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Egypt: Contemporary Textiles

Egyptian Landscapes: Weavings from the Ramses Wissa Wassef School TAPESTRIES FROM EGYPT, WOVEN BY THE CHILDREN OF HARRANIA by Ramses Wissa FORMAN W. & B. and WASSEF and Jean Layton (1961)

If you can get it... this book (dating from 1961) shows the story of the gorgeous tapestries woven by the children of Harrania in Egypt, guided only by their skill and inherent artistic sense.
Includes 66 color photographs of the tapestries.

Egyptian Landscapes: Weavings from the Ramses Wissa Wassef School EGYPTIAN LANDSCAPES: 50 YEARS OF TAPESTRY WEAVING AT THE RAMSES WISSA WASSEF ART CENTRE, CAIRO by Hilary Weir, Suzanne Wissa Wassef and Yoanna Wissa Wassef

The cover illustrated here is from the 2006 paperback edition of Egyptian Landscapes: 50 Years of Tapestry Weaving at the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre, Cairo, an edition which is currently unavailable. The link provided here is for the 1985 paperback, published by the Ramses Wissa Wassef (UK) Exhibition Foundation 1985, which is still available used. (No cover image available.)

The Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre - a unique experiment in tapestry weaving - has sold weavings, tapestries and batiks since 1952. Most are large-scale, with scenes of birds, nature and abstract designs, hand-made from naturally dyed wool.

The founder, Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911-1974), dedicated his life to releasing the creativity of young Egyptian villagers:
"I had this vague conviction that every human being was born an artist, but that ... The creative energy of the average person is being sapped by a conformist system of education and the extension of industrial technology to every sphere of modern life."

Visits to the Wissa Wassef Arts Centre

(near the pyramids of Giza at Cairo)

Open daily: 10am-5pm (closed for lunch, 2 hrs)
Weavers work: Sat - Wed (9am - 5pm)
Address: Harrania Village, Sakkara Road El Haram Giza
Tel: +20 (0) 2 3347 3791

Directions: Microbus from Midan Tahrir to intersection of Pyramid Road and Sakkara Road

This lavishly illustrated book explains the background to Wassef's "experiment in creativity", its trial in the 1940s, the move to Harrania in the 1950s and the extraordinary tapestries produced there ever since by the first generation of children to learn the craft of high-warp weaving. We learn how, after the death of Ramses in 1974, his widow Sophie continued the original project while a new generation of weavers has been guided by Ramses and Sophie's daughters to become masters like the first.

 Woven By Hand -  Ramses Wissa Wassef WOVEN BY HAND (Hardcover) by Ramses Wissa Wassef (1973)

RAMSES WISSA WASSEF at Amazon

EGYPT CLOTHING AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY HANDBOOK by International Business Publications (2005)


EGYPT: HISTORIC COPTIC TEXTILES

The Coptic Tapestry Albums THE COPTIC TAPESTRY ALBUMS AND THE ARCHAEOLOGIST OF ANTINOE: ALBERT GAYET by Nancy Arthur Hoskins (University of Washington Press, 2004)

A charismatic French archaeologist, Albert Gayet (1856-1916), discovered vibrant tapestries of be-ribboned birds, cantering centaurs and Dionysian dancers, woven in Coptic Egypt more than a thousand years ago, and exhibited them in Paris, before donating them to museums or selling them. One collector, Henry Bryon, had his 144 fabrics bound into the two albums featured here. The pages and covers of The Coptic Tapestry Albums are are aglow with colours of the tapestries, with the added interest of archival photographs from Gayet's expeditions.

The author discusses how the style, structure and iconography of each tapestry, tabby and tablet-woven textile realtes to the cultural setting of Late Antique and Early Christian Egypt and explains - with the help of detailed technical drawings - the special weaving techniques of the Copts.

A nice touch is the provision of instructions for six weaving projects inspired by the ancient album fragments from Coptic Egypt .

COPTIC TEXTILE DESIGNS: 144 EGYPTIAN DESIGNS FROM THE EARLY CHRISTIAN ERA (Dover Pictorial Archive) by M. Gerspach

A rich sourcebook of graphic motifs - 153 designs, including the 9 designs in colour on the covers! Animals, geometrics, human figures, wave and scroll effects, fruits, floral and leaf patterns etc.

LOOMS AND TEXTILES OF THE COPTS: FIRST MILLENNIUM EGYPTIAN TEXTILES IN THE CARL AUSTIN RIETZ COLLECTION OF THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (MEMOIRS OF THE CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES, NO. 11.) by Diane Lee Carroll (Paperback, 1988)

FRAGILE REMNANTS: EGYPTIAN TEXTILES OF LATE ANTIQUITY AND EARLY ISLAM by Peter Noever (Hatje Cantz, Bilingual ed. 2006)

Coptic textiles from the Theodor Graf collection, each described in detail, archeologically classified and having the weaving methods examined.

AN ICON OF THE VIRGIN. A SIXTH-CENTURY TAPESTRY PANEL FROM EGYPT by Brunilde Sismondo. Ridgway (1969)

EGYPTIAN CARPETS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE by Luanne Brown and Sidna Rachid (Paperback, The American University in Cairo Press, 1986)



HISTORIC TEXTILES FROM ROMAN, BYZANTINE AND ISLAMIC EGYPT

EMBROIDERIES AND SAMPLERS FROM ISLAMIC EGYPT (Ashmolean Handbooks) by Marianne Ellis

Rare embroideries and woven striped silks, painted fabrics and knitting from time of the Tulunid, Fatimid, and Ayyubid, through to the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria, up to the Ottoman conquest, from one of the world's most important collections of medieval Islamic embroideries - in the Department of Eastern Art in Oxford University's Ashmolean Museum. The embroideries are mainly dress items or domestic furnishings made in Egypt or Syria, and some samplers.

Both the introductory text and the large, informatively captioned, full color pictures are packed with useful details about the wide variety of embroidery stitches and techniques already in use at that time, thread count, size, provenance, even carbon dating. There's contextual information about both techniques and patterns (mainly geometric design, but there are also examples of scrolling and Arabesque design, and figurative motifs such as birds, animals and fish, and calligraphy).

THE RICH LIFE AND THE DANCE: WEAVINGS FROM ROMAN, BYZANTINE AND ISLAMIC EGYPT by Eunice Dauterman Maguire (Krannert Art Museum )

The textile collection of Rose Choron features rare examples from Egypt's Coptic Christians and the Islamic period, primarily from the third to seventh centuries. "The Rich Life and the Dance" displays many hand-woven fabrics from the Rose Choron collection to illustrate how the ancient Egyptians used textile design to celebrate their festivals, food and dancing. The weavings feature dancers and praying saints, the flowers and animals the life-giving Nile, and sometimes religious calligraphy. The images are a visual feast and give insight into this ancient people - their dress, interior decoration and world-view. The text provides historical and mythic context, and detailed technical explanations.

TEXTILES / CLOTHING IN ANCIENT EGYPT

EGYPTIAN TEXTILES (Shire Egyptology) by Rosalind Hall

A comprehensive look at many aspects of Egyptian textiles and clothing, also explaining the archaeological importance of textiles. Subjects include the wardrobes of Tutankhamun and other Pharaohs, laundry methods (washing and pleating, laundry lists and marks, and the washermen's complaints), sewing, darning, embroidery (with an inventory of embroidery stitches) and dressmaking. The costumes depicted on reliefs and statues are described. Garment prices, types of dress (or undress, in the case of prostitutes) and the use of clothing as a status symbol in ancient Egypt are all considered, accompanied by useful black and white illustrations.

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN FASHIONS (History of Fashion) by Tom Tierney (2000)

A colouring-book-plus . . .

The 45 black and white illustrations show gowns, kilts and head dresses for royalty, costumes for dancers and musicians, ceremonial garb and other clothing styles worn throughout Egyptian civilization. Also, accurate representations of the hair styles of Ancient Egypt, weapons, fans, musical instruments used alongside the clothing. The illustrations are based on temple decorations, paintings and artifacts.
Ages 9-12

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COSTUMES PAPER DOLLS (HISTORY OF COSTUME) by Tom Tierney (2000)

THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF COSTUME AND FASHION: FROM ANCIENT EGYPT TO THE PRESENT DAY by Bronwyn Cosgrave (2001)

PATTERNS FOR THEATRICAL COSTUMES: GARMENTS, TRIMS AND ACCESSORIES FROM ANCIENT EGYPT TO 1915 by Katherine Strand Holkeboer

CLOTHING CULTURE : DRESS IN EGYPT IN THE FIRST MILLENNIUM by Frances Pritchard (Hatje Cantz)



EGYPTIAN TEXTILES - EDUCATIONAL / CLASSROOM RESOURCES

Stories In Art: Tapestries And Textiles with fun craft projects STORIES IN ART: TAPESTRIES AND TEXTILES with fun craft projects by Rob Childs and Louise Spilsbury (Wayland, 2008)

Discusses six examples of textile art and the stories depicted in them, focusing on interesting detail, as well as looking at the medium's history and technique. Projects at the back enable allow readers to put what they have learned into practise.

Create! Textiles Technology Student Handbook and CD-ROM CREATE! TEXTILES TECHNOLOGY STUDENT HANDBOOK with CD-ROM by Helen Wilson (Heinemann Educational Publishers, 2003)

The "Create!" Design and Technology course for Key Stage 3 follows the QCA scheme provides all the material needed to deliver the demands of the Key Stage 3 strategy and supports ICT requirements. A customisable CD-ROM offers a wide range of differentiated worksheets. Student books are well through through, with clear links to the Key Stage 3 strategy , plus design-and-make assignments, product evaluations and practical tasks. Each section has suggestions for giving a clear focus to lessons, and a plenary.

EGYPTIAN CHARTED DESIGNS by Julie S. Hasler (Dover Needlework)

more books about Egyptian designs

EGYPTIAN DESIGNS IRON-ON TRANSFER PATTERNS by Diane Gaspas (Dover Pictorial Archives)



EGYPT: TEXTILES at Amazon

EGYPTIAN TEXTILES:
SPECIALISTS / COLLECTORS / TECHNICAL

THE ANCIENT TEXTILE INDUSTRY AT AMARNA (Em 68) (Excavation Memoirs) by B. Kemp and G Vogelsang-Eastwood (2001)

SCIENTIFIC ANALYSIS OF ANCIENT AND HISTORIC TEXTILES by Paul Wyeth and Rob Janaway (2005)

Contains papers from the conference of the AHRB Centre for Textile Conservation and Textile Studies in Winchester. This book discusses topics such as, identification of textile materials, assessment of textile deterioration, characterisation of fibre behaviour, non-destructive monitoring of ageing, and evaluating risks of conservation and display.

ANCIENT TEXTILES: PRODUCTION, CRAFTS AND SOCIETY (Millennialism and Society) by C. Gillis and Marie-Louise Nosch (2007)

TEXTILE MESSAGES: INSCRIBED FABRICS FROM ROMAN TO ABBASID EGYPT (Studies in Textile & Costume History) by Cacilia Fluck and Gisela Helmecke (Hardcover, 2006)

A study of the historical, linguistic, sociological and artistic aspects of textiles from the first millennium AD, reflecting the changes in Egypt culture, religions and languages shown in the Greek, Coptic or Arabic texts included in the designs shown (including fabrics from international collections). Radiocarbon dating and other technical subjects are also covered.



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