Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Books on Textiles in Asia

These are recent additions to our wide selection of books on textiles in Asia. If you have any interest in textiles, we highly recommend these books. If you have a specific area of interest in Asian textiles, do contact us so that we may recommend and source for specific titles for you.

Textiles of the Islamic World by John Gillow. This wonderfully illustrated volumes gives a broad survey of the textiles produced today and in the past in the Islamic world. Illustrations of the textiles, and sometimes the people who created them, complement the overview accounts of the methods, styles and usages of the fabrics created in the various centres and traditions in: the Ottoman World; Islamic Spain and North Africa; the Arab World; the Persian World; Central Asia; the Mughal World; East and Southeast Asia; and sub-Saharan Africa. With glossary, reading lists, list of museum collections, 638 illustrations, 625 in colour, and index.

Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles edited by Ruth Barnes and Mary Hunt Kahlenberg. Including many rare and antique examples, this luxurious volume introduces readers to the intoxicating and complex beauty of Indonesian cloth.Since the 1970s Mary Hunt Kahlenberg has been building her collection of exquisite ceremonial garments and sacred textiles from throughout Indonesia's chain of tropical islands. Dating from the past five centuries and brought together here for the first time in book form, these woven and batiked hangings, ceremonial mats, jackets, shawls, and head cloths form a stunning array that will draw the attention of anyone with a love of art, fine craftsmanship, and design. Large, elegantly presented photographs show the textiles in incredible closeup detail and full expanse, making it possible to appreciate their technical brilliance and rich colors as well as the dazzling assortment of intricate patterns and motifs. Including essays by leading anthropologists and art historians, this book brings readers into a world ruled by the belief that weavings communicate with and transform those who come into contact with them.

Wearing Wealth and Styling Identity: Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia by Mary-Louise Totton. Located along the primary maritime route between Asia and the West, Sumatra, the fabled Isle of Gold, was part of the early global network of commerce and cultural exchange. In the southern tip of Sumatra, the peoples of Lampung poured their trading profits into ceremonial materials and artful adornments. Elite women of this region created a distinctive genre of fashionable garments that exemplified their family's prestige, clan identity, and affluence. These ornate tubular sarongs, or tapis, were woven from cotton and silk threads dyed with ancestral recipes and lavishly embellished with opulent materials. Published to complement the 2009 exhibition at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, this study examines the history, artistic process and techniques, iconography, and present-day context of these extraordinary textiles.

Dress, Textiles and Identity of the Black Tai of Loei Province, Northeast Thailand by Franco Amantea. This book examines the contemporary role of traditional and tradition-based Black Tai textiles and dress as material and symbolic representations of Black Tai ethnic and social-cultural identity. The analysis of textile and ethnic dress reveals that dress and textiles serve a crucial role in ethnic and cultural continuity among the Black Tai peoples. Textiles continue to figure prominently in the religious beliefs and practices of the Tai Dam as well as serving as markers of status, functioning to promote cultural and social cohesion, and more recently, serving as a means of economic development. With references and index.

Indian Textiles in the East: From Southeast Asia to Japan by John Guy. The dazzlingly varied cloths presented in this book are the visual record of one of the great stories of Asian design history. John Guy has produced a brilliant account of the Indian textile trade in examining the cloth-for-spices trade, focusing on the 17th and 18th centuries when the thousand-year-old trade was at its peak. With beautiful photographs of the textiles themselves (outstanding among them the famous cotton chintzes and tie-and-dye silks), illuminating images of people and places, and vivid first-hand descriptions by travellers and merchants, this is both an indispensible resource and a visual feast for students and lovers of textiles. First published in hardcover under the title, Woven Cargoes: Indian Textiles in the East.

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.

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