Cover image for African textiles
African textiles
Gillow, John.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
240 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 33 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK8987 .G55 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



Generously sized and beautifully illustrated, African Textiles is an authoritative survey of textile arts - unique and collectible rugs, tapestries, garments, and much more - from across the continent. Author John Gillow traveled extensively throughout Africa, uncovering the dazzling range of traditional hand-crafted textiles from each region. Five sections detail the textile history and traditions within Africa's major geographical areas, examining materials, dyes, decorations, patterns, and techniques. From the stripweave cloth of the Ashanti in theWest to Ethiopian embroidery in the East, from Berber rugs in the North to the Madagascan silk of the South - and everything in between - the breadth of coverage in African Textiles is peerless. Robustly illustrated with over 500 color photographs and drawings, this is an exciting new sourcebook for those interested in textile design and the traditional arts of Africa.

Author Notes

John Gillow is a scholar who has been tracking down outstanding and unusual textiles for the past 30 years and has written extensively on the subject.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

The beauty, sophistication, and diversity of textiles in Africa are well represented by the 570 dazzling color photographs in this volume. Gillow, who has traveled extensively in Africa, does not offer a detailed scholarly study but rather a visual survey of Africa's textiles for the general reader. The text provides just enough information to explain how textiles and their production function in traditional African cultures. After a general introduction, the text is arranged according to the five geographical regions of Africa (West, North, East, Central, and South). Each regional section is broken down by major technique, object type, or decorative style, including examples of rugs, tapestries, embroideries, appliqu?, shell-and-feather work, beadwork, and more. Scholars of African art will be disappointed by the limited text, lack of specific information on illustrated works, anemic bibliography, little documentation, etc., but the lay reader should find this volume a visual wonder, just informative enough to serve as an introduction to the topic. Recommended for general collections, especially those in public libraries.-Eugene C. Burt, Data Arts, Seattle (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.