Embroidered Textiles: A World Guide to Traditional Patterns
“Details the ethnic diversities found in embroidery and helps the reader to identify the symbols, fabrics, stitches, materials, and techniques that are unique to each region.”—Maine Antique Digest
The art of embroidery has been practiced for thousands of years. In the West, traditions have been at the mercy of trade and fashion, but in other regions embroidery continues to be rooted in ancient beliefs and superstitions. This beautifully illustrated book examines in detail the fascinating symbolism of the motifs and patterns that give life to these traditional textiles from around the world.
The global range is as remarkable as the variety of materials and motifs on display. Each textile—from Sumatran sarong to Ghanaian banner to Native American pouch and Guatemalan trousers—bears its own distinctive designs.
The book covers all aspects of the subject: key regional items, cuts, fabrics, stitches, and mythological, religious, and spiritual symbols. Complete with a glossary, a dictionary of stitches, and information on public collections as well as how to collect textiles of one’s own, this is an unrivaled guide for anyone interested in textiles, costume, or craft. 362 color and 156 black-and-white photographs and illustrations.
This book is unique in that it describes the cultural significance of embroidery and embellishment, down to the placement of the embroidery and colors used. You can easily use these kinds of details to create design “rules” for a fictional culture that will help give it a distinct style.
For example, say it is a custom in your fictional culture for new wives to embroider square of special fabric with symbols of protection to give to their spouse. That simple “rule” creates an opportunity for you to give a variety of information to the audience. How does the spouse wear the protective square? Like a bandana? Like a keffiyeh? Like a handkerchief in a breast pocket? How big is the square? Maybe there is no ironclad rule about the dimensions of the square. A large square with abundant detail might imply any number of things about the wife - maybe she’s overcompensating for something. Maybe she’s bored. Maybe it’s ~true love~. A small square might imply a lower economic status. From lack of a square you can infer that someone is unmarried. From a hidden square you might infer that the marriage is rocky.
Maybe that kind of detail is ultimately unimportant, but I like to give an audience something they can play Sherlock with.
My production team needs this.