Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Found In Translation

Last October I mentioned a new release from Monique Lévi-Strauss, the renown authority on French paisley shawls. Initially published by Editions de la Martiniere, the book was hard to find outside of France.

Now Thames & Hudson is doing an English version: Cashmere: A French Passion 1800-1880. The 320-page volume is expected to be available in the UK this summer and in the US sometime in November. Preview pictures at the French publisher's site indicate a book filled with jaw-droppingly beautiful illustrations, some showing almost X-Ray-like images that reveal the anatomy of the textiles. In all, it's an overview of Lévi-Strauss's three decades of research.

While we wait for Cashmere to hit stores, there's Indigo: The Color that Changed the World, Paris-based Catherine Legrand's book newly released in English by Thames & Hudson.

[Image via Barnes & Noble

Whether woven or embroidered, finely tailored or less constructed, authentic indigo-dyed cloth has been produced for centuries across the globe from Africa to China to Central Mexico and South Carolina (think hot and humid locals) and Legrand explores the full range. Like Cashmere, this book takes a detailed look at technique as well as the finished product. Legrand is also interested in science, economics, and sociology as they all relate to indigo past and present.

BTW, did you know Kew has a textile collection? Not too long ago, indigo expert Jenny Balfour-Paul donated 200 pieces and around 50 books, contributing to the Gardens' Economic Botany Collection.


Lori said...

Oh my gosh this is so timely for me. I just happened on a paisley piece and thoroughly enjoyed researching it's history. I'm also having an indigo moment and purchased some pieces from Africa and southeast Asia.

Looking forward to getting my hands on these books.

Style Court said...

Lori -- so glad the timing was right for you!