Monday, 20 February 2012

African Wax Print - a Textile Journey

I got home from teaching in Ireland late last night but, before I publish a post about the lovely weekend I had teaching the Irish Patchwork Society, I must tell you about 'African Wax Print' by Magie Relph and Bob Irwin of The African Fabric Shop. I'd been wanting to add this book to my shelves ever since it came out (last year?) but whenever I see Magie and Bob, they (or I) are always so busy, it kept escaping my clutches. Just as they were leaving after packing up their exhibition at Quiltfest last week, I managed to get a copy and saved it as my 'bedtime reading' for this weekend. What a treat.

It's a superb book, absolutely fascinating and packed with information about African wax print textiles, plus LOTS of excellent photos. If you love African wax prints you should have a copy; if you like bold and unusual textiles, you should have a copy; and if you simply want a good read about a textile story that spans the centuries and the globe, you should definitely put it on your book list! Oh, and if you missed the exhibition at Llangollen, there are excellent photos of many of the quilts we featured in a gallery section at the back of the book. Magie and Bob don't just source and import the most amazing fabrics using their contacts in various African countries, they really know their stuff about the fabrics (you'll know that already if you've chatted to them at shows or perused their website) and its very well-written - enough information to please serious textile collectors but without becoming too academic in the process. The photos in the book are a real inspiration and, by the end of it, you'll feel like you want to get hold of some wax print (if you don't already have some) and create something special. Highly recommended!

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