The Enigma of the Shadow Weave Illuminated: Understanding Classic Drafts for Inspired Weaving Today

Schiffer Craft. Sept. 2022. 192p. ISBN 9780764362040. $49.99. FIBER CRAFTS
Master weaver Winter’s beautifully written and lushly illustrated book provides practical diagrams framed by the history of shadow weave, a shimmering woven textile with dark-and-light effects. As practical and magical as shadow weave itself, the book is intended for fiber artists who have some weaving experience and want to try something that requires patience, practice, and interest in the stories underneath “plain weave” areas. Winter intersperses orderly glossaries and lists of shadow weave’s attributes with narratives that hint at the magical, intangible qualities of the tactile practice. One can easily find shadow weave tutorials online (but not Marian Powell’s seminal out-of-print 1976 guide to shadow weave, whose legacy Winter revives), but this book hearkens to the grander stories told by textiles; it’s a valuable work that recovers weavers’ voices, documents traditions, and teaches a foundational practice.
VERDICT Winter ensures shadow weave will keep evolving utilizing the powerful combination of text and subtext, of external and internal layering, that is integral to weaving.
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