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Bookshelf Spotlight: Textiles and Tradition

Featured Books

* Bangkok Design: Thai Ideas in Textiles and Furniture
* Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles
* From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue: Textiles of the Southern Philippines
* Lao Textiles and Tradition
* Textiles from Burma

Bangkok Design: Thai Ideas in Textiles and Furniture

by Brian Mertens and Robert McLeod
Marshall Cavendish Editions, 2006

Bangkok Design is the first book of its kind, exploring the acclaimed new furnishings from Thailand and the inspiration behind them. This book profiles 36 of the best Thai designers, showing how they translate their own culture and personal experiences into original products. This group explores a wide variety of styles-minimal, expressionist, modernist, neo-traditional, retro and pop-but each designer has an individual signature.

The profiles include several studio artists whose work either has decorative characteristics or else comments on design-related issues such as cultural identity and sustainability. This inspiring book, beautifully photographed by Robert McLeod and lucidly written by award-winning author Brian Mertens, will appeal to interior designers, architects and collectors.

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Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles

by Ruth Barnes and Mary Hunt Kahlenberg
Prestel USA, 2012

Including many rare and antique examples, this luxurious volume introduces readers to the intoxicating and complex beauty of Indonesian cloth. Since the 1970s Mary Hunt Kahlenberg has been building her collection of exquisite ceremonial garments and sacred textiles from throughout Indonesia’s chain of tropical islands. Dating from the past five centuries and brought together here for the first time in book form, these woven and batiked hangings, ceremonial mats, jackets, shawls, and head cloths form a stunning array that will draw the attention of anyone with a love of art, fine craftsmanship, and design. Large, elegantly presented photographs show the textiles in incredible closeup detail and full expanse, making it possible to appreciate their technical brilliance and rich colors as well as the dazzling assortment of intricate patterns and motifs. Including essays by leading anthropologists and art historians, this book brings readers into a world ruled by the belief that weavings communicate with and transform those who come into contact with them.

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From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue: Textiles of the Southern Philippines

by Roy W. Hamilton
UCLA, 1998

From the Rainbow’s Varied Hue examines the rich and varied cloth traditions of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. A wealth of illustrations, both contemporary and historical, introduce the reader to traditions that range from the blood-red, polished abaca cloths of the B’laan and the dazzling headcloths of the Tausug to the striking plaids in magenta and orange silk created by the Maguindanao. Essays explore in detail the textile traditions of the Bagobo, the B’laan, the Maguindanao, and the Maranao.

About the Author: Roy W. Hamilton is the curator for Asian and Pacific Collections at the UCLA Fowler Musuem of Cultural History.

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Lao Textiles and Tradition

by Mary Connors
Oxford University Press, 1997

Lao Textiles and Traditions focuses on the historical and cultural background of the Lao-Tai, whose exquisitely woven textiles with rich natural dyes and intricately fashioned designs have amazed and intrigued textile connoisseurs for years. Beautifully illustrated, the book tells the story of the people who created these masterpieces and who are still living lives intimately bound to their traditions and textiles.

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Textiles from Burma: Featuring the James Henry Green Collection

by Elizabeth Dell and Sandra Dudley
Art Media Resources Ltd, 2004

Sumptuous textiles have been produced and worn in great variety by the different peoples living in Burma. Through the centuries these have inspired the recordings of artists and writers, from votive temple murals, to the documents of awed visitors. Travelers have brought vivid examples of these textiles back to museums and collections around the world. In Burma today (and for its dispersed communities) woven textiles continue to play an important role in defining personal and group identity. Textiles from Burma introduces the richness of these textile traditions, lavishly illustrated with examples from the James Henry Green collection at Brighton Museum, and from other collections around the world. The volume introduces themes relating to the history, production, meaning, collection and continuing impact of textiles from Burma. It explores these themes in social, cultural and wider contexts. It investigates aspects of collecting and documentation in colonial and modern times, examining the histories and identities that are made and re-made as textiles are collected and written about. The authors’ investigations range from the sumptuary laws of the last Burmese court of the 1880s, to the dress and identity of people in exile on Burma’s borders today. They explore extinct weaving processes, such as the textile texts that once wrapped sacred manuscripts; they discuss the processes of re-invention which give traditional costumes value in a changing modern world. Each thematic case study is underpinned by an introduction to the weaving traditions of its particular region. Technical details are explained in a glossary of technical terms, and an appendix provides an annotated list of key textile collections from Burma around the world.

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