Textiles are central to our lives and are at the heart of the world's largest industries. In recent years there has been a dynamic shift in attitudes toward textiles, fuelled in part by explosive developments in technology. While textiles have always retained roots in craft and industry, the discipline now embraces a much wider range of practices. Innovations in the industry demand a fresh approach to the subject, which this comprehensive introduction ably supplies. Taking as their starting point the very meaning of textiles, Gale and Kaur go on to show the astonishing range of opportunities for careers in the field, from the creative (artists, craftspeople and designers) to the social and industrial, to the commercial and associated practices (buyers, journalists, researchers and scientists). The Textile Book takes us behind the scenes with professionals to reveal what various jobs involve, what influences decision makers, and how their decisions affect what we buy next season. What happens to clothes before they reach the shops? What determines the 'must have' item? How can recycled bottles be transformed into silk-like yarns? These and many other questions are explored to show the diversity that makes up the contemporary global textile scene. Woven, printed, embroidered, knitted -- textiles are pivotal to the everyday experience of people in all parts of the world. This wide-ranging and informative book conveys the excitement and new challenges textiles represent and is essential reading for anyone working with, studying or simply interested in textiles.