Embroidery: A Maker’s Guide

Victoria and Albert Museum. Thames & Hudson, $24.95 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-500-29327-0
This encyclopedia of embroidery selected from the collection housed in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is gorgeous and informative in and of itself, and the addition of modernized projects extends it into DIY territory. James Merry, an English hand embroiderer, introduces the book by noting that the craft of embroidery, with its “rich and long history,” has been reinvented many times over many generations. The book showcases the varieties of embroidery throughout history and across cultures, starting with counted-thread and canvas work (such as kogin, a Japanese form of darning stitch, and bargello, a Florentine stitch), continuing through the white-work tradition of broderie anglaise and Mountmellick, and ending with contemporary embroidery. A chapter on embellishments explores ornamented styles such as “shisha work,” which incorporates small mirrors into designs. The 15 projects themselves, accompanied by clear instructions and graphics, extend the examples of each style, with helpful tips and substitutes. For example, instead of using wings from actual insects for a project inspired by the beetle-wing style, try using acrylic fingernails instead. This multifaceted book will appeal to crafters as well as design students or anyone with an interest in the history of textiles. Color photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/04/2017
Release date: 01/01/2018
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