Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture

Paper Type: Art Paper (Matt) | Size: 305 x 228 mm
All colour; 320 colour photographs; 376 pages; Hardback
ISBN-10: 9385285033 | ISBN-13: 978-93-85285-03-5

 3800 |  75 |  45

Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture describes how one of the subcontinent’s foremost crafts has played a key role in the creation of visual identity in India and has also been a significant source of revenue through centuries of international trade. It reveals how block prints are integral to both caste dress and modern urban style. Used nowadays for soft furnishings and fashion, they have become a perennial favourite with Indian designers and in the global fashion market. Contemporary production and use of block prints is explained, and the social and historical roots of the craft are outlined. These textiles embody richly diverse histories shaped by trade, conquest and colonisation, technological innovation and entrepreneurship; they are part of an ebullient visual and material culture that absorbs all influences and makes them Indian. It reflects the author’s extensive field research over the past twenty-four years—working with block printers, block makers, dye producers, entrepreneurs, designers, government agencies, and non-governmental organisations, in museums and private collections all over India. The book is lavishly illustrated and creates a vibrant account of the development and recent regeneration of the craft, confirming that block prints are stamped with the imprints of an ancient, diverse and ever-evolving culture. The book won the R.L. Shep Ethnic Textile Book Award  introduced by Textile Society of America in 2016.

Eiluned Edwards
Eiluned Edwards

Eiluned Edwards is Reader in Global Cultures of Textiles and Dress at Nottingham Trent University, UK, and also contributes to the Royal College of Art MA Design History programme and the V&A Arts of Asia course. She was previously Victoria and Albert Museum/London College of Fashion Senior Research Fellow in Textiles and Dress (2005-2009). She has a PhD in Art History and Archaeology (Manchester University, 2000). Her dissertation analysed how social change was reflected in the material culture of Rabaris – pastoral migrants in Kachchh district, Gujarat – focusing on their textiles and dress. Since 1991, her research has concentrated on aspects of textiles, dress, fashion and craft development in South Asia, notably India and she has published widely on these topics. Her research has been supported by the British Academy, Nehru Trust, Pasold Research Fund, and Leverhulme Trust (Research Fellowship 2012-14). It has been widely disseminated through publications, teaching, conferences and exhibitions. Some of her previous publications include The Idea of Gujarat (2010), British Asian Style (V&A, 2010), and contributions to The Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (2014).