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The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed…
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The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History (original 2018; edição 2018)

por Kassia St. Clair (author) (Autor)

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258678,316 (3.88)3
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.… (mais)
Membro:emmalynn38
Título:The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History
Autores:Kassia St. Clair (author) (Autor)
Informação:John Murray Publishers Ltd (2018)
Colecções:Research, A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:textiles, history, europe

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The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History por Kassia St Clair (2018)

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Kassia St. Clair’s 'The Golden Thread' is a near-miss overview of how fabrics – as clothing, decoration, and artifacts – have influenced cultures and societies.

Much of the content is fascinating – particularly the chapters on Egypt, on the Silk Roads, and on the development of protective clothing for the astronauts. Others wander off into rant or irrelevance, such as the chapter on damages to the environment and to human health arising from the “fast clothing” industry that depends on man-made fibers and near-slave labor.

The book also cries out for color plates. The curious reader will spend almost as much time on Google Image Search as with the book itself, looking up the items referenced by St. Clair in such glowing terms.

And, finally, the entire work feels much like a draft. Coverage of some topics is superficial; of others stultifyingly detailed. St. Clair bounces between American and British idiom, and there are disrupting sentence structures and word use throughout, along with one of the most egregious typos ever put into print. Somebody really should have gone through this thing with a blue pencil before it went to press.

If one is interested in textiles, it’s certainly worth the read, but if one is looking for the ultimate reference book, this isn’t it. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Jun 25, 2020 |
St. Clair’s micro-history of fabrics patches a historical record which has often overlooked the role of textiles, perhaps because their contributions arise from predominately female labor. The examination moves from hand-working wild plants to modern man-made synthetics. Johns smoothly handles place names and worlds in multiple languages as St. Clair tours the history of fabric around the globe. With witty humour, Johns gives voice to the metaphors threading fiber arts throughout the English language. Our lives are enfolded with cloth, and textiles even fashion our death rituals. Johns’ lively voice propels this entertaining narrative across historical highlights to weave an accessible and thought-provoking story perfect for causal listening. Each chapter visits a different fiber, locale, or time period creating a beautiful, captivating tapestry in which Johns’ elegant tones deftly match St. Clair’s vivid prose. A perfect handsell for any fiber craft hobbyist as well as archaeology and anthropology enthusiasts.

The improved review was published in Booklist April 1, 2020 issue. ( )
  ktoonen | Apr 6, 2020 |
Fig leaves are really not practical, hence why humanity has been making and using woven cloth for thousands and thousands of years for clothing, shelter and many other things. But before you can make cloth, you need to spin, a technique that uses the much shorter elements of the material that you are using and makes it into longer chains that become useable threads. These threads are then woven together by hand, or simple loom, or now days by industrial machines that can create metres of cloth with hundreds of threads that can all be individually controlled to create patterns.

Beginning with the very origins of weaving, we then head to Egypt where we learn that as much as the Pharaohs liked their gold, it was the linen cloth that was really considered important. China is the next country to feature about how the silks that they made became so sought after and drove a number of economies along the Silk Road. Wool is the next material, and to find that Viking ship sails were made from wool was quite a revelation. I imagined a saggy jumper hanging from the mast, but it wasn't like that. Wool was also a huge source of income for England at the time, considered so important that the Woolsack became the reminder in Parliament how we have relied on this material for our prosperity.

There are chapters on the modern materials and fabrics that allow mankind to reach some of the most extreme places on our planet as well as occasionally off it in space. How materials can be used to help athletes perform at a much better level and the future of fabrics as they look back at the natural world for inspiration for the next big thing. Though it is worth remembering, for all the technological advances made, there are still instances where a handspun thread can be much fine than one off a machine.

It was a really interesting book on humanities relationship and dependence with cloth, how it has permeated our languages and people have made and lost fortunes from it. I didn't think this second book was quite as good as her first, The Secret Lives of Colour. There seemed to be a lot of time spent on certain things and glossed over others and I did spot the odd error too. Stunning cover and not a bad read overall. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
I loved listening to this fascinating history of fabric; I might end up getting the actual book too for a great resource and stories. Also just a few minutes about fast fashion affected me more than anything else I’ve read. ( )
  spinsterrevival | Mar 27, 2020 |
While the earlier chapters were fascinating and added to my knowledge, the final chapters about modern textiles were rather boring. I'm a lot more interested in Viking sails than I am in swimsuits for racing. The final chapter about gold thread could have been interesting if it had really been researched and written. But if it was only going to be a short run through of topics that could be covered, it would have better been left off.

In spite of all that, the first eight chapters were very worth reading, and the rest went downhill slowly to begin with. ( )
2 vote MarthaJeanne | Jul 2, 2019 |
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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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