African Textiles Today


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  • A fascinating book that explores the rich variety of textile traditions throughout Africa. Illustrations display the best of the craft and why it continues to influence photographers and contemporary artists in Africa and throughout the world.

    Creating and trading numerous types of cloth have been vital elements in African life and culture for at least two millennia, linking different parts of the continent with each other and the rest of the world. African Textiles Today shows how ideas, techniques, materials and markets have adapted and flourished, and how the dynamic traditions in African textiles have provided inspiration for the continent’s foremost contemporary artists and photographers. Enlarged details show the finest examples of textile arts, most selected from the superb collections of the British Museum.

    The front cover shows a detail of the sculpture Woman’s Cloth by El Anatsui. The piece was inspired by the Kente cloth tradition and was produces in Nigera, 2002.


    Christopher Spring is curator of the African collections at the British Museum. He is the author of numerous books on African art and culture, including African Arms and Armour, North African Textiles and African Art in Detail.

  • Product code: cmc15597
    Title: African Textiles Today
    Author: Christopher Spring
    ISBN: 978 0 7141 1559 7
    Format: 270 x 240 mm
    Number of pages: 256 pages
    llustrations: 200 Colour
    Publication date: August 2012
    Weight: 0.89kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

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Shortlisted: Le Prix International du Livre d’Art Tribal

Winner: Choice magazine Outstanding Academic Title award

This beautifully illustrated book deciphers the hidden stories of African textiles, whilst also revealing their continuing relevance, exploring how the dynamic traditions in African cloth-making have provided inspiration for the continent’s foremost contemporary artists and photographers.
Africa Fashion Guide

From tablet-woven Ethiopian church hangings to the designs of Nigerian designer Duro Olowu, Africa's history has been written in cloth… [Chris Spring] revisits the stories revealed by cloth traditions on the continent across the ages, and explores the new directions the tradition is taking today – incorporating themes ranging from contemporary politics to HIV/Aids and English football clubs.
ARISE Magazine

Much has been written about trade and migration between Africa and the rest of the world, but African Textiles Today specifically addressees how African history has been read, told and recorded through cloth… [Spring's] exploration of heritage and global artistic exchange make this a fascinating compendium – including more than 200 stunning images – of African textile work in recent decades.
Embroidery Magazine

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