World Shibori Network

Celebrating the visual languages of PEOPLE, COMMUNITY, CULTURE, and ENVIRONMENT through the global practice of resist-dye traditions and innovations, keeping in mind authenticity, reciprocity, and networking.

Robert Baldwin


Berkeley, Calif. USA


R. E. Baldwin is an internationally recognized scholar specializing in the study of military evasion and escape aids, and the acknowledged world authority on lifesaving textiles known as “blood chits” — language aids provided to military aviators for use in the event that they are forced down among people whose language they do not speak and whose culture they do not understand. Hands-on textile skills: skin sewing

For Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin’s recent travel photos reflecting their interest in tribal peoples and textiles (use “slideshow” option): view here


“Behind Enemy Lines: Evasion and Escape Aids of World War Two” (will include many rare historic textiles), Frazier History Museum, Louisville, Kentucky, February 28 – April 18, 2013. Opening reception March 1, 2013, 6:30 p.m.;
Fragile Hope: Lifesaving Textiles in Time of War, Design Museum, University of California, Davis;
[“Fragile Hope” featured military blood chits and cloth maps, shown for their design elements, artistry, and craftsmanship. “This survival textiles exhibition struck a deep chord with viewers…compelling curatorial lecture.” – Newsletter, Textile Society of America];
Presentations to gatherings of textile artists, Arimatsu, Japan, and Kiryu, Japan;
Presentation to the American Aviation Historical Society;
Presentation to the Experimental Aviation Association;
Events: Air Force Museum, Planes of Fame Museum, Wings of Freedom Air Show


Consultant to the National Museum of the United States Air Force;
Consultant to the Textile Arts Council, de Young Museum, San Francisco


Last Hope: The Blood Chit Story, Schiffer Publishing, 1997. Ten+ years of exhaustive research, the definitive work on the history, development of blood chits from 1793 – end of Second World War;
Article: “Silk Escape Maps, Where are they Now?” – Mercator’s World;
Contributor, The Armourer, Britain’s premier periodical for militaria collectors;
Numerous articles, ranging from evasion and escape to embroidered Hmong “Story Cloths”;
Appearances on ABC Television News and on BBC Radio discussing lifesaving military textiles


definitive blood chit and cloth map collections;
significant evasion kit, barter kit, individual survival kit collections;
significant clandestine escape aids collection;
small wartime Japanese furoshiki collection;