Taking the concept of intersemiotic translation as its point of departure, this introduction to the special issue presents an overview of the various ways in which translation, cloth and textile intersect, as well as a brief outline of how the articles included here address these intersections. An inter-semiotic translation is that in which a verbal sign is interpreted into a non-verbal system of symbols, in this case cloth and textile. Indeed, cloth and textile are at the heart of some of the most interesting and productive conceptualisations of translation, and semioticians have also proposed that cloth and textile can be understood as languages that are always-already in translation. Moreover, tailoring and painting, where clothes and textiles feature largely, have been used as rich and fruitful metaphors for the act of translating. In addition, interpreters have sometimes adapted their dress, that is, translated it, to be able to better perform their roles, while fashion and haute couture designers have also been cast as cultural interpreters. The articles that comprise this special issue consider all these dimensions and more, dealing with topics that range from science and technology, to art, literature and illustration; fashion and consumption; and political activism in a broad range of geographical contexts including Europe, Asia and Latin America.