The Golden Thread

The Golden Thread : How Fabric Changed History

4.08 (170 ratings by Goodreads)
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From colorful 30,000-year-old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to the Indian calicoes that sparked the Industrial Revolution, The Golden Thread weaves an illuminating story of human ingenuity. Design journalist Kassia St. Clair guides us through the technological advancements and cultural customs that would redefi ne human civilization-from the fabric that allowed mankind to achieve extraordinary things (traverse the oceans and shatter athletic records) and survive in unlikely places (outer space and the South Pole). She peoples her story with a motley cast of characters, including Xiling, the ancient Chinese empress credited with inventing silk, to Richard the Lionhearted and Bing Crosby. Offering insights into the economic and social dimensions of clothmaking-and countering the enduring, often demeaning, association of textiles as "merely women's work"-The Golden Thread offers an alternative guide to our past, present, and future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 155 x 235mm
  • Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • United States
  • English
  • 8 pages of color photographs
  • 1631494805
  • 9781631494802

Review quote

"A charming, absorbing history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits.... I devoured this quietly feminist book." -- Sunday Times "The history of the world through the eye of a needle.... [F]ascinating.... I recommend this book to anyone." -- Katrina Gulliver - Spectator "Will make you rethink your relationship with fabric." -- Elle Decoration "Joyful and beautiful." -- Nature "Hugely ambitious, sparklingly erudite, and wonderfully engaging." -- Peter Frankopan - History Today "[A] spirited, illuminating cultural history on essential fibers that have been spun, knitted, and woven throughout time, from traces of thread discovered in Neolithic caves to the multilayered "one-person spaceships" worn by American astronauts.... Vibrant, entertaining, and brightly informative." -- Kirkus Reviews "Fascinating.... Written in elegant prose, this tour of textile history will draw in readers interested in human evolution and culture." -- Publishers Weekly [starred review]
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About Kassia St. Clair

Kassia St. Clair is a journalist and author who has written about design and culture for publications including the Economist, Elle, and the Times Literary Supplement. The author of The Secret Lives of Color, St. Clair lives in London.
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Rating details

170 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 34% (58)
4 44% (74)
3 19% (33)
2 2% (4)
1 1% (1)
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