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Threads of Life: A History of the World Through the Eye of a Needle Spiral-Bound | October 20, 2020

Clare Hunter

★★★★☆+ from 1,001 to 10,000 ratings

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“An astonishing feat, this patchwork of history, culture, and politics . . . takes us from Saxon England to colonized African tribes, Palestinian villages, rural China and the cramped homes of American slaves.” ―Sunday Times (London)
 
Threads of Life is a chronicle of identity, protest, memory, power, and politics told through the stories of needlework. It’s human history told from a new, surprising perspective.
 
This is a globe-spanning history of sewing, embroidery, and the people who have used a needle and thread to make their voices heard. From the political propaganda of the Bayeux Tapestry to the pink pussyhats of the Women’s March, women and men have used the language of sewing to make their voices heard, even in the most desperate of circumstances. Topics covered include:
  • The English royals
  • The Catholic Church
  • World War I soldiers coping with PTSD
  • Maps sewn by schoolgirls in the New World
  • The AIDS quilt
  • Hmong story clothes
  • And much more!
Clare Hunter, master of the craft, threads her own narrative as she takes us over centuries and across continents—from medieval France to contemporary Mexico and the United States, and from a POW camp in Singapore to a family attic in Scotland—to celebrate the age-old, universal, and underexplored beauty and power of sewing.
 
This is a thoughtful work of history and craft, full of little-known stories, and an evocative and moving book about the need we have to tell our story.
Publisher: ABRAMS
Original Binding: Trade Paperback
Pages: 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1419747657
Item Weight: 0.7 lbs
Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
Customer Reviews: 4 out of 5 stars 1,001 to 10,000 ratings
“A celebration of the power of thread … By unpicking the seams of the clothes on our backs, Clare Hunter has brought to light elements of history that have languished in our collective attic for far too long. Threads Of Life is a terrific book.”
-The Herald (Scotland)
Clare Hunter has sewn since she was a child. She has been a banner maker, community textile artist, and textile curator for over 20 years and established the community enterprise NeedleWorks in Glasgow. She was a recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2016. She lives near Stirling in Scotland.