To go to any market in West Africa, where the women are swathed in brightly patterned wraps, is to experience an assault on your visual senses. This book, too, is a visual feast, illustrating the richness and diversity of the African textile tradition, and providing designers at all levels with inspiration for their own work. Over 30 textiles from The British Museum's renowned collection are explored in detail: magnificent blue-and-white, indigo-resist-dyed cloths from West Africa; multi-coloured, tie-dyed and woven North African textiles; "mud cloths" from Mali; the unique wrap-striped weaves and ikats from Madagascar; "adinkra" block-print and painted "caligraphy" cloths from Ghana; and the "adire" cloths from Yorubaland. Who were the craftsmen behind these textiles? How were they worn and why were they made? What dyes and materials were used, what were the principal techniques employed? In his introduction, John Gillow provides the background information to bring the pieces to life. Where appropriate brief commentaries highlight the design features and detailed captions throughout provide the textile student with relevant technical information. In addition all techniques and terms are fully explained in a glossary. Whether you want to rely on the book for eye-catching patterns or refer to it for specific technical information there is a wealth of inspiration for readers of all levels.