Kassia St Clair studied the history of women's dress and the masquerade during the eighteenth-century at Bristol and Oxford. She has since written about design and culture for the Economist, House & Garden, Quartz and 1843. Her much acclaimed first book The Secret Lives of Colour was a Radio 4 Book of the Week. She lives in London.
A history of fabric might not sound immediately exciting, but St Clair's book is a refreshing treat, every page bursting with surprising insights. Clothing, she argues, is central to history, from myths and legends to trade and technology. The threads woven by the Greek Fates, the bandages that wrapped Egyptian mummies, the wool that made medieval England rich, the lace in Vermeer's paintings : it all makes for a smart and entertaining historical tapestry - SUNDAY TIMES, History Book of the YearThe history of the world through the eye of a needle... Fascinating... I recommend this book to anyone - THE SPECTATORA joyful commingling of text and textiles - NatureWill make you rethink your relationship with fabric - Elle DecorationA charming, absorbing and quietly feminist history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits... I devoured this book - SUNDAY TIMESA joyful commingling of text and textiles in 13 beautifully wrought stories. We visit a cave where dyed fibres more than 30,000 years old have been discovered; goggle at the starched intricacy of sixteenth-century lace ruffs; flinch over astronauts' nappies and the sodden sleeping bags of early polar expeditions; and savour the idea of materials spun from spiders' webs. - NATURE