12 Aug 2017: “Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture” (Niyogi Books) wins RL Shep Award, 2016

Press Release by Niyogi Books

Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture (Niyogi Books) by Eiluned Edwards wins the prestigious RL Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, 2016

We are very pleased to inform you that our publication, Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture by Eiluned Edwards, Niyogi Books, has been selected to receive the RL Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for 2016.

The award will be formally presented at the award banquet, which will be held at the next TSA Biennial Symposium, Oct. 19-23, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada. At that time, a certificate will be presented to the RL Shep Award winners for 2016 and 2017.

Why is this award special?

This award is to encourage the study and understanding of textile traditions by recognizing and rewarding exceptional scholarship that clearly communicates its subject, fostering appreciation for the field of textiles. Although not a first from the Asian continent, Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture by Eiluned Edwards (Published by Niyogi Books) is the first ever book from India which has won this award.

About the award

In 2000 the Textile Society of America established The RL Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, through a generous donation from RL Shep. This prestigious award, presented yearly, recognizes a book on ethnographic textiles for its outstanding scholarship and communication about textiles. Books are reviewed by the RL Shep Award Committee, an independent committee appointed by TSA. Given annually by the Textile Society of America to a publication judged to be the best book in the field of ethnic textile studies, the award consists of a cash prize of $1000 funded by an endowment established by RL Shep in 2000.

Previous Winners:

2015: Mackie, Louise W. Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th – 21st Century. Cleveland, OH and New Haven and London: Cleveland Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2015.

2015: Caldeira, Leah, Christina Hellmich, Adrienne L. Kaeppler, Betty Lou Kam, and Roger G. Rose, eds. Royal Hawaiian Featherwork: NaHuluAli’i. San Francisco and Honolulu: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and University of Hawaii Press, 2015.


2014: Ralph Isaacs Sazigyo, Burmese Manuscript Binding Tapes: Woven Miniatures of Buddhist Art. Silkworm books of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Although, our published entry Quilts of India: Timeless Textiles by Patrick J Finn (Published by Niyogi Books, India) was not selected for the award that year, it was nominated for its outstanding contribution to the field of ethnographic textiles.

About the Book: Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture

ISBN: 978-93-81523-93-3

Block Printed Textiles of India: Imprints of Culture describes how one of the subcontinent’s foremost crafts has played a key role in the creation of visual identity in India and has also been a significant source of revenue through centuries of international trade. It reveals how block prints are integral to both caste dress and modern urban style. Used nowadays for soft furnishings and fashion, they have become a perennial favourite with Indian designers and in the global fashion market. Contemporary production and use of block prints is explained, and the social and historical roots of the craft are outlined.

These textiles embody richly diverse histories shaped by trade, conquest and colonization, technological innovation and entrepreneurship; they are part of an ebullient visual and material culture that absorbs all influences and makes them Indian. It reflects the author’s extensive field research over the past twenty-four years—working with block printers, block makers, dye producers, entrepreneurs, designers, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations, in museums and private collections all over India. The book is lavishly illustrated and creates a vibrant account of the development and recent regeneration of the craft, confirming that block prints are stamped with the imprints of an ancient, diverse and ever-evolving culture.

About the Author:

Eiluned Ewards is Reader in Global Cultures of Textiles and Dress at NottinghamTrent University, UK, and also contributes to the Royal College of Art MA Design History programme and the V&A Arts of Asia course. She was previously Victoria and Albert Museum/London College of Fashion Senior Research Fellow in Textiles and Dress (2005-2009). She has a PhD in Art History and Archaeology (Manchester University, 2000).

Her dissertation analyzed how social change was reflected in the material culture of Rabaris– pastoral migrants in Kachchh district, Gujarat – focusing on their textiles and dress. Since 1991, her research has concentrated on aspects of textiles, dress, fashion and craftdevelopment in South Asia, notably India and she has published widely on these topics. Her research has been supported by the British Academy, Nehru Trust, Pasold Research Fund, and Leverhulme Trust (Research Fellowship2012-14). It has been widely disseminated through publications, teaching, conferences and exhibitions. Some of her previous publications include The Idea of Gujarat (2010), British Asian Style (V&A, 2010), and contributions to The Encyclopedia of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures (2014).

Author’s Contact Address:
Dr. Eiluned Edwards
5A, Berkeley Avenue
Mapperley Park
Ph: +44 (0)115 848 8135/ +44 (0)115 941 8418 Email ID:
eiluned.edwards@ntu.ac.uk, eilunededwards@hotmail.com

Media Contact:
Email: pr@niyogibooksindia.com

Phone: 011-26816301, 26818960

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