Silk in Africa

Front Cover
British Museum Press, 2002 - Design - 87 pages
The rich and diverse range of silk textiles from Africa is an unexpected revelation. This book focuses on over thirty pieces from the British Museum's spectacular collection, bringing together for the first time the highly distinctive traditions of silk weaving and embroidery from throughout the African continent. These range from textiles commissioned by royalty and high-ranking officials, such as the striking cloths of the Asante (Ghana) or gowns from Ethiopia encrusted with gold, to less prestigious but no less glorious pieces such as a multicoloured Merina burial shroud from Madagascar. As a pattern sourcebook the reader will find inspiration for striking colour and tonal combinations as well as myriad ideas for using stripes, geometrics and stylized figurative motifs. In their stimulating introduction the authors bring the textiles to life by examining who made them, how ideas travelled across the continent and the significance of pattern and symbolism. In addition, all the principal techniques are explained while brief commentaries highlight the design features. Whether you are interested in graphic design or technical detail, this inspiring book will be the first to open your eyes to a previously unexplored aspect of Africa.

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