Textiles Books

Howard, Constance (ed): Textile Crafts (5464)

Pitman 1st 1978 4to
M/F 1060 gms
(Order reference 5464).

Constance Howard is widely known on both sides of the Atlantic as a leading authority on embroidery and textile design. For this book, she has brought together a team of experts from Britain and the United States to provide truly practical, illustrated introductions to the crafts in which they specialize. The result is nine handbooks in one volume, each containing all the basic information needed to practise that particular craft (whether the reader is a beginner or not) and to stimulate interest in the related crafts that form the rest of the book.

Although different in concept and technique, each of these crafts is concerned with the manipulation of threads. The success of any textile craft project depends on the thoughtful use of yarns as well as techniques, and the character of a yarn is related to the fibres from which it is spun. The first chapter of the book is therefore Margaret Seagroatt's Spinning, in which she describes the nature of the various fibres and how to spin and dye them. Constance Howard's own chapter, Embroidery, covers all aspects of hand and machine stitchery, fabric manipulation, and the consideration of design for embroidery projects. Peter Collingwood's Sprang (plaiting on stretched threads) explains in detail the techniques of inter-linked, interlaced, intertwined and circular warp sprang. Enid Russ's Weaving deals with tapestry weaving as well as the intricacies of work on the modern loom and the making of balanced weaves. In Crochet and Knitting Eve de Negri examines not only the basic principles of each craft but also the advanced techniques and non-traditional ideas which have given both their `new look'. In Bobbin Lace Dorothea Nield makes it clear that the use of unusual yarns and a freer approach to techniques enable the lacemaker to reconsider traditional methods and effects, and to interpret them in new and exciting ways. Macrame, too, can be freer with many more varieties of thread available than the light lacy threads used by the Victorians; Zoe de Negri explains basic macrame techniques as well as encouraging an individual approach to projects. The techniques of Coiled Basketry are simple, incorporating stitches that relate to embroidery and to weaving, and using stitching fibres that are common to all textile crafts; Helen Richards's chapter explores the creative use of materials and methods, and shows how to make a functional container also a work of art.

In its coverage of a wide variety of crafts whose material is thread and fabric, this book is unique. It is an invaluable work of practical instruction, inspiration and reference. Every chapter is illustrated with specially taken photographs (many in full colour) of striking finished work, and there are over 150 diagrams and detailed working drawings, all executed by the same artist, of stitches and techniques.