Annwyn Dean – A Dictionary of Silk


© 2018
edition of 2
dimensions in inches: 4 x 4.25 x .75


About this piece:

This book draws inspiration from the wide variety of weights and textures of silk fabrics which were becoming readily available during the C18th in both Europe and America. It was necessary for a dressmaker to understand the characteristics of the different silks and this book has increasingly larger pages representing her expanding depth of knowledge.

The collagraph prints, to either side of each page, draw their design from C18th silk fabrics, the red on the spine and the inside cover represents the red madder dyes which were so popular in that period. Each page of the book has a hand stamped name of a different type of silk fabric.

The end papers are hand printed with an antique Indian block, India being the originating source of many C18th textile designs. The cover has painted paper with a band of calligraphy to the spine and a bead and elastic closure.

The C18th silks that I have in my collection were originally woven in either France or England, it is only possible to fully authenticate the source if there is documentary evidence. The Huguenot weavers escaped religious wars in France in the C18th and went to England, so there are many similarities in design and methods. In 2018 I took part in the Huguenot Festival in London and this encouraged me to investigate further into weaving and styles of that period.

There are many textures held within the book paralleling with the different surfaces of the various silks, for instance fine lightweight and smooth silks for linings ( painted tissue paper) and the slightly rough texture of heavyweight silk woven with metal threads (collagraph prints).


paper, elastic, ink, beads

About the artist:

Annwyn Dean is a book artist and printmaker who lives in North England.

She draws her inspiration from antique textiles that she collected during her years teaching and writing about embroidery. She feels that these textile fragments have stories to tell about their makers, their journeys across the world, through the centuries and about those who wore the fabrics. She creates collagraph prints and her plates are constructed from various papers, fabrics and threads. Her methods result in prints which are full of texture and character.

About Alicia Bailey


Annwyn Dean – A Dictionary of Silk

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min