Archive for category Medium: Textiles

Loom Knitted Throws || Isela Phelps

I don’t normally do the knitting reviews here, but my yarn editor is otherwise engaged, so I’ll just say that, if someone would be prepared to make a few of these for me, I’d be very happy. The instructions are simple and the photographs of the finished results beautifully done. I can’t say whether the book goes into enough detail, but it looks as though it does and the introductory chapters on process and stitches appear admirably clear.

Click the picture to view on Amazon

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Art Cloth || Jane Dunnewold

This is a quite technical introduction to creating works of art on fabric. There have been guides to painting on silk and other materials before, but a lot of them have been for the general market and fairly superficial in their coverage. What’s offered here is most definitely aimed at the more committed practitioner and that makes it something I’m not completely qualified to comment on.

Going through it, it appears to be well laid-out and comprehensive and I guess that, if you’re coming fresh to the subject, you’ll find plenty here to get and keep you going. If you have more experience, then only you can say whether the coverage offers enough detail for you.

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How To Read Pattern: a crash course in textile design || Clive Edwards

OK, this is what it says on the back of the book: “How to Read Pattern is a practical introduction to looking at and appreciating the decorative art of pattern in textile design. It is a lavishly illustrated guide to the use of pattern, exploring themes and motifs across a range of cultural aesthetics. Small enough to carry in your pocket and serious enough to offer real answers.”

I have a number of issues with this. Firstly, I think the word “lavishly” doesn’t sit well with something that’s six and a half inches square. Extensive, maybe, but this feels like something that’s been shoehorned into a format just for the sake of it. What you get is a lot (3 or 4 per page) of small reproductions of well-known and/or typical fabric patterns from oriental carpets to William Morris’s Strawberry Thief as well as modernist and psychedelic designs. Each of these comes with a short caption telling you what it is and the whole thing is arranged into groups of subjects and pattern types.

Why the pocket format? This is never something you’re going to cart round the shops or galleries and consult so that you can say, “Oh yes, that’s a landscape and those are stripes”. You’ll know that. If you want a history of textile design, you’ll buy something else, something that has room for decent-sized illustrations and text that has some meaning, not something that states what Basil Fawlty would refer to as “the bleedin’ obvious”.

As you’d expect from Black’s the quality of the illustrations is excellent, but save your tenner for a cup of tea and a Bath bun in the cafeteria.

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