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The Book of Silk


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The rich history of this remarkable material through five millennia, reproducing hundreds of fabrics, furnishings and garments from all parts of the world

About the Author

A traveller, writer, exhibitions organizer and collector, Philippa Scott has been fascinated by silk and textiles all her life. She studied textiles at Leicester Art College and is contributing editor of Hali.


Now that washable silk garments are widely available to the average shopper, there should be interest in the complex history of this luxurious fiber. Textile specialist Scott, herself a collector, has gathered into one volume photographs of more than 200 examples of exotic silk fabrics from all cultures and ages since antiquity. Following the Silk Road from China and Japan through Asia into Europe, the story is as variegated as the rich colors, weaves, and embroideries that were used for the ceremonial or everyday accoutrements of the wealthy and powerful. Brief mention is made of silk usage in the United States. With so much information crammed into a single book, occasional stylistic monotony may be forgiven, but the omission of maps and dynastic chronologies is unfortunate. Included are a useful glossary of terms and techniques, a concise guide to collecting, care, and conservation, and museum and collections lists. This visually appealing book will please curators and costume and textile students. Appropriate for large public and academic collections.-- Therese D. Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green

'The Book of Silk is as luxurious as the remarkable material itself' - Fashion Weekly
'Full of scholarship, wit and fine writing' - Washington Post
'The most comprehensive history of silk ever written' - Drapers Record

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