With fewer and fewer brick-and-mortar bookstores, we are losing the opportunity to browse through a book in order to get a sense of the quality of its contents. This site was created in part to introduce the three books by Susan Meller shown on the BOOKS page by providing an in-depth look inside each – something not offered on any other website.
Other books from the author’s library of rare and vintage books are offered for sale in the BAZAAR. Most of these books are related to textiles or the decorative arts and as such are visual in nature.
This site also offers for sale antique and vintage textiles from the author’s collection in the BAZAAR. Some of these pieces are illustrated in her books, others have never been seen outside of Central Asia where they were made.
NOTECARDS based on designs from the books are also available in the bazaar.
The ARCHIVAL IMAGES section shows archival photographs and illustrations of people and places in Central Asia. These images are available for reproduction upon request – a one-time fee is charged based on usage.
About the Author
Susan Meller is the coauthor of the highly acclaimed Textile Designs: Two Hundred Years of European and American Patterns for Printed Fabrics Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period (1991). She is also the author of Russian Textiles: Printed Cloth for the Bazaars of Central Asia (2007) and Silk and Cotton: Textiles from the Central Asia That Was (2013), all published by Abrams, NY. In addition to these books, she is a contributing author to Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats, by Sumru Belger Krody, The Textile Museum, 2010.
An independent scholar, she worked in the textile industry for many years. Her employment as a textile designer and mill strike-off artist for Dan River and Riegel Textile Corp. during the 1960s, enabled her to step back in time and experience first hand the operations of textile printing plants in the old mill towns of Ware Shoals, SC, Trion, GA, and Beacon, NY. The “company store” was operating and workers were stilll living in the small run-down company-owned cottages lining a street near the Ware Shoals mill. Cotton dust was thick inside the factory and the sound of immense copper-roller printing machines was deafening. The machines ran day and night so the strike-off artist, whose job it was to approve each pattern before 10,000 or more yards were run, got very little sleep during those days at the mill. But it was an invaluable experience that helped the author both understand the workings of what was in effect a 19th century textile-printing mill, as well as gain a deep appreciation for what went into producing a piece of printed cloth.
During the 1970s, she and her late husband, Herbert Meller, founded a textile archive in New York City called The Design Library. It grew to contain millions of documentary textiles, some no bigger than swatches to large Indian hand-painted palampores. Thousands of original designs and pattern books from studios and mills in Europe and the U.S. helped to provide solid documentation. Today The Design Library continues to expand and flourish under the stewardship of Peter Koepke. In 2000, the company was relocated to Wappingers Falls, NY, into fittingly, an old textile mill.
You may contact Susan Meller at: firstname.lastname@example.org