The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History

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Hodder & Stoughton, 2018 - Art - 352 pages

** A RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK **

'Fascinating . . . The history of the world through the eye of a needle . . . I recommend this book to anyone' THE SPECTATOR
'A charming, absorbing history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits . . . I devoured this quietly feminist book' SUNDAY TIMES
'Joyful and beautiful' NATURE
'Will make you rethink your relationship with fabric' ELLE DECORATION

All textiles begin with a twist. From colourful 30,000-year old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to what the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun's mummy actually meant; from the Silk Roads to the woollen sails that helped the Vikings reach America 700 years before Columbus; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, our continuing reinvention of cloth tells fascinating stories of human ingenuity.

When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Fabric has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places, and this book shows you how -- and why.

With a cast that includes Chinese empresses, Richard the Lionheart and Bing Crosby, Kassia St Clair takes us on the run with escaped slaves, climbing the slopes of Everest and moonwalking with astronauts. Running like a bright line through history, The Golden Thread offers an unforgettable adventure through our past, present and future.

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The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History

User Review  - Kassia St Clair - Publishers Weekly

This fascinating selection of “13 very different stories” about textiles “help illustrate the vastness of their significance,” restoring them to their rightful place as a central human technology ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Kassia St Clair studied the history of women's dress and the masquerade during the eighteenth-century at Bristol and Oxford. She has since written about design and culture for the Economist, House & Garden, Quartz and 1843. Her much acclaimed first book The Secret Lives of Colour was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. She lives in London.

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