4th Edition Fabric Glossary And Fabric Reference

Overview There are several attractive features about this set. While books complement each other, each stands on it own merit so it is not necessary to purchase both.. New is the change of paper to a slightly heavier weight and from cream to white color. These changes tend to accentuate the numerous illustrations and sharp photographs. Indexes are extensive to simplify location of fabric or terminology and cross reference each other. Books are designed for lay person, student, merchandiser and all levels of textile professionals in concise but meaty wording. Set should be a standard part of any textile book collection for its educational value, clarity of subject and comprehensive text. Books have been widely reviewed and lauded in newspapers and trade and educational journals.

Fabric Glossary A must-have book. Absent is the customary alphabetical listing of fabrics. The novel approach here is to list fabrics by similarities or as family fiber members; for example, to look up a description of lawn, you would find it on a page, called a file, listed under the heading of batiste along with cambric, jaconet, mull and nainsnook. New to this edition is some information about the latest technology in nanofibers, stretch fibers and nonwovens and which is covered much more extensively in Fabric Reference.

The Glossary is spiral bound for easier page turning and to accommodate Glossary’s bulk from swatch additions There are blank pages at end of each fabric file for attaching swatches; a swatch set can be purchased separately or you can attach your own fabrics. All file pages are in alpha order; each page includes topical subheadings for fiber or yarn content describing original and present family; fabric construction; weave and finish; weights and uses; origin of names; and other essential information plus photos. There is even a category for braid which lists rick rack, soutache and other passementerie. Back side of each file has templates for attaching swatches. Specific directions are printed if using the sample swatch set..

The author’s unusual concept of lumping gives readers a total profile of fabrics at a glance and eliminates frequent cross referencing to compare like fabrics. I found this family approach a better way to recognize and understand a fabric’s origins, relationships and structure.

Glossary covers more than 600 fabric names or terms from naturals to synthetics; this broad range should appeal to fabric lovers both vintage and contemporary. There are individual charts for fabric weight ranges, fabrics according to end-use categories and fiber families. The end-use chart is wide ranging and particularly useful if you want to know which fabrics are suitable for table linens or interior decorating or baby clothes or sportswear, to name a few.

Fabric Reference The preface sums it up in a nutshell — this book is for anyone who needs accessible information on how fabrics behave and why. Best of all it presents highly technical subjects in easy-to-understand language accompanied by an abundance of illustrations and photos.

Changes to this edition are evident if you have a 3rd edition handy for comparison — book size has been increased to 8.5×11; spiral binding has been replaced by bound; pages and text have been reformatted for better graphic visibility and navigation. This latter change is significant as it helps you to locate information more easily and faster.

A main emphasis in this new edition is expansion of information on the latest technologies for nanofibers, stretch fibers and improved nonwovens.

This is not a book you read in one sitting. There are nine weighty sections dealing with definitions, fiber analysis and identification equipment; labeling; makeup of natural and manufactured fibers; yarn-to-fiber fabric processes; fabric construction; finishing covering all applications; care and storage; fabrics and ecology; testing for both professional and lay persons; and metric use. Each section is so comprehensive that its contents should be digested a few hours apart from the others. Further, if some sections do not appeal to the reader, they can be skipped without having any effect on the rest of the book.

I found that two of the most fascinating sections were From Fiber to Fabric and Finishing of Fabrics. The narrative is so straightforward it makes you understand at once. These sections cover current technology and serve to complement and update the same categories in my vintage textile books and give me a good chronological perspective.

For those of you who, like me, buy only the Glossary with no intent of getting the Reference but later decide you need a complete modern technical overview of the textile world, then this is the book to get. And undoubtedly you will find your own favorite sections to read and re-read many times.

Books are further described online www.maryhumphries.com and can be purchased at your favorite book store. The Fabric Glossary Swatch Set can be purchased from this website, or directions on a page at the end of either book.


About the Author: Mary Humphries, a Canadian, is a leading textile expert. A 1947 graduate of the University of Toronto with a masters in textile research, she has worked in a wide variety of textile fields, from commercial testing, research and development to Canadian radio and TV to college professor to consultant. She has served on and chaired numerous national textile committees and associations and was a charter member of the Institute of Textile Science, made a Fellow in 1984 for her work in education. Author of many articles and publications, her first Glossary and Reference books were published by Prentice Hall in 1996 and revised in 2000 and 2004. She is past editor of the Costume Journal for the Costume Society of Ontario (CSO), was Chair of the CSO for 2004, 2005, presently website manager as a member of the CSO Resource Committee. Anyone interested in this organization can obtain information by emailing information@costumesociety.ca or going to www.costumesociety.ca . Website: www.maryhumphries.com gives information on her books, but serves mainly for details on ordering the Swatch Set.

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