Interpreting Themes in Textile Art

Textile Art Book Reviews

At Mr X Stitch we love to review textile art and embroidery books for you. There are so many great books to discover, packed with needlework inspiration and textile techniques, so we dive into each book to find out what’s good, what’s bad and let you know why you should pick it up.

Interpreting Themes in Textile Art, written by Els Van Baarle and Cherilyn Martin , is classed as an inspirational and practical book focused on interpreting the themes we see in textile art.  Is this the one for you?


This book as a collective piece, showcases the work produced by the authors and explores their own favoured starting points; what inspires them to create as they do.  Six themes have been chosen and illustrated through the book, each with their own stating point and potential to grow.  Yet will it inspire us?  21

Who is the book for?

Interest in textiles is an obvious requirement.  Are you stuck for ideas?  Then maybe this will help, depending on the things which inspire you personally.  Although you would not have to have masses of experience to appreciate this book, it is certainly directed for more than the interested beginner….

Interpreting Themes in Textile Art
The book seems to be pointed towards artists looking for inspiration, rather than someone interested in becoming at artist.


At around 128 pages, there’s plenty to view.  As mentioned, the book is divided into sections for ease of access:

Interpreting Themes in Textile Art
The themes explored within this book.

What makes it special?


Although the book has limited themes, is does not lack in colour and content.  A wide range of artistic styles are conveyed through the illustrations.  In the chapter on memory, Cherilyn demonstrates how old fabrics and textiles can be recycled to include your own stitched drawings.

Interpreting Themes in Textile Art
From the subtle and vintage………..
Interpreting Themes in Textile Art
To the dyed and colourful.

Not just an artists plug of their work, projects are put out for us to try ourselves and “interpret”.


Interpreting Themes in Textile Art
The number of images throughout helps us to be fed with a drip of ideas; some we might like, others discard.

What is wrong with the book?

Although a wide range of ideas are shown, the book does have some boundaries and focuses on what inspired the authors, thus it can come across as niche at times thematically.

However we are led through exploring their chosen themes:

Interpreting Themes in Textile Art
We get advice how to interpret the themes.


Overall this is a great example of a Batsford published book; it is one to have on the shelf and turn to as required and could work well for those studying textiles, especially is they are specialising in one of the themes covered.

Find your copy here in our Amazon store.

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