The history of the world can be read in textiles: the rise of civilizations and the fall of empires are woven into their warp and weft along with the great stories of conquest, religion and trade. The legacy of textile design, form and pattern that has resulted from this global endowment can be seen here in all its spectacular richness. Cultures separated by vast distances have developed similar solutions to design and construction while producing a dazzling variety of styles. Each textile epitomizes the culture that produced it - from the silk brocade saris of Benares in India, to cut-pile raphia cloth from Central Africa, pathwork quilts made by colonists in North America and indigo-dyed tsutugaki cloth from Japan. Here is the first book to illustrate the whole range of traditional handmade textiles from all corners of the globe. Eight sections cover all aspects of materials and techniques, each giving a succinct summary of characteristics, making and geographical distribution, accompanied by hundreds of colour photographs and drawings. Every kind of textile is described: non-loom and loom-woven, painted and printed, dyed, sewn, embroidered and embellished. Completed by a glossary, further reading and information on collections with public access, World Textiles is an unrivalled guide for anyone interested in collecting or making and designing textiles.