Carol Eckert "Memento Mori" detail

SDA Book Club, February: “The Golden Thread”

This year, Surface Design Association wants to share more of the amazing fibers and textiles-related books out there with our new SDA Book Club. The books featured will range from teaching skills and techniques, fiction, historical surveys, critical essays, exhibition catalogues, and more! So keep an eye out, because we’re bringing you a new book every First Friday.

This month’s book is The Golden Thread by Kassia St Clair

All textiles begin with a twist. From colourful 30,000-year old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to what the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy actually meant; from the Silk Roads to the woollen sails that helped the Vikings reach America 700 years before Columbus; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, our continuing reinvention of cloth tells fascinating stories of human ingenuity. 

When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Fabric has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places, and this book shows you how—and why.

With a cast that includes Chinese empresses, Richard the Lionheart and Bing Crosby, Kassia St Clair takes us on the run with escaped slaves, climbing the slopes of Everest and moonwalking with astronauts. Running like a bright line through history, The Golden Thread offers an unforgettable adventure through our past, present and future.

Publisher: John Murray Hachette UK
Date: October, 2018
ISBN: 9781473659049

If you’ve read this book, leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Do you have a recommendation for a recent fiber-related book you think should be included in SDA’s Book Club? Email SDA’s Managing Editor, Lauren Sinner, to let her know!


  • Charlotte Moore says

    February 7, 2020 at 8:10 am

    All textiles do not begin with a twist -- think felt!! Other than that, I get it.

  • Janet M Daniels says

    February 7, 2020 at 9:03 am

    Do you know where to get this book Golden Theeads

  • Sally Sellers says

    February 11, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    The Golden Thread is available on Amazon.

  • Sarah Haskell says

    February 12, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    I read this book on Kindle and just devoured it. I appreciated the thoroughness of get research as well as the story thread. It’s a great read, and I learned a lot about fibers, textiles and history. It’s a great compliment to “Women’s Work” by Elizabeth Barber.

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