African Textiles

John Gillow


Now available in a compact paperback edition, this book remains the most comprehensive survey of African textiles on the market today.

The traditional, handcrafted textiles of Africa are sumptuous, intricate, and steeped in cultural significance. Region by region, African Textiles covers, as no other volume has, the handmade textiles of West, North, East, Central and Southern Africa, outlining the range of weaving techniques and the different types of looms, materials and dyes that create these sumptuous works. Nor does it neglect the cultural context of African textiles, assessing the various influences of religion, culture, trade, tradition, fashion and the changing role of women that inform their creation.

The breathtaking skill and creativity of the African peoples are presented here in radiant colour:

  • Gorgeous stripweaves of the Ashanti and the Ewe
  • Lace weaves of the Yoruba
  • Bogolanfini mud cloths from Mali and West Africa
  • Berber weaves from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia in North Africa
  • Unique, crocheted, embroidered and feathered hats from Cameroon
  • Ancient weaving tradition of Ethiopia
  • Beadwork of the Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele peoples of Southern Africa
  • Asian-derived tradition of weaving silk and raphia in Madagascar

A guide to African textile collections open to the public, a glossary and suggestions for further reading make this volume a practical as well as beautiful guide to the rich art of African textiles.


  • Format
  • Pages
  • Size
    275 x 215mm
  • Publisher
    Thames & Hudson
  • ISBN
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