Top 6 textile artist books: Our recommendations

Top 6 textile artist books: Our recommendations

Many of our leading textile artists, embroiderers and mixed-media practitioners have written excellent books or have had excellent books written about them. Whether it’s a tutorial style guide to stitch you’re looking for, a biography of an artist you admire, or a more explorative insight into the world and history of the craft, there’s plenty of good-quality writing out there to choose from. Here, we share with you our pick of recent textile artist book releases.

Embellished: New Vintage

Embellished by Karen Nicol

Embellished by Karen Nicol

About the author

Karen Nicol is an embroidery and mixed media textile artist (featured in an interview on She works in galleries, fashion and interiors with a London based design and production studio established for over twenty-five years. She specialises in Irish, Cornelly, Multihead, beading and hand embroidery.

Her prestigious client list includes The King of Qatar, the Pope, People Tree, Marc Jacobs, Chloe, Vera Wang, John Rocha, Givenchy, Chanel couture, Mulberry, Marks and Spencers, Courtaulds, Jaeger, Harvey Nicholls, Harrods, and Libertys.

About the book

Eye-catching, sophisticated, and visually engaging, Embellished contrasts vintage objects with cutting-edge contemporary fashion and textiles. Karen showcases a keenly selected range of techniques (such as how to use sequins and tufting) and materials (such as vintage millinery straw and exotic feathers). The potential of each technique is explored to its fullest, pushing the boundaries of materials in order to create original and stunning pieces of art.

Embellished explodes onto the page and offers a journey through the process of inspiration and creativity, demonstrating how traditional processes and classic pieces can influence innovation.

Published by A & C Black Publishers Ltd, Embellished: New Vintage is available on Amazon

Dyeing and Screen-Printing on Textiles by Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor

Dyeing and screen printing on textiles by Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor

Dyeing and screen printing on textiles by Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor

About the author

Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor is a popular and respected textile artist and print-maker. She trained at the University College of Creative Arts at Farnham, Surrey and as a post-graduate at Glasgow School of Art. Her work has been exhibited in the UK and abroad and she has been a member of the 62 Group of Textile Artists since 1997. were lucky enough to interview Joanna about her work. Read the interview here.

About the book

Dyeing and Screenprinting on Textiles is an easy-to-follow guide for anyone from students to established artists and designers looking to expand their knowledge and experiment with new techniques. The book deals with the processes employed when creating dyed and screen-printed fabrics and includes recipes for cloth preparation, preparing imagery and screens for exposure, fixation and designing a repeat.

The author also offers invaluable guidance on essential equipment needed to set up a working studio with an emphasis on creativity and safety. This updated edition of the book displays images of work by artists from around the world to inspire the reader as they carry out the step-by-step instructions.

Published by A & C Black Publishers Ltd, Dyeing and Screen-Printing on Textiles is available on Amazon

Read’s interview with Joanna Kinnersly Taylor

Hand Stitch Perspectives by Jane McKeating and Alice Kettle

Hand stitched perspectives by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating

Hand stitched perspectives by Alice Kettle and Jane McKeating

About the authors

After studying at Goldsmiths College and Manchester Polytechnic Jane McKeating went on to produce a mix of hand and machine stitched textiles over a 20 year period exhibiting internationally. She is now Director of Studies in the department of Design at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Alice Kettle is a textile artist who has been represented in various public collections including the Crafts Council London and the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. Her work has been commissioned for several architectural spaces including the National Library of Australia and the Scottish High Court in Edinburgh. Alice is Senior Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University.

About the book

Hand Stitch Perspectives encompasses written and illustrated contributions, exploring hand stitch practice as a means of underpinning cultural, economic and social change. Written by practitioners, historians, theorists and educators, this book explores various uses of hand stitch from differing perspectives and investigates how this skill can support and develop the identity of individuals and communities alike.

Pre-war collections of Greek embroidery right through to contemporary practice are explored with an emphasis on diversity of approach, method and material.

Published by Bloomsbury, Hand Stitch Perspectives is available on Amazon

Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser

Textiles by Mary Schoeser

Textiles by Mary Schoeser

About the author

Mary Schoeser is a world-renowned author having published several textile art books including World Textiles: A Concise History (World of Art), and Silk and Sanderson. She is a leading authority in this field and is Honorary President of the UK Textile Society.

About the book

Textiles: The Art of Mankind is a sumptuous collection highlighting the complexity and beauty of international textiles through the ages. The book celebrates the enduring nature and appeal of textiles as a ubiquitous and diverse creative force. The author presents an almost exhaustive insight into the role textiles have played throughout history, exploring their influences and impact.

Boasting over 1,000 historical and contemporary images and textual illustrations of the variety of materials used to create the works, highly detailed descriptions and an extensive resource section, The Art of Mankind offers a mind-blowing insight into the world of textiles.

Published by Thames and Hudson Ltd, Textiles: The Art of Mankind is available on Amazon

Read the review of Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Sue Stone

Diana Springall: A Brave Eye by June Hill

A brave eye by Diana Springall

A brave eye by Diana Springall

About the author

June Hill is a freelance curator and writer. She contributes regularly to magazines and exhibition catalogues, including Embroidery Magazine, Selvedge and Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture.

About the book

A Brave Eye offers a fascinating insight into the life, work and impact of Diana Springall, one of the UK’s most respected embroiderers and a tireless advocate of the craft itself. Diana is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has been a panel lecturer at the Victoria and Albert Museum and chairman of both the Embroiderers’ Guild and the Society of Designer Craftsmen. Throughout her career, she has been instrumental in increasing the profile of embroidery in the fine art world, and has been mentor to some of our best contemporary textile artists including Alice Kettle.

Published by A & C Black Publishers Ltd, Diana Springall: A Brave Eye is available on Amazon

Stitch Rhythms and Patterns by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn

Stitch Rhythms and Patterns by Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn

Stitch Rhythms and Patterns by Jan Beaney & Jean Littlejohn

About the authors

Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn are internationally renowned textiles artists, authors and tutors. Jan and Jean are both members of the prestigious 62 Group of textile artists (Jan has the honour of being the longest-serving member). Together, they formed Double Trouble Enterprises to promote interest in and exploration of embroidery and related techniques. Their aim is to enable students to design and create work with a unique style with confidence.

About the book

In Stitch Rhythms and Patterns, Jan and Jean encourage the reader to take stock of the fascinating rhythms and patterns that are constantly around us in everyday life. Using these as inspiration, they show us how a wide range of unique and exciting techniques can be used to combine innovation with tradition. They demonstrate how soluble fabrics, hand and machine stitching, embellishing, and bonding and transfer printing can expand the way an artist works with fabric and thread. A stimulating and enabling read for any aspiring textile artist.

Published by Double Trouble, Stitch Rhythms and Patterns is available from the Amazon

Let us know what your favourite resource or book is by leaving a comment below.

Monday 30th, March 2020 / 01:09

About the author

Joseph Pitcher is the son of textile artist Sue Stone. He is an actor and voice-over artist and has worked at the RSC, the National Theatre, West End theatres and several other leading regional venues across the UK. Find Joe on Google

View all articles by Joe

13 comments on “Top 6 textile artist books: Our recommendations”

  1. bakare olayinka olumide says:

    they are fantastic,and how do i know there prices

  2. Hello,,i am a Couture Fashion Designer — ladies wear..I go thru lots of books on art,,natures,,Historical monuments, artist works,etc..I get inspired from this book to developed my line of creation to do a collection. I generally go thru embroideries works, textile arts, cuts and patterns for bridal dresses.I like some of your above mention books.I will be thanks if you can send me pictures of couture embroidery tech” and the old century gold embroidery worn by the Queens at that Era…
    Syed Zunaid Haque

  3. Angela says:

    My favourite book is ’embroidered originals’ by Sue RangeleyThe photos are brilliant and whenever I open it I can picture Sue and her amazing stand at the show I visited and having the book signed in front of me. It’s not really a how-to-do book but a book that leads me in my own direction as it is so inspiring.

  4. Thanks for your articles/newsletters. very informative…Textile news from the UK is always welcome at my studio

  5. Jen Purslow says:

    I’m really enjoying your e mails and have recommended you to a friend.

  6. Karen says:

    A great list. Thank you for the recommendations!

  7. Shabnam Majeed says:

    It is very informative site for all sorts of textile designers and textile artists. Everytime i learn something new from here.
    Craft and Textile Department

  8. I’m amazed at the diversity of your articles I’m always interested to read them such talented people keep up the good work

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hello and welcome to is a place for textile artists and art enthusiasts to be inspired, learn from the best, promote their work and communicate with like-minded creatives.

From the bookshelf

What the artists say

" is an invaluable resource. I am constantly sending students there and sharing it with other practitioners".

Nigel Cheney
Lecturer in Embroidered Textiles at NCAD

"The beauty of is that whenever you visit you'll discover something that you didn't already know".

Rachel Parker
Textile Study Group Graduate of the year 2012

" gives contemporary textile practice a voice; leading artists, useful guides and a forum for textiles".

Cas Holmes
Textile Artist and teacher

"This website is exactly what we need in the textiles world. A fantastic inspirational resource".

Carol Naylor
Textile and Embroidery Artist

  Get updates from via RSS or Email

Most Viewed