CFP: Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles

12 Jan 2021

Co-chief editors Janis Jefferies and Vivienne Richmond have issued a call for contributors to The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles. Of particular interest are contributions to Volume 1: Raw Materials, and contributions that relate to any aspect of textile and material collections in museums.

Call for Contributors

Textiles have been essential to human life since pre-history, have been traded for millennia and - as the continuing focus of technological and artistic innovation - have a dynamic future in the form of e-textiles. TheBloomsbury Encyclopedia of World Textiles will offer, in 700 articles, 3 million words, and 3,500 images, the definitive resource on textiles across cultures and time. Drawing upon archaeology, anthropology, history, art, design, and the social sciences as well as materials science and technology, the ten-volume set will present original articles which:

  • define textiles
  • describe how they have been made, traded and consumed globally over time
  • examine their uses, meaning and significance in both private and public domains

explore the new materials created as a result of recent technological advances and engage with the future of textiles in a world of finite resources

The architecture of the encyclopedia will reflect the multimodal nature of the subject and will be organized into ten overarching themes:

  1. Raw Materials: natural fibers, synthetic filaments, blending fibers, spinning and twining threads and yarns
  2. Cloth in Cultures - Wovens: woven structures, techniques and technologies in the history of weaving
  3. Cloth in Cultures - Non-Wovens: history, technology, range of formation and use including knits, felt, lace, and non-wovens for medical and industrial use
  4. Color: dyeing, dyes and the application of color to fibers and fabrics, printing and resist techniques
  5. Embellishment: finishing, surface design, embroidery, subtraction, and new technology applications informing the design, aesthetics and qualities of textile substrates
  6. Trade and Industry: global circulation of local manufacture, and the migration and consumption of textile products, both historically and contemporaneously
  7. Function and the Everyday: textiles in the spheres of domesticity and duty
  8. Politics and Power: textiles as global signifiers of status, wealth, national identity, ideology, and global influence
  9. Sacred and Ceremonial: the role and meaning of textiles in world ritual, religions, ceremonies and celebrations

Textile Futures: textile environmental impacts and proposals for new ecologies of textile production, consumption and disposal, textiles and health

Individual entries will be a maximum of 4,000 words.

Prospective contributors are invited to submit brief proposals (1-2 paragraphs), identifying the proposed topic and volume, and may submit proposals for more than one topic or volume. Please also send a brief CV.

Please send proposals and/or requests for further information to Vivienne Richmond at: or