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A magnificent work of original research, unwinding history through cloth - how we make it, use it and what it means to us

About the Author

Victoria Finlay is the critically acclaimed author of Colour - Travels Through the Paintbox and the former arts editor of the South China Morning Post. She studied social anthropology and has travelled around the world in search of stories about her subjects, from colour to jewels and fabric. As well as writing, she has worked in international development.


'Fabrics can be a clue to what is underneath the surface. The word "clue" itself comes from the Greek name for a ball of yarn that can be wound back to show the right path. The stories of fabrics, the histories of them, are about endeavour and work and secrets and feuds and inventions and abuse and beauty and ugliness, and sometimes they are about tenderness.' - Victoria Finlay

'Praise for Victoria Finlay' - -

'Her curiosity is inexhaustible, her reading wide, and her writing style a delight' - Sunday Telegraph

'A highly companionable guide, adventurous and romantic' - Independent on Sunday

'This is a rare and wonderful book - a model of erudition and charm, the writing elegant and precise, and with at least one new and fascinating revelation on every single page.' - Simon Winchester

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