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This vibrantly illustrated book is an original look at the myriad roles played by textiles in all aspects of human life, from ancient weavings to light-sensitive and other futuristic fabrics of our own era. Beverly Gordon discusses how textiles are an integral part of the human life journey from cradle to grave in a multitude of practical, symbolic and spiritual ways. The many uses of textiles in our everyday lives and their sources are illustrated, along with a discussion about how, as a valuable commodity, in some communities textiles function as money. Finally, the author outlines how textiles are a means of communication functional, political and artistic and a metaphor for transcendence. This book will captivate and inspire anyone who has a passion for textiles and textile arts, whether educational, creative or professional.