About the Bibliographica Textilia Historiae


The Bibliographica Textilia Historiae is the first and only annotated general bibliography attempting to document all facets of the world history of textiles. When it was published in 1997 in book form it contained over 5,000 titles —printed books and pamphlets, serials, articles and offprints, dissertations, royal decrees and laws— published in all languages, but mostly European, since the late fifteenth century to date, treating all aspects of the history of handwoven textiles, including woven and printed textiles, embroidery, lace, tapestry, dyeing, carpets, weaving and fiber technology, pattern books, and costume, among many other subjects.

It has since been much enlarged and now contains over 9,000 records with over 25,000 individual entries of authors, articles, reviews and books. This enlarged material database has been catalogued with a fully searchable indexing program and is now available online on this website as a free open-access database, fully searchable by multiple keywords and criteria. For more information and to use the database click here.

The bibliography covers the history of hand-woven textiles as an art, a craft and its techniques of production, as well as its central role in early industrial and commercial history, from so-called "primitive" society, through antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the renaissance to early industrialization.

Each entry consists of the following minimum information: author, title, edition, place of publication, publisher, date, and series title, with most works given with full title pages, collations and descriptions most of which cannot be found in any other reference source or database.

While a substantial part of the bibliography consists of the classic "fine art" textile literature —essentially decorative silks, Chinese, Coptic and Peruvian textiles— published since the early nineteenth century, including the basic works by Charles Cahier and Arthur Martin, Francisque-Michel, Charles de Linas, Franz Bock, Friedrich Fischbach, Daniel Rock, Emil Kumsch, Raymond Cox, Gaston Migeon, Moriz Dreger, Julius Lessing, Max Heiden, Otto von Falke, Alfred Kendrick, Paul Schulze, Isabella Errera and Ernst Flemming, the bibliography is equally concerned with the broader "social-economic-technical" textile literature concerning the production, trade and techniques of all types of textiles, including wool, cotton, linen, and dyeing. This literature includes a wide range of early works by Polydore Vergil, Thomaso Garzoni, Charles du Fresne du Cange, Jacques Savary des Bruslons, Pierre-Joseph Macquer, Jean-Marie Roland de la Platière, from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century, as well as later works by John Smith, George R. Porter, James Yates, Clinton Gilroy, Gustav Friedrich von Schmöller, Georges Espinas, Henri Pirenne, George Unwin, Eleanora Carus-Wilson, among many, many others. In addition, the bibliography includes an important number of general works on Islamic art, especially those treating Islamic woven textiles, embroideries and carpets.