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With its luxurious hardback cover, gold lettering and gold inside cover, this book promises to be something special. Published by textile book specialist Batsford (an imprint of Pavilion Books) and written by Jessica Pile, a Director at Hand and Lock. Lets discover a bit more about it…….
Who is the book for?
The keen embroiderer, especially those with a leaning towards fashion, will be eagerly awaiting this publication. Due to its content, both the traditional and contemporary textile artist would find this an inspirational tome. I envisage many a fashion student, pouring over this to glean ideas for their own collections, as well as those who are keen to customise their clothes.
The basic chapters and headings are listed at the beginning, with introductory sections, tutorials on basic embroidery and the more advanced. Beginning with an inspirational overview of the fashion industry, Pile takes us through a selection of designers and couture collections, before moving on to these do-it-yourself embroidery techniques.
The book explores the difference between hand and machine embroidery, questions we may feel too embarrassed to voice as beginners, which are oh so helpful to know. Pile encloses us personally, helping us to see what type of embroidery is best for us. Other basic advice covers what materials are needed and how to set up tools, such as a frame.
What makes it special?
The imagery held within its pages is sublime. (will come to that more in a second) , however you may find that it makes you a tad frustrated – ‘why can I not make something like that?’.
It is unusual to get a book which has strengths in so many areas. For example, the images are not just there for show, they are a reflection of what is possible to achieve through embroidery techniques….and guess what, we are taught how to do them too! So if you have the will to learn, then yes, it might be you adorning pages with your samples like these……
The unusual to the usual
What materials do we normally think of when we begin to sew? Why not mix it up? That’s the advice given in this part of the book.
If the images were not of this perfectionist standard, we might never have realised what is possible; they give us something to aspire to:
What is wrong with the book?
At first glance, you may think: ‘This is too advanced for me, I am not good enough.’ Yet with careful reading and a bit of patience, you will begin to see that this is a book to help us grow.
Pile has a way of writing, which reassures and instead of stripping us of our confidence; helps us to believe that with work and effort, we can achieve our embroidery dreams….It is simply up to us how we will use this book. A table glorifier or an embroidery bible….its your choice, but you wont regret having it in your possession.
As a freelance artist, designer, lecturer and tutor (how do I narrow down that description?!) I have been contracted by numerous arts organizations to provide Talks, Workshops’ and Masterclasses’ in Textiles, Print Making and Fine Art subjects. These include branches of the Embroiderers’ Guild, Textile Study Groups and The Women’s Institute. Every year I teach at The Knitting and Stitching shows and exhibit with the Artist in Action stand. Currently I am building up to my exhibition at The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia, London this spring; having also written articles or had work illustrated in Stitch, Inspired, Embroidery, Selvedge, Daphne’s Diary, Prima (online), Cloth Paper Scissors and the Batsford book ‘Be Creative with Textile Art.'