Why We Quilt
Citation: Knauer, Thomas. Why We Quilt: Contemporary Makers Speak Out about the Power of Art, Activism, Community, and Creativity. North Adams: Storey Publishing, 2019
Summary: “In a world of instant messaging, on-demand TV, and same-day delivery, cutting fabric into small pieces and stitching them back together makes little practical sense. Yet quilting, as both a craft and an art, thrives. “Today quilting is a conspicuous choice,” writes Thomas Knauer. “Quilts are no longer about material necessity, but instead fulfill other, deeper, needs: they provide social, cultural, aesthetic, and personal connections that are unique to each quilter.” In this deeply personal and profoundly thoughtful tribute to quilting past and present, Knauer highlights 40 contemporary makers who share not only their stunning quilts but also powerful insights into what compels them to keep quilting in the twenty-first century.”
Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands
Citation: Callañupa Alvarez, Nilda. Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories. Cusco: Center for Traditional Textiles Cusco, 2007.
Summary: “Handwoven fabrics comprise the living history and culture of the Peruvian highlands from Cusco to Machu Picchu and beyond. Fabric patterns with evocative names reflect the landscape and events in vivid color, evolving over time. The weavers who create these fabrics in the time-honored way are keepers of the culture and sustainers of a noble but difficult lifestyle in tune with the earth. They raise llamas and alpacas for fiber, collect plants for natural dyes, spin yarn on primitive spindles, and weave acres of cloth on simple backstrap looms just as their forebears have done for thousands of years. They weave clothing, rugs, bedcovers, potato sacks, hunting slings, and sacrificial fabrics for themselves and their villages, and for sale to supplement their meager incomes. Travellers visiting the area (hundreds of thousands a year from North America alone) are drawn to this authentic, well-crafted work and given the opportunity to collect it at every street corner and rail stop. Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands is their guide to quality, understanding, and appreciation. They will learn how pattern names such as meandering river or lake with flowers relate to the geography and history, and how the traditional natural materials and colors enhance the value of the work.”
Citation: Mouritsen, Ole G. Seaweeds: Edible, Available, & Sustainable. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2013.
Summary: “Mouritsen takes readers on a comprehensive tour of seaweeds actually are––marine, algae, not plants––and how people of different cultures have utilized them since prehistoric times for a whole array of purposes––as food and fodder, for the production of salt, in medicine and cosmetics, as fertilizer, in construction, and for a number of industrial end uses, to name just a few. He describes the vast abundance of minerals, trace elements, proteins, vitamins, dietary fiber, and precious polyunsaturated fatty acids found in seaweeds, and provides instructions and recipes on how to prepare a variety of dishes that incorporate raw and processed seaweeds. Approaching the subject from both a gastronomic and a scientific point of view, Mouritsen sets out to examine the past and present uses of this sustainable resource, keeping in mind how it could be exploited in the future.”
Citation: Brown, Susan and Matilda McQuaid. Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse. New York: Cooper Hewitt, 2016.
Summary: “Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse focuses on three designers who use textile scraps as the creative impetus for their work. Luisa Cevese (Riedizioni, Italy), Christina Kim (dosa, USA), and Reiko Sudo’s (NUNO, Japan) distinctive stories illustrate how each finds it both aesthetically and financially worthwhile to recycle while striving to sustain traditional textile practices and skills in a modern world.”
Quilts and Human Rights
Citation: MacDowell, Marsha, Mary Worrall, Lynne Swanson, and Beth Donaldson. Quilts and Human Rights. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.
Alternative shortened citation: MacDowell, Marsha, et al. Quilts and Human Rights. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2016.
Textile Arts of India
Citation: Hatanaka, Kokyo. Textile Arts of India: Kokyo Hatanaka Collection. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1996.
Summary: Presenting a fabulous collection of fabrics dating from the 17th century to the first half of the 20th century, this monumental book is as historically fascinating as it is lovely to look at. Included are hundreds of full-color photographs, taken especially for this volume, of rare and exquisite textiles that are painted, block-printed, woven, tie-dyed, and embroidered. An essay by Zahid Sarder of the San Francisco Examiner Magazine traces the history of textile manufacturing in India and explains the various techniques of this radiant and enduring art form. Textile Arts of India is a feast for the eyes and an indispensable reference for collectors, designers, or anyone interested in Indian culture and art.
Citation: Tanavoli, Parviz. Persian Flatweaves: A Survey of Flatwoven Floor Covers and Hangings and Royal Masnads. Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club Ltd., 1988.
Summary: “This is the first comprehensive survey of the vast and fascinating subject of Persian flatweaves, and in particular floor covers. Previous publications on the subject have largely been dealers’ restricted catalogues focusing on a narrow geographical area or the weavings of a particular group, or sections in more general books. This book thus fills a huge gap in the oriental carpet and textile literature. Flatweaves have until recently been seen as merely the products and property of the poor. Since the late 1960s, however, growing attention has been paid to the best known type of flatweave, the gelim, revealing both its quality and variety. Other flatweaves, such as the palas, which is no less frequently found than the gelim, have scarcely been mentioned in any of the literature published so far, yet are shown in this work to be objects of great beauty and diversity.”
Citation: Balfour-Paul, Jenny. Indigo. London: The British Museum Press, 1998.
Summary: The blue dye indigo has been the world’s most valued dyestuff for almost five millennia. This text covers in detail all aspects of this subject: historical, agricultural and botanical; chemical and technological; commercial and economic; indigo’s various uses in textiles and art; and its many sociological, medicinal, folkloric connotations.
Indigo: Cultivate, Dye, Create.
Citation: Neumüller, Kerstein and Douglas Luhanko. Indigo: Cultivate, Dye, Create. London: Pavilion Books, 2018.
Summary: Explore the gorgeous possibilities of dyeing with indigo! This stunning and practical handbook takes you through it all: growing the plant; mastering warm or cold dyeing with indigo, fructose, hydrosulfite, and fermented vats; making multicolored projects; and troubleshooting potential problems. Create intricate moyo-sashi and hitome-sashi embroidery, patchwork quilts, resist-dyed patterns, and more. Both beginners and experienced dyers will feel inspired to work with this wide range of innovative recipes and unique projects.
Citation: Amsden, Charles Avery. Navaho Weaving: Its Technic and History. Santa Ana: The Fine Arts Press, 1934.
Summary: Charles Avery provides an in-depth study of the technical aspects of weaving in Navaho culture through illustrations, descriptions, and analyses of the weave structures, looms, and dye processes used to make cloth.
Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing
Citation: Adrosko, Rita J. Natural Dyes and Home Dyeing. New York: Dover Publications, 1971.
Summary: “Here in a single volume is all the information you will need to extract dyestuffs from common trees, flowers, lichens, and weeds––all the information you need to create beautifully dyed materials after your own fancy, distinctive and individual. The heart of this book is 52 recipes for dyes made from natural, easily obtained dyestuffs…”
Citation: Duerr, Sasha. Natural Color: Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Your Home and Wardrobe. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2016.
Summary: “Structured by season, Natural Color unearths the full spectrum of plant dyes available, unlocking nature’s vibrant color library. Using sustainable methods and artisanal, and professor Sasha Duerr provides achievable projects and recipes that apply these limitless color possibilities to your home and wardrobe. With recipes to dye everything from dresses and sweaters to rugs and napkins, Natural Color will inspire savvy fashionistas, home decorators, and everyone else who wants to bring more color into their life, whether a beginning or seasoned dyer.”
Manual of Leaf Architecture
Ellis, Beth, Douglas C. Daly, Leo J. Hickey, Kirk R. Johnson, John D. Mitchell, Peter Wilf, and Scott L. Wing. Manual of Leaf Architecture. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009.
Summary: This manual acts as an excellent resource to refer to when describing, comparing, and classifying plant leaves. Provided with an abundance of illustrations and photographs, the manual guides its readers in the identification of plants. The manual make it possible to identify such plants, even in the absence of their flowers, by providing details of organization, shape, and venation that characterize different plant leaves.
Lichens for Vegetable Dyeing
Citation: Bolton, Eileen. Lichens for Vegetable Dyeing. McMinnville: Robin and Russ Handweavers, 1972.
Summary: “This book has been prepared with the idea of helping the handweaver to find and identify the dye lichens more easily, and to assist in the making of the red and purple dyes from these plants. The drawings were made from the lichens in their natural surroundings, and the plants have been grouped together, so that their relative sizes, colours, and textures may be compared.”
Citation: Burgess, Rebecca and Courtney White. Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing, 2019.
Summary: “There is a major disconnect between what we wear and our understanding of their impact on the environment, labor, and human health. Weaver and natural dyer, Rebecca Burgess has spent the last decade mending that gap by reconnecting to her local “fibershed”– the region of North Central California containing the materials and people required to make her clothing. This community of ranchers, farmers, and artisans became an interconnected network of textile creators driven by economic justice and soil restoration. Today, upwards of fifty communities around the world have begun to organize their fibershed systems, piloting the regionally focused farm-to-closet model. A call to action to everyone involved in textiles–from handcrafted to haute couture– Fibershed advocates for a focus on ‘the sources of the raw material, the transparency with which it is converted into clothing, and the connectivity among all parts, from soil to skin and back to soil.’ Burgress educates us about the political ecology of clothing and challenges us to think, spend, and dress with our health and the good of the planet in mind.”
Why Materials Matter
Citation: Solanki, Seetal. Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design for a Better World. London: Prestel Publishing, 2018.
Summary: “This visually stunning investigation of natural and man-made materials will change the way you look at the world around you, while offering hope for the future of our planet. What does it mean to live in a material world, and how do materials of the past and present hold the keys to our future? This book tackles these questions by focusing on various issues that human beings face and by discussing potential materials-related solutions. Through the lens of intriguing projects by designers, artists, makers, and scientists, it presents a colorful panoply of ideas, technologies, and creative efforts that focus on the earth’s most basic elements, while also showing how these elements can be transformed into entirely new materials. It explores, for example, how ancient practices such as dyeing fabric and making glue may hold the secret to renewable and earth-friendly consumer products, as well as how recycling plastics can tackle food waste, and how a type of light metal being developed may one day make air travel less fuel-reliant. This book also investigates the potential of the digital experience, suggesting how this most ephemeral type of matter can be used to improve our world. Eye-catching and provocative, this book serves as both a stimulating catalog of possibilities and a timely manifesto on how to consume, manufacture, and design for a better future.”
The Stuff of Everyday Magic
Citation: Corbin, Madelaine. The Stuff of Everyday Magic. San Francisco: Blurb, Inc., 2020.
Summary: “The Stuff of Everyday Magic is an adventure through the terrain of artist Madelaine Corbin’s research, practice, and notes supporting over two years of portfolio pieces. This non-linear path traverses an incomplete history of blue to the imminent loss of this color in our greening seas and graying skies in order to offer the idea that the climate crisis is also a crisis of color. Corbin considers a constellation of questions about the seemingly simple elements of the everyday — from cornflower-spotted fields around, to the Detroit Salt Mine below, and the sun hovering beyond our blue sky above. Along this trail of vast ideas, artworks guide the way. Questions take root (and soil asks them) while the sun exhales, and values are composted while a version of hope is fertilized. Here, blue, salt, plants, soil, dust, wishes, and gifts compose the stuff of Corbin’s everyday magic.”
Citation: Shell, Hanna Rose. Shoddy: From Devil’s Dust to the Renaissance of Rags. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2020.
Summary: “In Shoddy: From Devil’s Dust to the Renaissance of Rags, Hanna Rose Shell takes readers on a journey to discover shoddy, from Haiti to the “shoddy towns” of West Yorkshire in England, to the United States, back in time to the British cholera epidemics and the American Civil War, and into agricultural fields, textile labs, and rag-shredding factories. Shell’s narrative is both literary and historical, drawing on an extraordinary range of sources, from court cases to military uniforms, mattress labels to medical textbooks, political cartoons to high art. Shoddy moves between genres, bringing richly drawn characters and unexpected objects to life. Along the way, shoddy becomes equally an evocative object and a portal into another world.”
Ancient Peruvian Mantles
Citation: Frame, Mary. Ancient Peruvian Mantles, 300 B.C. – A.D. 200. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995.
Summary: “Mantles, the rectangular wrapping cloths found on two-thousand-year-old funerary bundles from the south coast, are impressive demonstrations of the ancient Peruvian arts of needle and loom” This publication documents the exhibition Ancient Peruvian Mantles, 300 B.C. – A.D. 200 that took place February 23rd through August 13th in 1995. The mantles and related textiles of this exhibition illustrated in this catalogue represent two major archaeological sites of Peru: Occaje and Necropolis of Wari Kayan.
Adire Cloth in Nigeria
Citation: Barbour, Jane and Doig Simmonds, editors. Adire Cloth in Nigeria: The Preparation and Dyeing of Indigo Patterned Cloths Among the Yoruba. Ibadan: The Institute of African Studies at the University of Ibadan, 1971.
A Woven Book of Knowledge
Citation: Silverman, Gail P. A Woven Book of Knowledge: Textile Iconography of Cuzco, Peru. Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2008.
Summary: “Known for their intricate textiles, the Q’ero are a traditional Quechua-speaking Peruvian highland people. Their weavings are full of symbolic elements and motifs that encode specific cultural information and their textiles are the repositories for knowledge that has been passed down through generations. Based on ethnographic fieldwork undertaken between 1979 and 1991, A Woven Book of Knowledge examines and compares regional weaving styles and discusses the general texture of highland life.”