Updated on January 4, 2023 by Sarina Tariq
This post lists the most relevant books on textiles and textile designing.
When they want to learn something, my kids will say, ‘let us google it’ – but I would still look it up in a book if I have it. There is something about books that none of the electronic devices will ever replace.
I am talking about that ‘feel’ of the books. As a confirmed bookworm, I have always had this thing about books – so I may be prejudiced. For me that special tactile sensation of books- it is real – but there are other advantages that I can list about books.
When you are reading a book on a particular subject, you are getting an insight into an expert’s mind and vast knowledge, plus get all the advantages of their experience in the field. You know that the subject will deal with all the details you always wanted to know- this is especially true of textile books. Most of the books on textiles are written by experts with years of experience dealing with textiles.
And where else can you see the pictures of the diverse and wonderful textiles from around the world without going to all these places yourself?
Suppose you are a textile design course student, a fashion designer, a historian interested in clothes and fabrics of yore, or just an enthusiast like me. In that case, there are many books that you will want to have a thorough look at.?
If you are a textile design course student, a fashion designer, a historian interested in clothes and fabrics of yore or just an enthusiast like me, there are many books that you will want to have a thorough look at.
Here are just a few that I admire – a few I have read, some I have gone through, and some I know of and want to read.
- Textile related books you should read
- Fashion from concept to consumer
- Textile Design: The Complete Guide to Printed Textiles for Apparel and Home Furnishings
- Printed Textile Design
- Woven Textile Design
- The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory: A Guide to Fabrics’ Properties, Characteristics, and Garment-Design Potential
- Textile Designs: 200 Years of Patterns for Printed Fabrics
- 5,000 Years of Textiles
- Basics Textile Design 01: Sourcing Ideas: Researching Colour, Surface, Structure, Texture, and Pattern
- Digital Textile Design
Fashion from concept to consumer
Author – Gini Stephens Frings
This reads like a textbook for every textile design student or fashion designer with all the details you need to know about sourcing fabrics, manufacturing process, and retailing. No color photos of textiles, but the nitty-gritty of textiles behind the fashion scene is well explained.
Textile Design: The Complete Guide to Printed Textiles for Apparel and Home Furnishings
Author: Carol Joyce
This is a detailed guide on how to produce original textile designs for commercial use. It is an old version, so some information may be out of date, but still, different techniques and pattern styles are explained in detail with good illustrations.
Author – Bobbie Sumberg
If you want to see textiles from around the world, this book is ‘it’. The book has pictures of textiles from the Museum of International Folk Art’s vast collection that spans centuries and includes pieces from seventy countries around the world.
Printed Textile Design
Author: Amanda Briggs Good
The book explains the fundamentals of printed textile design with case studies of designers.
Woven Textile Design
Author : Jan Shenton
If you are interested in the different woven patterns of cloth, this book is perfect. The author Jan Shenton is a weaver, and the book has the basics of woven textile design as well as the complicated stuff. You will get to know everything about woven textile design with color photos of weaving, diagrams, illustrations of weaving plans, and examples from contemporary designers.
The Fashion Designer’s Textile Directory: A Guide to Fabrics’ Properties, Characteristics, and Garment-Design Potential
Author: Gail Baugh
If you want detailed knowledge of different types of fabrics and you can buy only one book, buy this one. It has got beautiful photographs of fabric samples, garments, and illustrations galore. The author teaches at San Francisco State University and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Textile Designs: 200 Years of Patterns for Printed Fabrics
Authors: Susan Meller, Joost Elfers, Ted Croner
Alternative title – Textile Designs: 200 of European and American Patterns Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period
The author Susan Meller is the owner of the Design Library and Design Loft in New York, which has one of the world’s largest documentary textile design collections. The book has many photographs of patterned fabrics, which can teach you a lot about different textile designs. The photographed fabric examples can serve as a textbook for any fabric enthusiast.
The Design Library has the world’s largest and best-organized collections of documentary fabrics, original paintings, wallpapers, embroideries, and yarn dyes, numbering over seven million designs. The collections date from the 1750s to the present and are sorted into over 1200 categories for easy access – as mentioned in design-library.com
5,000 Years of Textiles
Author: Jennifer Harris
This is a study of textiles through the centuries with close-up color details from actual textiles (illustrated or actual photographs) from around the world. For a student interested in the history of textiles, this is a great reference book.
Basics Textile Design 01: Sourcing Ideas: Researching Colour, Surface, Structure, Texture, and Pattern
Authors: Josephine Steed, Frances Stevenson
This book can be a great resource in your creative journey to innovative designs for textiles. It can give you inspirations, ideas, methods and all the basic methods you need to do worthwhile textile designing.
Digital Textile Design
Authors: Melanie Bowles, Ceri Isaac
This book can teach you a lot about designing and printing digitally. If you are a beginner and would like to know more about using Illustrator and Photoshop to create textile designs, this book can be a great resource.
Reading these books will surely enrich your knowledge and make you realize the beauty around you – in the form of textiles and give you the tools to be a true blue ‘Fabric expert’.