Lets talk structure here, its much anticipated ! Iv already recd. a few emails from people in the past few days asking for advice. But im glad that my blog is helping people. I recd. emails from high school students researching on historic textiles, textile design students from around the world, and enthusiasts.
To study structure, please get a good teacher otherwise youll be thoroughly confused. And a little knowledge is a dangerous thing! lol you get the point ! – There are a few people whose works you should def. read on structure:
Milton Sonday- He is just fabulous- what more can i say about his work. I could follow his writing very easily though youll have to read carefully and slowly. His work on Safavid Iranian textiles is amazing- read his work on Lampas & Velvet if you get a chance.
Rahul Jain- Another fabulous author- hes also worked on Iranian & Indian textiles- excellent excellent publications on structure!
Eva Basile- she should really teach you the first course on Analyzing textiles & structure – unlike Rahul who is a researcher & practises drawloom weaving & Milton, a former curator who has published articles, Eva teaches analysis and Jacq weaving- ! She is patient, will go over the same thing 10 times till you get it, and makes her class fun to be in. You can schedule private or get in touch with her at the Lisio Foundation in Florence. Its a pleasure to have someone with such a rare skill set to teach structure- and also such a good natured person! Iv bothered her enough over the months but i will be learning more from her in the near future hopefully as time allows!
If you can access the MET museum NY and ask the library there, they might have all publications by Rahul & Milton.
Also you must be wondering why i have not discussed French textiles given that Lyon has such a huge textile tradition. I just havent found excellent work on French textiles published in english with diagrams on structure as i have on Iranian/indian/Turkish textiles. Look at work done by Milton Sonday, Rahul Jain, Walter Denny, Louise Macky, Carol Bier on those textiles and its just superb. Actually, Gabriel Vial has written some great books on weaving but theyre all in french most probably other than 1 or 2 scholarly essays in English. And i strongly suspect (just because iv seen some 19th century french fabrics) that his publications mostly cover industrial Lyon textiles and not really imperial textiles but given his expertise, you may find some good work done by him. Post Jacquard, i dont find French textiles very interesting materially speaking.
I really like a book called Samite & Lampas published by the AETDA (now Musee Guimet, Paris) in which Gabriel Vial & Marie Helene Geulton (both from CIETA Lyon) explained structure with diagrams but it wasnt on French textiles! All the french books that iv seen from the past have been from old Lyon textile mills with swatches and diagrams and stuff but none of those textiles compare to the most part (in my eyes) to their previous drawloom counterparts or to the fabulous drawloom produced middle eastern textiles.
Id like to bring to your attention a slight change in aesthetic of drawloom period vs jacquard period textiles. A lot of the Lyon textiles that iv seen are very nice , no doubt, but they dont look as rich or as jeweled as the textiles made prior to the 1800s. Not that a Jacquard loom is incapable of producing grand textiles, its probably just an overall change of aesthetic that took place during the Industrial Revolution in Europe. So what Prelle (company in France) makes now is nice – i would NOT say that its fantastic just because it lacks the jeweled qualities that existed during a period in time. I guess thats why technical experts are more drawn towards Iranian/Turkish/Mughal Indian fabrics/ Italian velvets because they look VERY extravagant and rich in appearance.
Would love to see some pre 19th century french textile publications with technical analyses but i just have not come across any so far. Milton Sonday wrote an article on an Italian velvet once i think but again im looking forward to coming across publications on pre 19th century Italian textile with detailed technical analysis …
Also very interested in Chinese textile- look up work done by Dr Zhao Feng ! I have yet to read his work but look forward to!