books on textile design

Last week I went to the Artist’s Textiles: Picasso to Warhol exhibit at the Textile Museum of Canada. It was one of those ‘I live in this city, why do I take so little advantage of it’ moments (I had never been to this museum before). The show itself was amazing, but I picked up a couple of books while I was there that I think this crowd might be interested in.

Print, Make, Wear

The first is Print, Make, Wear, by Melanie Bowles and The People’s Print. It’s both inspirational and highly practical, and I have to say it’s one of the best resources I’ve come across for explaining the process of digital textile design. (And I’ve been steadily consuming a diet of of books and videos on the subject over the past year.) Where some guides (I’ve found) kind of gloss over some steps and leave you to your own devices, this one really breaks down all the steps very clearly. Even better, it’s project-based, so you can digest the information in the context of a real end-product, from conception to creation. It takes complex-looking images and breaks their creation down into simple, “hey I could totally do that” processes, walking you through each layer. For me it also dovetails really nicely with a class I took called “Drawing and Illustration Basics” (on  Creative Bug and taught by illustrator and fabric designer Heather Ross, whose book Prints is also at the very top of my list of favourite resources on this subject).

Textile Design: Artists’ Textiles 1940 – 1976

The second book was Textile Design: Artists’ Textiles 1940 – 1976 (Rayner, Geoffrey et al.). This was the exhibit book, and boy was I glad they had this! Almost every single piece in the collection was something I wanted to make note of … but I had nothing to write on, and of course no pictures were allowed. Luckily I can revisit everything at my leisure thanks to this book. I think everyone’s probably familiar with the commercial textile work by Warhol and Picasso, but it was stunning to see pieces by Miró and Dufy, Henry Moore and Alexander Calder, and so many more. If you leave anywhere at all within driving distance of Toronto I highly recommend a visit.

[ Linking up with Quilt Story’s Fabric Tuesday ]