The Primary Structures of Fabrics An Illustrated Classification

Irene Emery

Irene Emery’s innovative construction of a comprehensive system for describing fabrics was recognized as a classic on its first publication in 1966.


Based on years of study of a huge range of fabrics produced by hand or by strictly limited mechanization, its essential strength is its universality. In this monumental work, the structures and the descriptive terms applied to them are clearly presented according to their logical relationships to each other, moving from the simplest to the most complex. The book is divided into three parts: the raw materials of fabric structures (filaments and fabric elements); the fabric structure themselves, whether felted or made from interworked yarns; and structures such as stitches or appliqué.


Based on years of study of fabrics produced both by hand and by machine, and offers a solid survey of the structural makeup of fabrics and their pieces. Any college-level arts collection strong in fabric art - as well as many needlework library - needs this definitive guide.

— Midwest Book Review


Irene Emery


Irene Emery (1900-1981) was Curator of Technical Studies at the Textile Museum in Washington.