This vibrantly illustrated book, which is newly available in paperback, is an original look at the myriad roles played by textiles in all aspects of human life, from ancient weavings to light-sensitive and other futuristic fabrics of our own era. Beverly Gordon discusses how textiles are an integral part of the human life journey from cradle to grave in a multitude of practical, symbolic and spiritual ways. The many uses of textiles in our everyday lives and their sources are illustrated, along with a discussion about how, as a valuable commodity, in some communities textiles function as money. Finally, the author outlines how textiles are a means of communication functional, political and artistic and a metaphor for transcendence. This book will captivate and inspire anyone who has a passion for textiles and textile arts, whether educational, creative or professional.