The Art of Manipulating Fabric



The possibilities for three-dimensional manipulation of fabric – gathering, pleating, tucking, shirring, and quilting woven materials – are seemingly endless. To describe them all would be to describe all of the history of sewing.

In The Art of manipulating Fabric, Colette Wolff has set herself just this task, and she succeeds brilliantly. Working from the simplest imaginable form – a flat piece of cloth and a threaded needle – she categorizes all major dimensional techniques, show how they’re related, and give examples of variations both traditional and modern. The result is an encyclopedia of techniques that resurface, reshape, restructure and reconstruct fabric.

  • More than 350 diagrams toughen the extensive how-tos, organized into broad general categories, then specific sub-techniques
  • Handsome photos galleries showcase the breathtaking possibilities in each technique and aid visual understanding by emphasizing the sculptured fabric surface with light and shadow
  • Textile artists and quilters, in addition to garment and home decor sewers, will expand their design horizons with the almost limitless effects that may be achieved

Those who knit, crochet, or embroider have long had sources to which to turn for in-depth instructions on specific stitches and stitch combinations. Now there is one of these reference for the sewer–an encyclopedic approach to gathering, shirring, ruffling, tucking, pleating, and quilting and their myriad variations. Filled with hundreds of diagrams and crisp black-and-white photos, this volume explains in detail how to reach a tremendous range of three-dimensional fabric effects. This isn’t a book of particular projects; this can be a book of instruction and inspiration for anyone who has ever wielded needle and thread. –Amy Handy
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