Posted tagged ‘textiles’

Fashion History Books

December 26, 2016

I got a notice of a price drop on a book on my wish list. While there another interesting book appeared on a similar subject so I bought these two books:

Art Nouveau Fashion by Clare Rose

Glasgow Museums Seventeenth Century Costume by Rebecca Quinton

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Apparently Glasgow Museums are publishing a series of books on their various collections, much like the Victoria & Albert Museum did a range of books on their collections. This one also discusses embellishment and accessories as well as the main costume, which are two of my favourite topics regarding fashion.

I have a number of books on historical collections of fashion or textile design which I enjoy. Here is a list of titles from my collection:

Purse Masterpieces by Lynnell Schwartz

Textiles and Clothing 1150-1450 (Museum of London; Medieval Finds from Excavations in London: 4)

Costume and Fashion: A Concise History by James Laver; 4th ed., (Thames & Hudson World of Art series)

Medieval Dress and Fashion by Margaret Scott

Textile Designs: Two-Hundred Years Of European and American Patterns Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout and Period by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers

Textiles of the Arts and Crafts Movement by Linda Parry

Embroidered Textiles: A World Guide to Traditional Patterns by Sheila Paine

Silk Designs of the Eighteenth Century (V & A Museum); Claire Browne, ed.

Toile de Jouy: Printed Textiles in the Classic French Style by Melanie Riffel et al.

The Book of Silk by Philippa Scott

Dress in Detail from Around the World (V & A Museum)

A Separate Sphere: Dressmaker’s in Cincinnati’s Golden Age by Cynthia Amneus

Style and Splendor: The Wardrobe of Queen Maud of Norway 1896-1938 by Anne Kjellberg

Fashion: The Definitive History of Costume and Style, DK/Smithsonian

100 Dresses, The Costume Institute/The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century, The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute

Many of these are large books; the Kyoto Costume Institute books are huge and slipcased in a double set. They were on sale so I was lucky to find them. The Victoria & Albert Museum have many books on specific centuries and fashion that I missed out on before they went out of print.

Still, I am rather pleased that over the years I’ve gathered some really wonderful books on the subject, with two more coming to read and browse through and learn.

 

 

 

Books, Bugs, Birds, Textiles, and Pre-Raphaelite Muses and Music

October 4, 2016

Assorted reflections from the past few months…

I read Shoe Dog, Phil Knight’s memoir of Nike and shoes and life which I found to be a page turner. It’s always interesting to hear the inside story of business.

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Generally I’ve been reading mysteries, but throughout the summer I have been rereading The Hare with Amber Eyes in an illustrated edition I purchased, and it was even better the second time. A family history as interesting and poignant as this will be something I revisit along the years.

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A.S. Byatt has a new book called Peacock & Vine: On William Morris and Mariano Fortuny which is a small but delightful read. She often cites Fiona MacCarthy’s excellent biography of Morris which I read from the library in early 2015, but I wanted to get my own used copy so I could read it again.

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I also thought I needed to read a proper biography of John Ruskin. He often crops up in art history but he was rather strange in his personal life which I always found off-putting, so I’m giving him a chance. I ordered them both from used bookstores and will forward to reading them.

morris_ruskin

My library system had a book called Wives and Stunners:The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Muses by Henrietta Garnett, so I’ll try that for her information on Ruskin and the Brotherhood as well. One thing about these fellows, they often made fun of William Morris and drew caricatures of him, which has always disappointed me, since he had such a enormous work ethic. Rossetti of course had a long-term affair with Morris’s wife Jane which makes me think little of her, but perhaps this book will improve my opinion of her. I doubt it, but I’ll give her a chance.

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I had a milestone birthday this summer, so bought myself used copies of two books I’ve had on my wish list for years. I love books on textiles, needlework, and quilting history, so it’s important to me to buy them when I find them as they are scarce.

I bought Toile De Jouy: Printed Textiles in the Classic French Style by Melanie Riffel and Sophie Rouard which is another gorgeous Thames & Hudson publication and contains huge amounts of fascinating information. I’ve only begun it but I am struck by the complicated process of making and printing cloth in pre-industrial times.

I became interested in the tools of needlework because of Gail Marsh’s excellent books on needlework history. I wanted more photographs and explanations of them so I bought a used copy of Antique Needlework Tools and Embroideries by Nerylla Taunton.

toile_needletools

You could spend years studying the history of such things and still not know everything. I find it all inspiring and exciting.

I finally decided after listening to a much-loved recording of an Etude by Chopin with bird sounds, that I had to track down which etude it is. After 21 years it’s starting to bother me every time I hear this exquisite piece, and there is no information in the notes on the recording. Naturally, there are several recordings of the complete etudes, 24 etudes all told, and the recordings get various reviews. I settled on a good, solid one from RCA by John Browning.

chopin_etudes

In Canada, Amazon.ca has raised their free shipping price to $35 CAD again after dropping it to $25 CAD when our dollar was stronger. So as well as Chopin, I got a good photographic reference on bugs from National Geographic and a book on drawing animals, birds, and insects. These books are: Ultimate Bugopedia: The Most Complete Bug Reference Ever by Darlyne Murawski and Nancy Honovich and Drawing And Painting Birds, Marine Creatures and Insects by Jonathan Truss.

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I haven’t been able to draw for about six weeks due to a very painful shoulder impingement and tendinitis, but I have plans, and drawing projects to get to, and I hope my hand comes around soon so I can hold a pencil and paint again.

There is something about Fall and Winter that seems perfect for Art Nouveau and pre-World War I biographies. A fire in the grate, a book in the hand and mind, hot cups of jasmine tea, and warm blankets on my lap. Perfect!

Oh, and maybe some etudes by Chopin burbling in the background? Yes, I think that works.

 

 

Tablet Weaving

December 13, 2010

I am enjoying using the rigid heddle loom so much that I thought I’d like to try tablet weaving. I did briefly consider an Inkle loom but I don’t have the money for that.

My husband is making me a long, thin loom for tablet weaving and I have bought a set of cards along with a belt shuttle. You can make your own cards from playing cards or cardboard, but that would hurt my hands too much.

I got the idea for this loom from someone online who said it would be easy enough to put together even for people like us who aren’t woodworkers. The blocks at either end are tensioning devices and will have bolts and wing nuts to bolt them to the long board. I will glue felt between the layers that will hold the warp thread and finished lengths of weaving. The wing nuts will hold everything together.

Anyway, it’s a start, and most importantly it cost about $5 instead of $150. My board is 34 inches long, and some people go as long as 47 inches or 1.2 meters but I didn’t have a board that long. It is 7 inches wide so will give me room to do wider straps if I wish.

At the minute I am planning purse straps of about 30 inches length but at some point I might try finer threads and do ribbons for drawstring bags.

Tablet weaving has a fascinating history and has been in use for centuries. I find that rather compelling as well since I love history so much.

Update: Here is the tablet loom finished with my rigid heddle loom on my drafting board.