agave, rice straw and grass, as well as their function, purpose and use and their production and techniques.

Non-Loom Textiles: Netting, linking and looping; knitting and crochet, including textured and multi-coloured knitting; braids; sprang; macramé; ply-splitting; lace (bobbin and needle lace and tatting); and twining and wrapping;

Loom-Woven Textiles: Tabby weave; twill and tartan; satin weave; tapestry weave; warp-faced and weft-faced weave; damask; supplementary warps and wefts (continuous and discontinuous); brocade; strip weave; double weave; velvet, velveteen, corduroy and other pile cloths; and tablet weaving. I found this chapter particularly interesting and informative, as I have always been a bit mystified by all the different types of woven techniques and did not know much about damask, brocade or velvet production;

Painted and Printed Textiles: Daubed textiles (mud, earth pigments and leaf paints); painted textiles; penwork; woodblock printing (monochrome and polychrome); and stencilling;

Dyes: Substansive and adjective dyes; natural and synthetic aniline dyes; indigo; tie-dye; stitched resist; Rajasthani leheria and mothara; starch-resist (hand and stencilled); wax resist (Chinese knife; Javanese batik canting; and cap printing); mordant techniques (Central Asian woodblock printing; Kalamkari; and Ajrakh); warp and weft Ikat; and compound and double Ikat;

Sewing: Appliqué and reverse appliqué; molas; leather and felt appliqué; braid and ribbon work; patchwork; quilting; padded and stuffed work (stumpwork; Native American whimsies and kalagas from Myanmar);

Embroidery: All the different stitches and their techniques, uses, distribution and variations and styles: Running stitch; satin and surface satin stitches; chain stitch and variations; cross stitch; herringbone stitch; couching and Bokhara couching; blanket, buttonhole and eyelet stitch, French and Pekin knots; drawn-thread and pulled-thread work; needle weaving; whitework; needlepoint; smocking; and tambour work; and finally,

Embellishment and its role and use in social identity; magic and superstition and even just for ornamentation and vanity: Metal thread; mirrors; coins and sequins; shells; bead embroidery and bead weaving; feathers; porcupine quills; ephemera (natural objects including flowers, seeds and insect wings; and magical protection); and fringes and tassels.

There is just so much information in this book and the authors have done a stirling job organising it and making it all comprehensible.

In the back is a glossary of textile terms; lists of further reading on materials; techniques; history and world textiles; and a list of museums and collections, a wonderful source of further knowledge and inspiration! Another book I could not do without!BlogTextile History30%IMG_0051Another interesting book in my craft library, with more personal stories of craftswomen in developing countries is:

In Her Hands: Craftswomen Changing The World by Paola Gianturco and Toby Tuttle 2000

Written in their individual voices and featuring 90 indigenous craftswomen in 28 villages in 12 different countries over four continents, this book examines their daily lives, aspirations, families and communities, craft cooperatives and use of craft to create better futures for themselves and future generations. Along the way, we learn more about their cultures and their different craft and textile traditions and techniques. The text is supported by wonderful photos of the craftswomen and their families;  their villages and environment; and their work and crafts.

Chapters are divided into:

Latin America: Bolivia (knitting); Guatemala (weaving); Peru (pottery and arpillera); and Panama molas;

Eastern Europe: Poland (Flower painting); and Czech Republic (Easter egg painting);

Africa: South Africa (Ndebele beadwork and Zulu basket weaving); and Zimbabwe (Weya artists); and

Asia: Turkey (dollmaking and rug weaving); Indonesia (Floral offerings and batik); Thailand (Hill tribe craftswomen and AIDS project); and India (mirror embroidery).

In the back are suggestions for ways in which the reader can help support and enhance the craftswomen’s efforts to improve their lives.BlogTextile History30%IMG_0047

Next are a few books on the textiles of specific regions, including Central and South-East Asia, both notable for their beautiful textiles.BlogTextile History30%IMG_0044

I have already featured Bright Flowers: Textiles and Ceramics of Central Asia by Christina Sumner and Guy Petherbridge 2004 in my post on traditional embroidery (https://candeloblooms.com/2018/08/21/books-on-hand-embroidery-part-three-traditional-and-contemporary-embroidery/), but another excellent book on the same region is:

Traditional Textiles of Central Asia by Janet Harvey 1996

I have always been fascinated by the history and romance of the Silk Road and the interchange of goods, ideas, peoples and religions between the east and the west along its varying routes and times.

Central Asia covers a large proportion of this area from the Danube River to the Pacific shores, bordered on the north by the forested taiga and to the south by the high plateaux running from the Balkans to Tibet and the Chinese plains. From the first millennium BC to the 4th century AD, luxury goods like spices, gems and silks were transported from the Far East to the  west and were exchanged for fine muslins, woollens and glass from India and Europe to China.

Beautifully coloured silks, fragments of rich tapestry work, embroidery, pile carpets and coarse fabrics in felts and wools over 2000 years old were found in ancient burial sites in the Tarim Basin by Sir Aurel Stein in the early 20th century.

I adore the colourful Kyrgyz shyrdaks (patchwork appliqué felt floor rug) used by Central Asian nomads to furnish their yurts, in fact they formed the basis of my first year major project in my Diploma of Textile Art. (https://candeloblooms.com/2018/07/17/fabulous-felting-books/).

The simplicity and compactness of living in a yurt and the light environmental footprint and interest of travel and different home grounds of the nomadic lifestyle also appeal to me. And I love reading about symbolism and myths and the ceremonial and cultural aspects of different peoples, so this book appealed on so many levels!

It is divided into four different sections:

History and Motifs: Nomads and settled peoples; trade routes; Jenghis Khan and his legacy; decorative motifs; foreign influences; and traditional motifs and their significance;

Materials and Dyes: Wool; silk; cotton; and dye sources and dyeing;

Felts, Weavings and Dress: Nomad felts; nomad, village and urban woven fabrics; looms; flat weaves; knotted pile; decorative finishings; knitting and crochet; cotton weaving; Ikat silk weaving; traditional dress; and bags, covers, hangings and animal trappings; and

Applied Decoration: Embroidery; nomad, village and urban traditions; and block printing and fabric painting.

It is a beautiful book with over 200 colour plates of sumptuous silks and velvets; exquisite embroideries; stunning felts and woollen fabrics; and fine cotton weaves produced throughout the area and lots of fascinating information about the historical background; mythology and symbolism; materials and dyeing, block printing and fabric painting; and nomadic furnishings, culture and daily life. I am sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did!

In the back is a glossary; further reading lists on Central Asian history and textiles; motifs used in textile decoration; materials and dyes; yarn construction; felt; and applied decoration; and a list of museums and galleries.

BlogTextile History30%IMG_0045

Textiles of South-East Asia by Angela Thompson 2007

An equally comprehensive and detailed book, but featuring the rich textile traditions of Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Spice islands of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, this book examines the differences and similarities between the different areas, as well as the historic and mercantile links, which have forged them together. The author compares the costumes, weaving and techniques of each country and discusses the underlying symbolic meanings of their designs, which are woven or imprinted into the cloth.

Chapters include:

Historical Background: From the indigenous neolithic peoples of mainland South-East Asia and the establishment of early cultures; different languages, migrations, political and military alliances and gift exchanges and tributary systems; and the influence of topography and the great river systems; to a brief summary of each country; and a discussion of the influence of international trade, including spices, cotton and silk; European  colonization and expansion; the aftermath of the Second World War; and modern trends.

Symbolism, Pattern and Design: Importance of symbols in denoting rank/ status and allegiance; rites of passage and religion; the prohibition of royal symbols and pattern; a brief discussion of the different religious beliefs and history; mythology (creation myths, island myths and fertility myths); auspicious motifs, magic talismans and protective amulets; the different motifs and their symbolism; other weaving patterns; and the influence of imported designs from India and China.

Costume: Uncut cloth: Variations due to climate and geographical terrains; different methods of draping cloth; depictions on historic sculptures; skirts and loin cloths; court cultures and influences;  the 19th and 20th century wrapped loincloths; island sarongs; religious dress; and the use of fabric lengths in shawls, ceremonial blankets, turbans and head-cloths, bed covers, baby wrappers and carry-cloths, and gift covers, temple hangings and banners.

Costume: Closed Dress: Seamed costume based on fabric widths and shaped dresses defined by cutting and seaming; pleated skirts and long dresses; the influence of migrating tribes from China; the national costumes of the hill tribes and the different areas; the golden triangle;  religious dress and royal costumes; colonial and foreign influences and costume accessories like hats, bags and baby carriers.

Threads and Fibres, Spinning and Dyeing:

Threads and fibres: Their production, source materials, tools and history: Cotton, silk, vegetable and bast fibres: pineapple leaves, agave and bamboo, abaca, ramie, lotus flower threads, kapok, rattan, coconut fibre, and bark cloth; and

Dyes and Dyeing: Natural Dyes made from plants (trees, bark, roots, leaves and flowers) and insects; indigo vat dyes; and synthetic dyes.

Weaving and Loom Types: Basic weaving methods and tools; shuttles and different types of looms; weaving preparation and threading the loom; pattern weaves- types and selection; harnesses and heddles; and tapestry weave methods.

Dye Pattern Methods: Ikat, tie-dye and batik and their regional variations; the use of motifs and patterns in puppets and wall hangings, painted and printed cloths ; and political batik.

Embroidery and Appliqué: Geographical variations and the influence of migrating populations and foreign trade by land and sea; counted and cross-stitch; double running stitch; pattern darning; free stitchery (shaded embroidery; filling stitches; and double-sided and silk embroidery); metal threadwork; quilted and machine work; appliqué and patchwork; reverse appliqué; and the influences of war and persecution.

Beadwork and Bead Embroidery: Bead types and origins: shells, abalone, pearls, seeds, glass, sequins and spangles, silver and gold; application to fabric surfaces; netted beadwork and the incorporation of beads into weaving.

Thread and Fibre Crafts: Plaited and woven braids; tablet weaving; lacework, tatting;  nets and hammocks; and fibre crafts: weaving fibre mats and bedcovers; twining, plaiting and interlacing; bases for lacquer ware; and conical hat making…and

Fringes, Tassels, Pompoms and Feathers: Woven fringes, pompoms and tassels on hats, God’s eyes, tasselled lanterns and feather decorations.

All these books have been fascinating reading and like the others, this one includes a glossary; a bibliography; and lists of craft video films and museums and collections.BlogTextile History30%IMG_0052

And if the two previous books have whetted your appetite for more information about the link between symbolism and textiles, then this next book should be right up your alley!

Amulets: A World of Secret Powers, Charms and Magic by Sheila Paine 2004.

This is a lovely book to dive into at whim, rather than trying to absorb all the information at once! With over 400 colour illustrations, this book is a worldwide look at the wide variety of cultural beliefs, the important role of amulets in protection; magic and superstition; rites of passage; war, sex, fertility and harvest; trade and profit; and all the different types, including goddesses and dolls; fossils and semi-precious stones; silver and coins; buttons, beads and blue; red, white and black; teeth, claws and paws; horns and bones;  birds, feathers and hair; snakes and fearful creatures; water and the moon;  salt, garlic, incense and plants; trees, rags and stitches; tangles and triangles; needles, porcupine quills, iron and bells; numbers and letters; hands and crosses; and saints and the church. So much interesting information!!!BlogTextile History30%IMG_0043My final book explores a particular interest area of mine:

Textiles of the Arts and Crafts Movement by Linda Parry 1988/ 2005

I have always loved and been fascinated by the Arts and Crafts Movement (1880 to 1920) and its emphasis on simplicity, beauty and functionality and the handmade! It looks at the artistic and industrial background to this breakaway style; its ideological tenets and purpose; the evolution of the Arts and Crafts style; textiles in Arts and Crafts exhibitions, as well as their use in the home; and embroiderers and designers, like William Morris and his daughters May and Jenny; Jessie Newberry, Una Taylor and Ann Macbeth; Edward Burne-Jones; CFA Voysey; MH Baillie Scott; Philip Webb; Walter Crane; Selwyn Image; JH Dearle; Lindsay Butterfield and George Haité ; Charles Rennie Mackintosh, George Walton and Jessie M King of the Glasgow School of Art and manufacturers and shops, including Morris and Co.; Turnbull and Stockdale; AH Lee & Sons; Silver Studio; Wardle & Co; Liberty & Co. and many others, all listed in the back of the book. A very comprehensive guide to English textiles (printed and woven fabrics, tapestries and carpets and embroideries and lace) when Britain led the design world!BlogTextile History30%IMG_0042

 

Books on Textile Printing

Textile printing is defined as the process of applying colour to fabric in definite patterns and designs, whereas in dyeing, the whole fabric is uniformly coloured with one colour. While related to dyeing, there are many differences, as are very well portrayed in the following website: https://textilestudycenter.com/textile-printing/.

The colour bonds with the fibre, so it resists washing and friction and retains the colour, design and pattern. Some of the printing techniques on textiles include:

Direct Printing, using hand blocks (wood blocks/ engraved plates/ silkscreen) or machine rollers and dyes and mordants to fix colour on the cloth;

Resist Techniques, using wax or other resistant material to prevent uptake of the dye by specific areas of the material (eg: Batik, shibori and tie-dyeing);

Discharge Techniques, using bleaching agents to remove colour from previously dyed fabric; and

Special Techniques like Flock, Dyed or Burnt Out Styles; Blotching; Air Brushing; and Photo Transfers.

The following books are all concerned with printing and painting fabrics and creating surface designs on cloth, rather than dyeing fabric, which I will cover in a separate post.

Hand-Printed Fabrics by KG Herder 1968

This simple little booklet is still worthy of inclusion, despite its age, because of its very simplicity and clear easy instructions, as well as its quaint designs! It mainly covers stencilling on fabric and block printing with potato stamps and linoleum blocks and suggests a variety of projects from checked aprons and tablecloths to placemats, cushion covers, oven gloves, teacosies and Christmas stockings, tea-towels, banners and scarves.BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.18.49Print Pattern and Colour : For Paper and Fabric by Ruth Issett 2007

This comprehensive guide is a must-have for the textile artist, discussing a range of techniques from simple monoprinting and roller printing to screen printing, printing with found objects, using stencils and rubbing and dyeing effects. There are four main sections:

Getting Started, which describes the workspace and equipment required, including their advantages and disadvantages;

Printing on Paper: Monoprinting; Roller Printing; Print Block (Lino, Foamcore, Found Objects, String Blocks, Cut Print Blocks, Heat and Press and Press Print); Paper Types; Colour Combinations; Using Two Plastic Sheets; Creating Texture; and Geometric Patterns;

Printing on Fabric: Choosing, Preparing and Fixing Fabrics; Print Mediums (including a table detailing their description, use, qualities, fixing and suitable fabric type); and Printing Techniques: Mono Printing, Roller Printing and Block Printing; Using Markal Paint Sticks, Masks and Discharge Paste; Screen Printing and Stencilling; and Stitching and Dyeing;  and

Design Ideas and Development: Building a design from simple blocks; Experimenting with lines; Drawing shapes; Print blocks; and Finding, collecting and organizing design ideas.

The book finishes with a list of suppliers and further reading. It’s a terrific book for encouraging experimentation and play with textile design and so satisfying to create original patterns and cloth.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.46

Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth: Stamp, Screen and Stencil with Everyday Objects by Rayna Gillman 2008

Another inspiring book, that makes you want to race out there and starting textile printing! I feel it has a more informal style to the previous book and it covers slightly different techniques. It covers: Stamping and stencilling with found objects; Random screen printing with stencils made from masking tape, newspaper, freezer paper, found objects, glue resists and soy wax resists ; Gelatin plate printing; Screen printing with thickened dyes, with lots of recipes and step-by-step instructions; Discharge printing with chlorine bleach, bleach gels, thiox and discharge paste; Soy wax batik;  Rubbings with paintstiks and oil sticks, oil pastels and paint; and Thermofax screens.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.16

The Creative Guide to Fabric Screen Printing: Creative Designs for Fabric Printing at Home by Pam Stallebrass 1990

This book was one of my first guides to screen printing and it is an excellent basic guide with some lovely designs for paper, handcut film and light-sensitive stencils and painted screens, with patterns in the back. The chapter on basics includes equipment (screen, squeegee, printing table, inks and fabrics) and instructions for making screens, colour mixing, fabric registration, borders and all over designs, multicolour printing, screen printing, cleaning the screen and heat-setting. Projects include braids, quilts,  jackets and skirts, cushions, rugs and curtains. Instructions to both technique and project are clear and precise from making the stencil and screen to textile printing and assembly of the product.

BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.58

Design and Practice For Printed Textiles by Andrea McNamara and Patrick Snelling 2004

The bible for serious students of textile design, it contains everything you could possibly need to know about the craft! From the glossary of terms at the start and the introductory chapter on the design process, including examples of textile designers, it progresses to chapters on :

Design Resources:  Concept and story boards; swatchbooks; and design briefs;

Colour: Language of colour; Colourways in textile design; Choice of colour; electronic colour;

Mark Making Materials and Techniques:

A.Materials:

Dry media (pencils, charcoal, conte and wax crayons, pastels and chalks and markers);

Wet media (ink, gouache, poster paint, watercolour, oils and acrylic paints, and bleach);

Tools (brushes, airbrush, atomiser, masks/films and stencils, technical drawing and ruling pens, ruler, eraser, cutting tools and boards, scissors, set squares, compass and protractor, adhesives and tapes); and

Surfaces (butcher’s paper, cartridge paper, specialist papers, cardboard, detail paper, graph paper, typography, hybrid tools).

B.Techniques:

Line Work; Solid Form; Cut or Torn Paper; Textural Effects ; Lino or Block Printing; Resists (wax or masking fluid); Wash-Off Technique; Masks and Stencils; Monoprint; Frottage; Photocopies and Overlays; Collage and Mixed Media; and Decoupage.

Computer-Aided Design: Scanning; Drawing onto screen, Repeating motifs to create a pattern; Electronic colour; Using the printout; and Designing a tile;

Pattern: Repeat systems and layouts; Croquis designs; Language of pattern, design styles; Incorporating motifs or designs into a repeat; Production considerations; Colouring the design; Repeat mirrors; and Troubleshooting;

Finishing and Presenting Designs: Painting up the design; Colour chips; Using masks and resists; Cut paper designs; Colour photocopies and computer printouts; Mounting designs; Portfolios; and Record keeping;

Fabrics: Sources, selection and types; Fabric characteristics and uses; Fabric finishes and treatment; Dye or pigment; the Burn test;  and Fabric care;

Setting up a Print Workshop: Overview of textile printing; Print tables; Screen frames; Mesh and squeegees; Exposure units; Pressure and staple guns; and Cooling troughs and drying cupboards;

Printing Fabrics: Preparation and techniques: Artwork preparation; Screen preparation; Laying out fabric; and Printing;

Alternative Methods: Screen preparation (Paper stencils; wax crayon and hydrographs); Resists (wax/ gutta); Polychromatic printing and Direct handpainting;and  Monoprinting (Lino and wood blocks; direct stencils; airbrush; heat transfer; and fabric crayons;

Recipes: Pigments and dyes; Dyebaths; Reactive dyes; and Fixing dyed fabric; and finally,

Careers in Textile Design: Studio assistant; Studio designer/manager; Stylist; Colourist; Freelance textile Designer; Consultant/Predictor; Textile Artist/ Designer/ Maker; Surface Pattern Designer; Textile Agent; Textile Buyer;  Textile Conservation; Textile Chemist; and Education.

Throughout the book, there are also many exercises and briefs to backup the text, stimulate thought and develop creativity and technical skills. While probably contains far too much information and expertise for my amateur needs, it’s great to have such an expert overall guide! In the back are appendices for troubleshooting with symptoms, possible causes and treatments, as well as a bibliography and a list of suppliers in Australia.

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The Surface Designer’s Handbook: Dyeing, Printing, Painting, and Creating Resists on Fabric by Holly Brackmann 2006

Another excellent and very practical guide to surface design. It has a very logical layout and impressively starts with Studio Practices and Safety Guidelines, which is so important when handling dyes and other chemicals.

In Chapter Two, the different types of dyes (Fiber-Reactive/ Acid/ Vat and Disperse groups) are discussed in great detail, with a table specifying dye groups and their brand names, suitable fibres, their advantages and disadvantages and their fastness to washing and light. Fibres and fabrics are also discussed, including cellulose fibres (cotton, hemp, flax, jute, ramie, sisal, lyocell, viscose rayon and basketry wicker and grass); protein fibres (wool, mohair, alpaca, cashmere, angora, and silk); and synthetic fibres (nylon, polyester), as well as the Burn test and Water-drop test.

Colour is the primary focus in the next short chapter- its mixing and inspiration, while Chapters Four to Eight give an in-depth look at Fiber-Reactive Dyes (especially Procion and Cibacron); Acid Dyes (Kiton, Lanaset, Washfast and Union dyes); Vat Dyes (Indigo, Inkodye, Tie-Dye, and Heliographic printing) and Discharge Dyes (Disperse Immersion, Transfer Printing and variations), including their chemistry, safety precautions, examples of use, techniques, factors to consider, recipes for dyebaths; and fixing dyes.

The remainder of the book looks at specialised techniques:

Discharging: Thiox; Jacquard Discharge Paste; Sodium hydrosulphite; Liquid Bleach; and Monagum;

Screen Printing: Freezer/ Contact Paper/ Plastic Screen and Thermofax Screen techniques;

Monoprinting: Thickened Fiber-Reactive Dyes or Textile Paint; and Disperse Dye Transfer;

Stamping: Commercial and improvised stamps and techniques;

Stencilling: Applicators; Cutting stencils; Interfaceing-and-net stencils; Clear plastic stencils and technique;

Resists: Water-soluble resists; Cold Wax; Tie-Dye and Shibori techniques (Bounding/ Clamping/Pole wrapping/ Stitching); and Resist-Scouring Silk ;

Devoré, which I adore, but which is incredibly toxic!: Devoré Paste and Discharge Dyeing;

Textile Paints: Types, use, lustre, heat setting or fixation and Heliographic or Sun Printing;

Embellishments: Foiling; Embroidery; Beadwork and Collage.

Appendices include a Dye Worksheet for record keeping; Steps for preparing fabric for dyeing/ rinsing, washing and drying fabric; Calculations for stock solutions, dye quantities and colour mixing; Thickeners and printing; Steaming; and Weights, measures and water temperatures, as well as a Glossary of Terms, Bibliography and Resource List.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, especially when it comes to the use of the different types of dyes, as the marketplace is deluged with such a wide variety that it is hard to get a handle on them all!BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.20.16Handpainting Fabric: Easy Elegant Techniques by Michelle Newman and Margaret Allyson 2003

If none of the books so far appeal, you might prefer this older book, which despite its title really covers much of the same techniques with a few minor differences. Here is a list of the contents:

Materials and Tools: Fabric (Silk, velvet and velveteen); Paints and Dyes (Acrylics and silk dyes); Brushes; and Fabric Stretchers (Padded table; sawhorses; and embroidery hoops and frames).

Design: Sources of Inspiration (Mark Making; Photos; Magazines; Doodles and Drawings; Sketchbooks; Travel, Architecture and Nature); Elements and Principles (In particular: Colour; Repetition; Variety; Rhythm; Balance; Emphasis; Economy; Proportion); and Laying Out a Design.

Freehand Painting: Wet and Dry Fabric; Zones of Patterns; Monochromatic; and Colouring-Book Method.

Dyeing: Immersion, Scrunch and Dip-Dyeing Techniques and Working with Thickened Dyes.

 Discharge Process: Preparation; Bleach and Bleach Thickeners; and Velvet Mudcloth.

Making Multiples: Stamping; Monoprinting; Stencilling; and Silkscreen Printing.

Using Resists: Preparation; Stamping; Using a Tjanting; Colouring Book; and Other resists and Steaming.

Special Effects: Salt; Alcohol; Shortcut Shibori; Hidden Objects; Fortuny Pleating; Faux Airbrush; Basting; Layering; Quilting; and Collage. This section is where this book comes into its own!BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.24

Artcloth: Engaging New Visions Curated by Marie-Therese Wisniowski, Fairfield City Museum and Stein Gallery 2009

We were lucky to catch this inaugural international exhibition in 2010, when our visit to Orange coincided with Artcloth at the Orange Regional Gallery, which often holds wonderful textile exhibitions. See: https://org.nsw.gov.au/.

I have included this catalogue as it showcases twenty-one artworks created using many of these textile art techniques, ranging from digital technology, dye sublimation and snow and hydrosulfite discharge to glazes and patinations, deconstructed screen printing, paper and cloth lamination, shibori, batik and natural dyes. Artists came from England, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United States of America, Japan and Australia, including the aboriginal Ernabella Arts, which I particularly loved. See: http://www.ernabellaarts.com.au/.

In the back are artist biographies, including their exhibitions and residencies, publications and awards. This small booklet gives a wonderful idea of the huge range and potential within this creative field.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-07 15.23.02

The Painted Quilt: Paint and Print Techniques for Colour on Quilts by Linda and Laura Kemshall 2008

While written specifically for quilters, this book is really for all textile artists! It discusses Elements of Design, Sources of Inspiration, Drawing and Collage Skills, Printing Blocks, Oil Pastel and Wash and Stencilling on Paper, and that’s just the first chapter! Health and safety, fabric types and their preparation for dyeing, low water immersion dyeing and making thick dye pastes are the subject of the next chapter, followed by step-by-step instructions for applying colour pre and post quilting.

Colour Before Printing includes: Stencilling on fabric; Rubbings with Fabric Pastels; Block Printing; Basic Screen Printing; and Monoprinting, while techniques for Colour After Printing include: Applying Pastel; Painting; Rollering and Spraying. Removing Colour is often just as exciting as applying it and this section examines the use of bleach and discharge paste, bleach pens and removing or replacing colour after quilting.

Detail can be added with Painted Fusible Web; Gel and other Fabric Pens; Dimensional Paints and Text. Newer techniques include Ink-Jet Printing and Photocopy Transfers. In the back is an indepth examination of some of the author’s works as examples of techniques discussed. It’s a good book for dipping into for inspirational ideas and suggestions rather than an exhaustive guide to textile printing.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.20.06

Not to be outdone, embroiders also have their own handbooks for textile printing! While many embroidery books include chapters on fabric painting, here are two specific examples:

Fabric Painting For Embroidery by Valerie Campbell-Harding 2001

In this book, Valerie looks at a wide variety of Materials: Fabric Paints, Crayons and Pens; Transfer Crayons and Paints, Metallic Powders, Sponges and Brushes, and Techniques: Sticky Paper, Starch, , Gutta, Wax,  Gathered and Stitched, and Thread Wrapping Resists; Thread Painting; Flicking and Dribbling; Rolling; Scrunching and Spraying; Fabric Painting; Stencilling and Screen Printing, including Photographic Screen Printing; Block Printing with cards and card blocks, potatoes, objects, and stamps; Transferring Photocopies, Discharge Dyeing, and Marbling, with photographs of works employing these techniques in the back of the book, as well as a guide to resurrecting disasters, though really nothing is ever a mistake, as it can be added to your fabric stash and if nothing else, serves as a learning tool!!! This book is a veritable cornucopia of ideas and suggestions!BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.18.41From Print to Stitch: Tips and Techniques for Hand-painting and Stitching on Fabric by Janet Edmonds 2010

This book is probably a more comprehensive guide with a more logical ordered approach to block printing, lino and soft-cut lino printing, monoprinting and printing with found objects than the previous book, which is really a grab bag of different ideas. Janet discusses the materials and tools she uses; how she develops a theme and creates a motif and pattern, giving five different examples; colour; and the different types of printing techniques, before specifically focusing on :

Block Printing: Making Foam and Card Blocks; Printing on Paper and Fabric; Overprinting; and Eraser Blocks;

Lino and Soft-Cut Lino Printing: Cutting the Lino; Printing with Lino Blocks; and Creating Texture Using Lino Blocks;

Monoprinting: Creating Texture, Pattern and Line; Mixed Colour; and Using Resists;

Using Found Objects: Potatoes; Washers; Cardboard; Sponge Printing; Collagraphs; and Textured Rollers.

And of course, a large section on Stitching: Hand and Machine Stitching; Embroidery stitches and a Stitch Gallery!

Along the way, she also has instructions and suggestions for specific projects like Origami Boxes; Gathered Bags and Book Covers. I really liked this book, especially its logical progression and its clear simple explanations of each technique.BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.19.39

Finally, no library of books on fabric painting or surface design would be complete without books on batik, a wax resist method used extensively in Indonesia and South-east Asia.  I first studied batik in my final year of school, then revisited it in 2003 with a TAFE workshop on Textile Design (Batik; Stencilling and Tie-Dye and Shibori) with Jenny Evelyn. It was so inspiring and I produced the lovely tablecloth below! Here are some photos showing my rough design, cloth and tools (Drimarene-K dyes and tjantings):BlogPrintingBks3018-02-07 14.45.30BlogPrintingBks5018-02-07 14.44.55BlogPrintingBks2518-02-07 14.59.39 I was so inspired that my husband bought me this beautiful book that Christmas:

Batik for Artists and Quilters by Eloise Piper 2001

While historically, batik is associated with traditional Indonesian designs, this book contains many beautiful contemporary artworks, which really highlight the potential of this medium. It is also a very practical book with comprehensive chapters on :

Equipment, Tools and Materials;

Waxing Methods: Using Brush; Tjanting; Stamps and Incising Tools;

Using Colour :Additive/ Subtractive Systems; Colour Wheel and Properties; Colour Temperature; and Colour Theory;

Using Dyes : Natural; Batik; Aniline; Fiber Reactive; Chemical Dyes with a Dye Chart specifying the brand names, characteristics and suitable fabrics for each; a recipe for Marigold Dye; and in-depth sections on dyeing in the washing machine, direct painting with activated dyes, discharge dyeing and the all-important storage and disposal of dyes.

Removing Wax and Setting Colour:  Ironing Out; Boiling Out; and Steaming.

The final chapters focus on the use of Batik for Surface Design (Art and design considerations; elements and principles of design; and uses for clothing and home décor); Fine Art: Portfolio examples of Landscapes; Still Lifes; Site-Specific Art; People; Photo Realism; and Abstraction; and Quilting.

This is a beautiful and very inspiring book, as well as being providing very practical instruction!BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.20.52

Batik Design by Pepin van Roojen 1994/ 2001

This book however is totally theoretical, exploring the history and different types and patterns of both Classical (originally from the Javan keraton, or royal courts, thus free from foreign influences with a more limited colour palette and highly symbolic motifs) and Pasisir (or Coastal) batik design (which was produced in coastal areas of northern Java and Madura, that were exposed to sea trading and foreign influences eg Indo-European and Chinese influences, so more colourful with motifs from nature), as well as the batik patterns of Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula.BlogPrintingBks4018-02-06 10.20.41 It is a fascinating read with lots of beautiful historical black-and-white and colour photographs, but it is definitely for the batik enthusiast, as well as people interested in the history and traditions of the Malay Peninsula or textile history! Here are an interesting link on Pasisir and Classical Batik: http://www.thelanguageofcloth.com/2015/05/17/batik-pesisir-yesterday-and-today/ .

Shibori For Textile Artists by Janice Gunner 2007

Another very practical guide to the ancient Japanese art of Shibori, the dye-resist technique of binding, clamping, pole wrapping and gathering or stitching cloth, so that the dye cannot reach certain parts, thus creating interesting patterns and designs. This technique has also been used in Africa, India and South America and in her introductory chapter, Janice explores the history of the craft in all these countries with some beautiful photographs of examples.

She examines all the different types of resist techniques, complete with in-depth instructions and suggestions for variations, in the following chapters:

Tied-Resist: Tying cloth around pinched cloth or objects like cowries (Nigeria) or beads, nuts and bolts, corks,  marbles or screws: Rasen, Spiral or Shell; Kumo, Spider Web; Ne-maki; and Honeycomb;

Stitched Resist: Uses stitching on cloth: Mokume, Wood Grain; Karamatsu, Larch; Ori-nui, Running Stitch; Maki-nui, Oversewn Stitch; and Maki-age, Stitched-and-Tied;

Arashi: Wrapping around a pole: Hosoita ichido kairyo, Diagonal Stripes; and Hosoita yoko kairyo, Horizontal Stripes;

 Itajime: Folded and Bound/ Clamp Resist: Naname Goshi, Lattice; and

Tesuji: Pleated and Bound: Tesuji; and Yanagi, Willow,

They are followed by a comprehensive chapter on Dyeing techniques: Immersion; Space and Indigo Dyeing with recipes and comprehensive instructions. The book finishes with instructions for a Shibori Sampler Wallhanging to showcase all the techniques, as well as a list of suppliers of fabrics; dyes; threads; and antique and Japanese textiles.

Having practised many of these techniques at a wonderful Indigo workshop with my friend, Heather, I can highly recommend this book!BlogPrintingBks3018-02-06 10.20.58

In my next craft book post, we enter the wonderful related world of textile dyeing, the magical and exciting art of transforming the colour of cloth!