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Anni Albers with her book On Weaving, ca. 1965
Cover of On Weaving featuring Anni Albers' weaving Under Way (1963)
Diagram showing method of draft notation: Plain weave
On Weaving plate 10.
Diagram showing method of draft notation: Warp twill 2/1
On Weaving plate 11.
Interlocking twill developed from two parts (a and b)
On Weaving plate 18
Undulating twill
On Weaving plate 19
Diagrammatic representation of a backstrap loom
On Weaving plate 5
Photo credit: The American Museum of Natural History, New York
Slit Tapestry with wrapped warp to outline design (Peru)
On Weaving plate 63
Lace headcloth, Peru, 1400–1550 A.D.
On Weaving plate 90
Photo credit: The Cooper Union Museum, New York
Tapestry detail, Middle Ica, Peru
On Weaving plate 82
Photo credit: from The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Pile cloth of the Bushongo, Congo
On Weaving plate 69.
Photo credit: from The University Museum, Philadelphia

On Weaving

Anni Albers humbly dedicated her seminal book On Weaving to "my great teachers, the weavers of ancient Peru." In her introduction to the book, Albers wrote:

I approached the subject as one concerned with the visual, structural side of weaving . . . My concern here was to comment on some textile principles underlying some evident fact. By taking up textile fundamentals and methods, I hoped to include in my audience not only weavers but also those whose work in other fields encompasses textile problems.

In her unique, luminous way, Anni Albers created an elegant, lucid, and entertaining book which in a mere 80 pages of text (supported by more than one hundred images) quietly and authoritatively provides both the general reader and the informed expert with a meditation on weaving, its history, its tools and techniques, and its implication for twentieth century design and designers.

A contemporary review of On Weaving in 1966 praised the book for its inspiration and wisdom. Capturing precisely Anni Albers’s intentions, the reviewer wrote "it should be read by every craftsman in this age where experiment has degenerated into mere concoction and first principles are disregarded in favor of the second rate."

First published in 1965 by Wesleyan University Press, Anni Albers’s seminal text On Weaving remained in print for two decades and was reissued as a paperback in 1974 and 2003. A new and expanded, full-color edition was published by Princeton University Press in 2017.