African Textiles Color and Creativity Across a Continent

John Gillow


African Textiles is an authoritative survey of textile arts—unique and collectible rugs, tapestries, garments, and much more—from across the continent. John Gillow has traveled extensively throughout Africa, uncovering the dazzling range of traditional, handcrafted, indigenous textiles from each region.

Five sections detail the textile history and traditions of West, North, East, Central, and Southern Africa, examining materials, dyes, decorations, patterns, and techniques. From the stripweave cloth of the Ashanti to Ethiopian embroidery, from Berber rugs to Madagascan silk, the breadth of coverage in African Textiles is peerless. Gloriously illustrated with more than 500 color photographs and drawings, this is an essential sourcebook for anyone interested in textile design and the traditional arts of Africa.

John Gillow has written many books on textiles including, with Nicholas Barnard, Indian Textiles.


Full color illustrations of items such as Pygmy bark cloth from the Congo and Ethiopian weavings makes for an outstanding presentation any library strong in African art history will relish.

— Midwest Book Review

Readers with a passion for textiles will … settle in with the thrilling reds and calming indigos that Gillow has put before our eyes.

— Surface Design Journal


John Gillow


John Gillow has spent over three decades studying, collecting, and lecturing on textiles. His other books include Textiles of the Islamic World and Indian Textiles.