The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History

Written by:
Kassia St. Clair
Narrated by:
Helen Johns

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
November 2019
11 hours 27 minutes
The bestselling author of The Secret Lives of Color returns with this rollicking narrative of the 30,000-year history of fabric, briskly told through thirteen charismatic episodes.

From colorful 30,000-year-old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to the Indian calicoes that sparked the Industrial Revolution, The Golden Thread weaves an illuminating story of human ingenuity. Design journalist Kassia St. Clair guides us through the technological advancements and cultural customs that would redefine human civilization-from the fabric that allowed mankind to achieve extraordinary things (traverse the oceans and shatter athletic records) and survive in unlikely places (outer space and the South Pole). She peoples her story with a motley cast of characters, including Xiling, the ancient Chinese empress credited with inventing silk, to Richard the Lionhearted and Bing Crosby. Offering insights into the economic and social dimensions of clothmaking-and countering the enduring, often demeaning, association of textiles as 'merely women's work'-The Golden Thread offers an alternative guide to our past, present, and future.
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Utterly fascinating book, well written and engagingly narrated in the audio version. I have been convinced: textiles are the original genius technology, and their power and influence endures today in ways I had not thought of. This is not a book about fashion; it’s about human creativity, adventure and exploration, war and competition, and growth, both political and cultural. And the author quite rightly shines a spotlight on women’s history, usually completely overlooked, and how their work impacted the “big” histories we imagine took place without them. Brilliant!!

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