his sumptuous book is a wide-ranging yet accessible overview of the making, design, and use of textiles from the Indian subcontinent. Focusing on individual objects, it explores in great detail the materials and techniques used in their manufacture and discusses centres of production, patronage, markets and designs. It is the first truly comprehensive book on the subject, featuring lavishly illustrated chapters interspersed with analysis of 18 unique objects of world-historical importance, including a Kashmir map shawl, Tipu Sultan's tent, and a remarkable eighteenth-century temple hanging from South India and an Abraham & Thakore sari. While many people are familiar with aspects of South Asian textiles - Mughal velvets, chintzes for the Western markets or rural embroideries, for example - this book aims to surprise, inspire, delight and inform readers with an extraordinary range of material, much of it being published for the first time. From ancient survivals to contemporary couture that reflects the richness and dynamism of Indian textile heritage. As well as presenting great historical masterpieces, the importance and variety of basic fibres - silk, cotton, wool - from which Indian textiles are traditionally made is emphasized, and the remarkable techniques of weaving, printing, dyeing and embroidery that have lead them to be prized across the world are illustrated with specially commissioned photography.