Sunday, October 11, 2009

Books on Textiles

Select Books carries a wide range of books on textiles, particularly batik. Here is a selection of 5 titles:
  • Legacy In Cloth: Batak Textiles Of Indonesia by Sandra Niessen. Weaving in the Batak region of North Sumatra is an ancient art practised by women, and exhibits some of the oldest design and technical features in the Indonesian archipelago. Since colonial annexation at the turn of the 20th century, innovative Batak weavers from the Lake Toba region in northern Sumatra have successfully adapted their art to new economic and social circumstances - but at great cost. In recent decades, weaving has fallen into decline and the tradition is threatened, while at the same time Batak textiles are highly prized in museum collections around the world. Legacy in cloth offers the first definitive study of the woven heritage of the Toba, Simalungun, and Karo Batak. The most complete analysis of Batak textiles ever published, it provides a record of more than 100 different design types, including archival and contemporary photographs showing how the textiles are woven and how they are used in Batak culture.
  • Pictorial Cambodian Textiles by Gillian Green. The pictorial representations of Cambodian silk hangings, pidan, are unique in mainland Southeast Asia. Many of the few surviving antique textiles of this genre visualise, in astounding detail, Theravada Buddhist themes and are a response in silk to similar images in other artistic media also used in community religious practice. The imagery of another genre of pidan springs from a different source, and are distinguished by their common theme of a triad of bird/snake/tree of life. In addition some of this group have images of ships ranging from realistic to arcane. Latest research suggests that these hangings were essential to celebrations held at the end of the rainy season in Cambodia. This book illuminates many facets of these spectacular cloths. In it is assembled for the first time, a comprehensive collection of pictorial pidan from private and public collections, many hitherto unpublished.
  • Textiles: A World Tour - Discovering Traditional Fabrics and Patterns by Catherine Legrand. Pieced together much like the fine garments it portrays, this colourful volume guides the reader on an international textile tour, presenting in over 700 photographs, a raft of remarkable clothing, people and fabric from all over the world. Taking the reader from Vietnam to Benin, from Central America to Eastern Europe, the book is filled with stunning costumes, sumptuous fabrics and breathtaking detail. Both an ethnographic textile map and a fabric-inspired travelogue, it explores and reveals many secrets about international textile crafts, including weaving, dyeing and appliqué. With glossary and bibliography.
  • Kimono As Art: The Landscapes of Itchiku Kubota by Dale Carolyn Gluckman and Hollis Goodall. This lavishly illustrated book presents 55 masterworks by Japanese kimono artist Itchiku Kubota. His unique style, inspired by the fragile dyed silks of 16th-century Japan, and developed after 20 years of experimentation, combines stitch-resist, ink drawing, embroidery, metallic leaf and a complex layering of colours to create hauntingly beautiful landscapes with richly textured surfaces. In the artist's magnum opus 'Symphony of Light' - showcased in this volume together with his five-piece 'Mount Fuji' series and ten individual works - the monumental kimono are intended to be shown sequentially, and were made only for display. Featured on a special fold-out section, Kubota's remarkable imagery can be fully appreciated as it extends from robe to robe. Published to accompany a collaborative exhibition between the San Diego Museum of Art, Timken Museum of Art, Canton Museum of Art and the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, the catalogue includes essays, a preface by Satoshi Kubota, Itchiku's son and artistic heir; and an interview with Satoshi Kubota. Also includes a biography, an overview of the artist's basic production techniques, a glossary and a bibliography.
  • The Worldwide History of Dress by Patricia Rieff Anawalt. This impressive volume offers informative historical articles on dress traditions, maps and 960 colour illustrations which make a delightful, probably unique, worldwide view of the non-Western dress worn in the past and present. Much information in dress construction, accessories, materials and ceremonial usage is also included. With references, bibliography, glossary and index.

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