As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week
A new history of ingenuity from the author of The Secret Lives of Colour.
From the mummies of Ancient Egypt; via the silken dragon robes of Imperial China and the woollen sails of Viking longboats to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution (and sparked more than one war); arriving finally at the lab-blended fibres that have allowed astronauts to moonwalk -- fabrics, manmade and natural, have changed and shaped the world we live in.
In twelve fascinating chapters, Kassia St Clair lays out an alternative history of civilisation and human creativity. Wittily written and compellingly argued, this book will change the way you see the world.
(P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited
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.
A history of fabric might not sound immediately exciting, but St Clair's book is a refreshing treat, every page bursting with surprising insights. Clothing, she argues, is central to history, from myths and legends to trade and technology. The threads woven by the Greek Fates, the bandages that wrapped Egyptian mummies, the wool that made medieval England rich, the lace in Vermeer's paintings : it all makes for a smart and entertaining historical tapestry — SUNDAY TIMES, History Book of the Year
The history of the world through the eye of a needle... Fascinating... I recommend this book to anyone — THE SPECTATOR
A charming, absorbing and quietly feminist history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits... I devoured this book — SUNDAY TIMES
Remarkable . . . hugely ambitious, sparklingly erudite and wonderfully engaging — Peter Frankopan, Book of the Year, HISTORY TODAY
A joyful commingling of text and textiles in 13 beautifully wrought stories. We visit a cave where dyed fibres more than 30,000 years old have been discovered; goggle at the starched intricacy of sixteenth-century lace ruffs; flinch over astronauts' nappies and the sodden sleeping bags of early polar expeditions; and savour the idea of materials spun from spiders' webs. — NATURE
The Golden Thread will make you rethink your relationship with fabric — ELLE DECORATION
Superb... this dazzling book puts fabric at the very heart of human history. — STRONG WORDS
A curious and illuminating history of fabric — HOUSE AND GARDEN
Vividly drawn . . . this beautifully presented tome is perfect for dipping in and out of — HISTORY REVEALED
The Golden Thread is worth a read for informing your political thinking, and it will entertain you far more than most 'political' books
— Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine
Such a captivating read its likely you'll want to devour this engrossing patchwork of textile history in one sitting — Embroidery