From Library Journal
Now that washable silk garments are widely available to the average shopper, there should be interest in the complex history of this luxurious fiber. Textile specialist Scott, herself a collector, has gathered into one volume photographs of more than 200 examples of exotic silk fabrics from all cultures and ages since antiquity. Following the Silk Road from China and Japan through Asia into Europe, the story is as variegated as the rich colors, weaves, and embroideries that were used for the ceremonial or everyday accoutrements of the wealthy and powerful. Brief mention is made of silk usage in the United States. With so much information crammed into a single book, occasional stylistic monotony may be forgiven, but the omission of maps and dynastic chronologies is unfortunate. Included are a useful glossary of terms and techniques, a concise guide to collecting, care, and conservation, and museum and collections lists. This visually appealing book will please curators and costume and textile students. Appropriate for large public and academic collections.- Therese D. Baker, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book could not exist if not for the sericulture of the Bombyx mori
, and its ancestor, the Bombyx mandarina Moore
. For more than 5,000 years, this flightless Chinese moth has spun a cocoon whose fine thread has been called the most remarkable of all natural creations. Unrivaled by any other fiber or fabric, this wonder of strength and versatility is, of course, silk. Throughout the millenia, from its origins in China and Japan to traveling the Silk Road and finally on to Western Christendom, silk has been a symbol of "the best, most royal, most holy, and treasured as an honored gift." This all-encompassing journey traces silk from its origins to contemporary fashion and the French and Italian couturiers. Scott has gathered a captivating selection of illustrations that show silk's versatility for use in clothing, embroidery, and carpets as a painting surface. Coupled with an inclusive text are a detailed reference section of silk terms and techniques; undoubtedly an important offering, this tome is essential to any fine arts collection. Janet Lawrence