Book Report: Textile Designers At The Cutting Edge

Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge is a stunning new book that showcases global textile design. Bradley Quinn, author of such fabulous books as Techno Fashion and The Fashion of Architecture, talks to 36 of the world’s most progressive and forward-thinking textile designers, inviting them to rhapsodize about the nature of their work. To complement the in-depth interviews, the book also features more than 600 images, including completed designs, archive material, works-in-progress and digital drawings, the sum of which make for a handy reference album of today’s textiles industry.

According to Quinn, the impetus behind the book was quite simple: “Through my interest in design and technology I discovered what a great leap forward textiles have made. They are truly the fabric of future worlds.” In this way, the book captures both the past and the present to understand how global developments in textile technologies and applications are undergoing a revolutionary shift. Of his varied subjects, Quinn elaborates: “Some are pioneering new technology, some are developing new sustainable methods and some are using traditional techniques to forge fresh developments in design.”

This shift in thinking and production is most evident when the designers describe the cultures and marketplaces from which they emerged in comparison to those they now work in. Designers from Nordic countries, for instance, try to off-set their long, dreary winters by designing light, joyful textiles. Meanwhile, India, which is often vilified as an environmental polluter, happens to be at the cutting edge of the sustainable textile industry, spearheading a movement to turn trash into textiles.

The English language book has a distinctly global feel to it—after all, “everyone loves textiles, so just about anyone could buy the book.”

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—Candice Rafferty