If you’re looking for a great Christmas gift for the serious needleworker in your life, you couldn’t go wrong with the book The Art of Embroidery by Lanto Synge. This is not a technique book – it’s a history book.
Mr. Synge takes the embroidery enthusiast on a journey through the development of embroidery, packing his book with hundreds of color photos that are awe-inspiring. Yes, this stuff used to be done by hand!! Some of the work is utterly unbelievable. Thumbing through the pages is almost as good as seeing the works in person, especially since Mr. Synge gives a very readable history of the techniques, people, and places in the “glory days” of embroidery’s past.
You’ll get not only an in-depth look at historical embroidery in Western culture, but you’ll also be instructed on the influence of Eastern countries on the textiles in the West.
The only problem with the book is the price tag, I guess. You can purchase it new through Hedgehog Handworks, for a mere $95. This is one of the reasons I think it’s for the serious embroidery enthusiast! I was able to find a copy, new, at ABE Books for less than $50, but I think it was a steal! I haven’t seen one since for that price.
If you’ve got someone who is close to you who loves needlework, textiles, or history, I think this would be a special gift. It makes a great coffee table book. At my house, people generally indifferent to the art of embroidery still pick it up and flip through it often, enamored by the photos and awed by the magnificent work of past ages.