The Cloth of Egypt: All About Assiut - Belly Dance Costuming Book by Dawn Devine & Alisha Westerfeld
"The Cloth of Egypt: All About Assiut" is the first book of its kind to document and celebrate the supple and sparkling fabric known today as assiut. This single-stitch metal embroidery technique originated in Turkey, but transformed into a distinctive textile tradition in Upper Egypt during the 19th century. Vintage assiut is now an exotic cult collectable, prized . This book, will entertain and educate anyone interested in its history, legends, wear and care. Vintage clothing collectors, textile historians, and belly dancers will all find inspiration and information about this sometimes mysterious, yet always beautiful assiut cloth. Part one traces the history of this cloth, known variously as tulle bi telli, tally, and assiut, from the era when it first entered the historic record until the twenty-first century. This section of the book is lavishly illustrated with vintage images from around the globe. Part two dives into the technology of the fabric, exploring the history of the fiber content and weave structure of the ground cloth as well as the structure of the metal embroidery stitch. Part three is about integrating both vintage and modern textiles into your collection and using it in your wardrobe. Part four presents the myriad ways that assiut cloth is used for historic costuming, traditional and modern belly dance performance attire.
Dawn Devine aka Davina, art historian and author, is an internationally renowned belly dancer, who has spent more than 18 years working on an interdisciplinary research project on the history of assiut. The result is this revolutionary book, filled with more than 700 vintage and modern b/w photos to inspire and delight.
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147 reviews5 out of 5 stars
I received my book in the mail just yesterday, and I am half-way through my (first) reading! It is just packed full of information, and fascinating! I am devouring the historical parts in the beginning, and learning so many new things about this beautiful, mysterious fabric! This book is so readable and engaging--never dry, and I have not even gotten to the "Inspiration Gallery" of photos to drool over. Thank you, Dawn, for this gift to us. All your years of hard work and research gives such a rich dimension to this beloved textile. Now when I see it, I will not just see its obvious beauty, but will know so much more! Awesome, awesome, awesome!
This book answers questions I’ve had about a beautiful thrift store textile I’ve had. So interesting.
Great book, quickly shipped! So happy to have it in my dance book library at last.
If you love assuit, you must own this book. It contains a wealth of detailed history, vintage photos, repairing tips, proper storage tips, designing secrets, and costuming suggestions. Accompanied by Alisha's beautiful photographs, Dawn manages to deliver a bounty of information in a book that is a pleasure to read.
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