FENG, Zhao, Sandra Sardjono and Christopher Buckley (2019). A World of Looms: Weaving Technology and Textile Arts, Zhejiang (China): Zhejiang University Press. ISBN 978-7-308-19182-1. Hardback, 297 pp., full colour illustrations, with numerous charts, diagrams and photographs; bibliography, glossary, no index. Price: US$ 73.
There are many books on textiles, especially woven examples, but few books are published about the history and classification of loom types. This publication helps to redress this imbalance. The publication is based on a series of lectures given at a three-day conference in the National Silk Museum, Zhejiang in China. The conference, with the same name, took place in 2018. So there has been a rapid turn-around from conference to conference publication. There are 24 papers in the book, which look at looms from prehistory to the present day, literally from ancient Egypt, via the warp-weighted loom found in Scandinavia to the different types of backstrap looms identified in Peru and Indonesia. The work by Christopher Buckley on how to classify looms is particularly impressive (and useful).
Recommendation: This book is a must for any serious library about the history of woven textiles, weaving technology and for those who are interested in the history of technology in general.
Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, March 2020.