Textile fantasy books

I love craft fantasies--books in which the characters make things with their hands, books in which crafty creativity is the cornerstone of a character's being, or in which craft production drives the plot. A particular sub-genre of these that I love are textile fantasies--with weaving, sewing, knitting or other textile arts front and center.

I've just bitten the bullet and made a new "textile fantasy" label. There you'll find the following books:

Avielle of Ria, by Dia Calhoun
The Spellcoats, by Diana Wynne Jones
Tom Ass, by Ann Laurence
Brightly Woven, by Alexandra Bracken
Silksinger, by Laini Taylor

and two that kind of stretch the boundaries of my definition:

Princess of the Wild Swans, by Diane Zahler (nettle shirts)
Princess of Glass, by Jessica Day George (lots of knitted charms)

Here are other textile fantasies that I haven't read/reviewed (many recommended by you all back when I started with this):

A Curse Dark as Gold, by Elizabeth Bunce
Weaveworld, by Clive Barker
Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry
Dragon Slippers, by Jessica Day George
The Broken Thread, by Linda Smith
Sandry's Book, by Tamora Pierce
Crewel, by Gennifer Albin (I'm not sure this is going to count, since the textiles involved seem to be the fabric of time....)

Any other recommendations? Why aren't there more books with magical embroidery?

Someday I'll have a whole nother page up at the top of Craft Fantasies...glass blowing, metal working, pottery....feel free to pass on suggestions for any of those too! Not that I have time to read and review a fraction of what I want too, but still....


  1. Very remotely I guess the Black Cauldron has an element of the textile fantasy, with Orgoch, Orddu and, um, the other one, weaving people's lives.

    I feel there should be horror stories about knitting.

  2. How about 'the magic in the weaving' by Tamora Pierce and 'daughter of sevenwaters' by Juliet Marillier.

  3. (HAHAHAHA! Pen. Horror stories about knitting. My unfinished projects staring at me accusingly second you on that opinion.)

    I could only think of Sandry's Book at present - pondering...

  4. In TARAN WANDERER, Taran undertakes every step of the weaving process, right from dealing with the raw wool on up.

    Come to think of it, that book is also a metalworking fantasy and a pottery fantasy, not to mention a finding-random-stuff-and-using-it fantasy.

    1. I love that book, the crafty part most of all. The lesson he learns from weaving rings in my head every time I am disatsified with my own efforts, and sometimes even compells me to go back and undo what I did, so as to do it better... And as well as the crafts, we get a nice lesson in sheep herding under difficult circumstances, which I enjoyed.

      But I think I will have to leave this one (in my mind at least!) as general craft fantasy, and not textile!

  5. What a fun series! (I say, putting away the knitting to comment.)
    Jessica Day George's _Princess of the Midnight Ball_'s hero knits, and eventually breaks the spell on the princesses with his knitting, though we don't know until the end that it's magic knitting. Does that count?

  6. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George talks about knitting and the soldier character uses it a lot. I think the book has patterns at the end too.

    1. Hi Katy and Melissa!

      I had forgotten that the knitting was so pivitol....I guess it does count then, especially if I'm counting Princess of Glass!

  7. I hope you'll read Crewel and decide what you think, because I do think it fits with your description, but I'm not entirely sure. And I don't want to give too much about how it works away ;) Very cool list. I love to sew, which is part of the inspiration for the book!

    1. Hi Gennifer! I'm most definitly planning on reading it!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. I LOVE this list, Charlotte, I'm so happy you linked it for me.

    I've wanted to read so many of these (Brightly Woven, Silksinger, Circle of Cranes, Princess of the Wild Swans), but the others are new to me!

    And yes, you do need to read Daughter of the Forest! :P


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