Fabric: The Hidden History of the Material World


Product Details

$19.95  $18.55
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
5.39 X 8.19 X 1.44 inches | 1.02 pounds

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About the Author

Victoria Finlay is the critically acclaimed author of Color: Travels Through the Paintbox and the former arts editor of the South China Morning Post. She studied social anthropology and has travelled around the world in search of stories about her subjects, from colour to jewels and fabric. As well as writing, she has worked in international development.


"Subtle, compendious and rich, if this was just a cultural history of fabric it would be a fine piece of work. But Finlay weaves another story into the book: she is grieving for her mother. More often the book acquires an extra dimension; the effect that springs to mind is the strange iridescence of that twin-coloured silk you sometimes find as the lining of a suit jacket. This book recovers that relatively silenced or at least sidelined history. It is an emotive and serious work of what you might call history on the distaff side."-- "The Sunday Times (UK)"
"Fabric bundles history, travelogue, and memoir, flowing easily between exposition, narrative, and intimate accounts of Finlay's travels and her grief. The writing is authoritative and engaging, packed with memorable vignettes and trivia."-- "Booklist"

"In Fabric: The hidden history of the material world, Victoria Finlay wants to recover 'the truth in fabric.' Her sprawling book, part history, part travelogue and part memoir, takes her from Papua New Guinea to Paisley in search of the materials, processes and meanings of ten types of cloth."--Times Literary Supplement
"Finlay's writing is at once technical, historical and deeply personal. Like a skilled weaver, she takes many disparate threads and constructs a compelling narrative as informative as it is emotionally engaging. Part historical survey, part memoir and part travelogue, Fabric follows Finlay as she discovers the secrets behind each material's history -- all written as she mourned the deaths of her parents."-- "New York Times Book Review, Editor's Choice"