After donating thousands of fiber and textile books, there are still titles we placed on our wish list this holiday season. This past year, we (ClothRoads and Thrums Books) gave most of the Pourrey Cross Library, which was housed at Interweave Press, to Colorado State University’s Avenir Museum and Fiber Department, and local weaving guilds. A chunk of the global textile titles remain at our studio. It was important to us that these books remain accessible to the general public and, for the most part, they are. But even with this deaccession, there are still new books we want for our personal collection. My colleagues Linda Stark, Judy Newland, and I made our wish lists below and added the favorites published by our sister company, Thrums Books.
Marilyn’s Wish List
Fabric from India
Rosemary Crill, editor
Oh wouldn’t a short jaunt over the pond to see the Fabric from India exhibit at the V&A Museum in London be just the right holiday treat? Oh well, I can have the next best thing–being able to leaf through this comprehensive and lavishly illustrated book for years to come. The exhibition explores the finest and most fascinating handmade textiles from the V&A as well as collections across the world to illustrate the processes, history, and politics associated with these incredible objects. The book adds even more, beginning with an in-depth exploration of the different materials, techniques, and dyeing processes used in the creation of these sumptuous fabrics before exploring the central importance of cloth to Indian life and culture from ancient times to the present day. Harry N. Abrams, October 2015. $60.
Ana Lisa Hedstrom
It’s not a book, but a learning DVD that’s on my wish list. I’ve written about Ana Lisa Hedstrom in past blogs and her long history of making, researching, and teaching shibori. She just made a new DVD focused on Itajime, the clamp resist method of dyeing. This two-disc set features traditional Japanese methods of folding and clamping along with historical examples. She teaches methods using a range of shaped blocks and instruction on using resists and dyes to create patterns on various types of silk fabrics. Galli Publishing, November 2015. $52.
Linda’s Wish List
Local Color: Seeing Place Through Watercolor
Over the years, I’ve sat with Mimi Robinson and talked about design, how she works globally with artisans in developing new product, and the key ingredient, how to stay true to the local place and heritage. Last year, Mimi was one of the invited workshop instructors at Tinkuy, an international gathering of weavers, sponsored by the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. It was here I saw how she did it, how she commandeered the artisans to bring their visual observations to their weaving. Through her new book, I can begin to understand. While I’m not a watercolorist, I am taken in by color and texture while traveling, and now I have self-guided exercises that will help me decode what I’m seeing and make it mine. Princeton Architectural Press, April 2015. $19.95.
Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art
Slowing down. Being mindful. Reusing. Less is more. Claire Wellesley-Smith, a textile artist, educator and writer in West Yorkshire, lives these principles through her use of locally-resourced materials, environments she creates, and stories she imparts through her stitched cloth and her community projects. In this richly-illustrated book, Claire shares her inspirational ways as well as showcasing other textile artists who share this philosophy. It’s a process and practice. And even though I’m not a maker, this book’s mantra is one of my new year’s resolutions. Batsford, October 2015. $29.95
Judy’s Wish List
Dyeing with Fresh Leaf Indigo
A once in a lifetime offering celebrates the story of fresh-leaf indigo and John Marshall’s relationship with it. This limited edition book is hand bound with indigo-dyed Japanese fabric. The pages are kimono silhouettes and full of in-depth information, lovely illustrations, hand-dyed samples and a card to request indigo seeds from John’s garden. Years in the making, it represents a lifetime of study of the traditional methods of Japanese indigo dyeing and was inspired by John’s collection of antiques Japanese sample books. It’s truly a treasure with only fifteen copies remaining. Self-published, February, 2015. $450.
Available from John Marshall
The Modern Natural Dyer
Kristine Vejar, owner of A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland, created this informative and visually-lush book based on years of travel and experience in her kitchen and shop. Behind the “pretty” is a comprehensive, cohesive treatise on natural dyeing for today’s dyer covering a wide range of natural fibers. Her introduction offers a short history and properties of dye materials with a photo catalog of color that looks good enough to eat. Dyeing 101 provides everything a dyer needs to get started and twenty-five pages of in-depth information.Vejar covers dyeing with whole materials as well as extracts, providing projects in each chapter. My book came with a fun interactive surprise – a small envelope containing premordanted fabric, a secret dye material and directions to produce a sample to compare to shade cards in the book to discover the dye you received: a contemporary approach to the very old art of natural dyeing. STC Crafts, October 2015. $29.95.
Highlights from Thrums Books
Traditional Weavers of Guatemala: Their Stories, Their Lives
Deborah Chandler and Teresa Cordón, with photography by Joe Coca
Travel through Guatemala and listen to the conversations of twenty artisans who share their moving personal histories, hopes, and dreams along with the work of their hands. Over 200 vibrant photographs tell a story of the physical beauty of Guatemala, of the Maya culture, and of the textiles themselves. A perfect gift for textile artists as well as for travelers, anthropologists, and anyone intrigued by the history of Guatemala and the cultural traditions of its people. Learn More
Thrums Books, September 2015. $34.95
Maya Threads: A Woven History of Chiapas
Walter F. Morris, Jr., Carol Karasik, with photography by Janet Schwartz
A thorough and fascinating guide to the history, meaning, and evolution of the beautiful and intricate Maya textiles of Chiapas, Mexico. Maya Threads will delight many on your holiday list: the armchair traveler, fashion student, textile artist, world traveler, and anyone captivated by Maya culture. Learn More
Thrums Books, February 2015. $34.95. Also available in eBook formats.
Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, Weaving Memories
Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez
Give the gift of dreams and memories with this one-of-a kind exploration into the array of rich and gorgeous textiles from the Peruvian highlands. Published in cooperation with the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, this book includes the symbols and meaning of intricate patterns as well as the personal histories of the Quechua people who sustain these time-honored textile traditions. This is a go-to guide for a weaver, textile artist, or those interested in the textile and cultural history of the highland communities. Learn More
Thrums Books, 2007. $19.95. Also available in digital format.
Beyond the Stones of Machu Picchu: Folk Tales and Stories of Inca Lives
Elizabeth Conrad VanBuskirk with paintings by Angel L. Callañaupa Alvarez
Through vivid paintings and charming tales, you will experience the everyday life of high Andean villages and explore Inca culture. Andean textile traditions are represented throughout. A special Christmas story, “Tell Me, Bright Star,” makes this a winning gift. Not just for the curious child, Beyond the Stones is also the perfect resource for teachers and parents wanting a rich and accessible introduction to Inca culture. Learn More
Thrums Books, November 2013. $19.95