"This is the most comprehensive manual written on natural dyes since the early 1800s. Jim Liles has rescued ancient skills from near-extinction and shared them in a book that will inspire, challenge, and guide the modern dyer."—Rita Buchanan, author of A Weaver's Garden, and editor of the new Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Handbook on Natural Dyes
" . . . a must for every dyer. The recipes are explicit and detailed as to success and failure."—Mary Frances Davidson
For several thousand years, all dyes were of animal, vegetable, or mineral origin, and many ancient civilizations possessed excellent dye technologies. The first synthetic dye was produced in 1856, and the use of traditional dyes declined rapidly thereafter. By 1915 few non-synthetics were used by industry or craftspeople. The craft revivals of the 1920s explored traditional methods of natural dyeing to some extent, particularly with wool, although the great eighteenth- and nineteenth-century dye manuals, which recorded the older processes, remained largely forgotten.
In The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, J. N. Liles consolidates the lore of the older dyers with his own first-hand experience to produce both a history of natural dyes and a practical manual for using pre–synthetic era processes on all the natural fibers--cotton, linen, silk, and wool. A general section on dyeing and mordanting and a glossary introduce the beginner to dye technology. In subsequent chapters, Liles summarizes the traditional dye methods available for each major color group. Scores of recipes provide detailed instructions on how to collect ingredients--flowers, weeds, insects, wood, minerals--prepare the dyevat, troubleshoot, and achieve specific shades.
The book will appeal not only to beginning and veteran dyers but to students of restorations and reconstruction as well as to craftspeople--spinners, quilters, weavers, knitters, and other textile artists--interested in natural dyes for their beauty and historical authenticity.
The Author: J. N. Liles is professor of zoology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He has taught at Arrowmont School and other regional craft schools and has exhibited his work at the Arrowmont School, the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild Folk Art Center, and the Carol Reece Museum.
From Egyptian wall paintings to the Venetian Renaissance, impressionism to digital images, Philip Ball tells the fascinating story of how art, chemistry, and technology have interacted throughout the ages to render the gorgeous hues we admire on our walls and in our museums.
Finalist for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award.
Although less well known than its much-admired counterparts in Peru and Bolivia, highland Ecuadorian weaving is an Andean tradition that has relationships with these more southern areas. A world away from the industrialized textile manufacturing of Euro-American society, these handmade pieces reflect the history and artistry of an ancient culture.
This comprehensive study, edited by Ann Pollard Rowe, is unrivaled in its detail and includes not only descriptions of the indigenous weaving and dyeing technology, but also an interpretation of its historical significance, as well as hundreds of photographs, drawings, and maps that inform the understanding of the process.
The principal focus is on backstrap-loom weaving, a major pre-Hispanic technology. Ecuadorian backstrap looms, which differ in various ways from those found elsewhere in the Andes, have previously only been treated in general terms. Here, the basic operation of this style of loom is covered, as are a variety of patterning techniques including warp-resist (ikat) dyeing, weaving belts with twill, and supplementary- and complementary-warp patterning. Spanish colonial treadle-loom weaving is also covered. The weaving techniques are explained in detail, so the reader can replicate them if desired.
Textiles have been an important art form among Andean peoples from remote prehistory up to the present. A greater understanding of their creation process can yield a more meaningful appreciation of the art itself.