27 April 2023

A World Tour


Patchwork: A World Tour, by Catherine Legrand, was originally published in French as Patchworks: Une mosaïque du monde. Patchworks is the second recent French-language survey of international patchwork textiles, though this translation, published by Thames and Hudson, is the first book on the subject in English. (Caroline Crabtree and Christine Shaw’s Quilting, Patchwork and Appliqué: A World Guide, a previous Thames and Hudson publication, also covered international patchwork, alongside other textile techniques.)

Legrand’s book, like patchwork itself, is a colourful collection of material, assembled and juxtaposed. The scope is truly global: there are chapters on all continents with native populations, with the exception of Australia. (Therefore, Aboriginal patchworks are unfortunately omitted.) Patchworks from more than thirty individual countries are included, with China and the US receiving the most extensive coverage. The patchworks photographed for the book—most of which are quilts and items of clothing—are sourced from an impressive variety of museums and private collections. The full-page, close-up illustrations are superb, and there’s a comprehensive bibliography.

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