Book Review: The Art of Manipulating Fabric
The Art of Manipulating Fabric by Colette Wolff and published by Krause, is a crafty classic that every sewer should at least leaf through. But I warn you - browse through with caution, because if you are in any way interested in fabric, you will be running out to order your own copy!
Within it's pages, there are literally hundreds of techniques, photo's and ideas on how to turn a flat piece of fabric into a thing of stitched beauty.
What's it about?
If you've ever wandered how to smock, pleat, tuck, ruffle and quilt, this is the book for you. It contains so many different techniques and ideas on sewing fabric that even the most advanced sewer would find something new within it's pages.
There is a Foreword and a Preface. The Forewood is written by the editor - Robbie Fanning. Robbie talks about how involved Colette became in writing the book and how it escalated over a few years from being a simple book of fabric manipulation to becoming almost a bible of fabric manipulation.
The preface is by Colette Wolff and explains how she set about writing the instructions. She wrote the book as she couldn't find a book detailing all of the traditional techniques with fabric and also a book that included all the many different ways of working with fabric.
Above: Did you even know there are that many different ways to pleat? I know I didn't!
There are no real projects as such. Instead there are highly detailed instructions for each technique which you are encouraged to adapt for your own chosen project.
Each technique is illustrated with both photographs and graphic drawings so that you can follow along the instructions.
What else is there?
What makes this book really interesting in comparison to a lot of similar books on textiles and fabric manipulation is the distinct lack of colour.
The whole book is in black and white with no colour. At first this may sound strange as most of us 'textile and creative types' are drawn to colour and how to use it to our advantage. But, the use of only black and white images really adds to the success of this book.
You are not distracted by thread choice or fabric texture. Your eyes are drawn to the techniques and the beauty in them and not to the choice of fabric. This is really refreshing and helps you to become creative in your thoughts of how and where you can use your new favourite technique.
This book is for serious textile, fabric and sewing lovers. It's not your beginner's 'This is how you sew' book, it's a more advanced 'This is how you sew beautifully' type of book.