All textiles epitomize the cultures that make them, from the silk brocade saris of India to North American patchwork quilts. Interestingly, societies separated by vast distances have developed similar solutions to design and construction while producing a dazzling diversity of styles. This is the first book to illustrate (in nearly 800 sumptuous colour photographs and drawings) the whole range of traditional handmade textiles from all over the globe, classified by materials and technique rather than age or country. Eight sections cover all aspects of production, each giving a summary of characteristics, making and geographical distribution. Every kind of textile is covered: 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, this is an unrivalled guide for anyone interested in collecting or making and designing textiles.