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TRC Blog: Textile Moments

Chart of a Swedish reindeer design, 1960's

Below is a chart of the embroidery design that is derived from the pattern used for a woman's cotton apron from eastern Europe. It includes stylised deer worked in black embroidery thread (cross stitch and Holbein stitch). It dates to the 1960's.​ For a PdF file of the chart, click here.

 

East European deer chart, 1960's

East European deer chart, 1960's

 

Deer design for an East European apron, 1960's.

Deer design for an East European apron, 1960's.

 

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 16 October 2016

   

Embroidery chart of a Romanian geometric design

As part of a new series of embroidery charts is a pattern that was used for a mid-20th century woman's blouse from Romania. It was worked in cross stitch and chain stitch in light blue and turquoise. The stitches are worked in various directions. The pattern is worked on the sleeves. It is an urban garment embellished with a traditional design. For a PdF file of the chart, click here.

 

Embroidery chart of Romanian woman's blouse.

Embroidery chart of Romanian woman's blouse.

 

Embroidery of Romanian woman's blouse, mid-20th century.

Embroidery of Romanian woman's blouse, mid-20th century.

 

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 16 October 2016

   

Review of the TRC Intensive Textile Course

Dr Dana Sonnenschein, from New Haven, USA, was one of the participants of the TRC Intensive Textile course in September 2016. She sent the following review:

Last month, as part of the research for my sabbatical project, I traveled to take part in an Intensive Textile Workshop at the Textile Research Centre (TRC) in Leiden, Netherlands. The experience was amazing! Taught by TRC Director Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, the five-day course combined hands-on work in textile production with overviews of global and historical practices and interpretation of historical and contemporary textiles in light of the participants’ (new) knowledge of process and product. Each day involved at least one activity, beginning with a detailed study of a myriad of natural, artificial, and synthetic fibers; moving on to individually carding, combing, and hand-spinning wool; communally dyeing wool and silk using 21 natural dyes and four different mordants and, in the case of cochineal, two different temperatures of dye-bath (to produce a rainbow of some 120 colors); individually weaving a variety of patterns on small table-looms; and, also individually, producing samplers of batik, ikat warp threads, and plangi (tie-dye using Taiwanese techniques, which produce designs I never dreamed of back in grade school when I was rubber-banding flower-power tee shirts).

Marieke Roozeboom, one of the course participants, behind a bobbin lace pillow.

Marieke Roozeboom, one of the course participants, behind a bobbin lace pillow.

I’m not sure what I liked best, the forensics of finding out whether a scrap of fiber was flax or hemp, the pleasure of watching my hands and a simple spindle turn wool into yarn, the slow emergence of a pattern when weaving with a needle, or the adventure of painting a cotton scrap with hot wax. I learned that I will never be a master-dyer—that would take a lifetime—but I’ll always remember that iron “saddens” the color. And now I understand the basics of most of the processes involved in producing fabric and clothing, from prehistory through the present, knowledge that will inform future poems as well as my creative work with fiber. An historian or archeologist could use such skills to add an experimental component to her or his research, as Grace Mary Crowfoot did when she established that certain ancient Egyptian textiles were produced by the kind of loom still used by early twentieth-century Bedouins.

Each day of the Intensive Course also involved mini-lectures giving the “theory” of what we’d been practicing, followed by discussion of exemplary textiles, which Dr. Vogelsang-Eastwood guided so that participants learned to read/interpret everything, from pieces of cloth to garments from specific places and for particular purposes (for example, a symbolic sari, inexpensive and intended for purchase by a poor person as a temple offering vs. an expensive and carefully hand-printed sari, enormously valuable to its original owner but fallen in price/worth as soon as it became second-hand). As those examples suggest, understanding textiles is a way of understanding identity and culture (and vice versa). To truly read anything that came into one’s hands, one would need to study not only the object but when and where it came from. Fortunately, the TRC houses many stories as well as boxes and boxes of textiles. And, unlike most curated collections, which focus only on display, the TRC emphasizes research, so almost all its treasures may, with care, be handled.

Read more: Review of the TRC Intensive Textile Course

   

Unieke 3-oktober gift voor TRC

Moniek van Sandick overhandigt een kostuum van de 3 Oktober Vereeniging aan Gillian Vogelsang, directeur TRC.

Moniek van Sandick overhandigt een kostuum van de 3 Oktober Vereeniging aan Gillian Vogelsang, directeur TRC.

Afgelopen donderdag kreeg het TRC bezoek van Moniek van Sandick, een van de eerste vrijwilligsters van de TRC en nu gemeenteraadslid in de gemeente Leiden. Maar Moniek is ook lid van de 3 October Vereeniging, dat roemruchte orgaan dat sinds 1886 elk jaar leiding geeft aan de festiviteiten in Leiden die de bevrijding vieren van de stad, nu al weer 442 jaar geleden, om precies te zijn op 3 oktober 1574. Op die dag ontdekten de Leidenaren dat het Spaanse leger, dat de stad vele maanden had belegerd, uit de omstreken van Leiden was vertrokken. Van de 18000 inwoners van Leiden vòòr het beleg, waren er 6000 omgekomen of gestorven.

Het ontzet van Leiden leidde mede in de jaren die volgden tot het ontstaan van een onafhankelijk Nederland. Direct leidde het ontzet tot de oprichting van de Universiteit Leiden, die op 8 februari 1575 officieel werd ingesteld.

Het ontzet van Leiden wordt elk jaar nog steeds groots gevierd. Leidenaren en oud-Leidenaren eten haring met wittebrood, ter herinnering aan het eerste voedsel dat na het ontzet in de stad werd ingevoerd, maar ook hutspot, dat mengsel van aardappels, wortelen, uien en klapstuk, dat volgens de verhalen vanuit het verlaten Spaanse kamp naar de stad werd gebracht in een enorme ketel. Enorme ketel ....., de verhalen zijn wat overdreven. De bewuste ketel wordt bewaard in Museum De Lakenhal, en is niet zo vreselijk groot.

Maar terugkomend op het bezoek aan het TRC van Moniek van Sandick. Zij bracht voor de TRC collectie het officiële kostuum dat van 2005 tot 2015 door vrouwelijke leden van de 3 Oktober Vereeniging op 3 oktober werd gedragen. Een prachtige aanwinst voor de TRC collectie, die daarmee eens te meer de verbondenheid met de oude textielstad Leiden aangeeft.

Willem Vogelsang, 1 oktober 2016

   

An Hazara faceveil from Afghanistan

Ruband faceveil from Afghanistan. TRC 2016.2038

Ruband faceveil from Afghanistan. TRC 2016.2038

Last week we reported on the acquisition of a burkini from Australia (click here). Now the TRC has acquired yet another unusual and very intriguing item that is also related to the concept of veiling, namely an Afghan face veil (ruband), which is decorated with Hazara style embroidery. It dates to the early 20th century and probably comes from the Kandahar region of Afghanistan. The Hazaras constitute an ethnic group in Afghanistan that is Shi'ite, rather than Sunnite, and speaks Persian (Dari), with many Mongolian loanwords. They claim to descend from the Mongolian armies of Djenchis Khan, that occupied Afghanistan in the early 13th century. For their embroidery in general, see TRC Needles.

Rubands originated in Persia in the 17th century and remained in use throughout the Persian world of influence until the mid-20th century. They were worn over the top of a chador. The use of separate rubands continued in the form of the veil section of the well-known chadaris and burqas, which combine both chador and ruband, and which are still widely used in Afghanistan and Pakistan respectively (there are examples of both forms in the TRC Collection).

 

Detail of face veil.

Detail of face veil.

Although the TRC knew of Pashtun examples of rubands (decorated with Kandahar style embroidery), the existence of Hazara versions is a new and exciting discovery for us. The embroidery on the face veil takes the form of a series of geometric shapes, stylised plant motifs, as well as amulets (‘hand of Fatima’) carried out in satin stitch (see TRC Needles) and double running stitch, with a touch of herringbone stitch in the border. The stitches are all worked in floss silk of various colours (probably dyed with aniline dyes). The eye section (to the right) has been created using drawn thread work, and is surrounded by satin stitch embroidery in the Kandahar style. This veil will be included in the TRC’s project on embroidery from Iran, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, as well as being on display in the 2-day course on veils and veiling at the TRC (4-5 November 2016).

Gillian Vogelsang, 28 September 2016

   

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TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Gallery exhibition, 3 April - 29 June: From Kaftan to Kippa

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

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Financial gifts

The TRC is dependent on project support and individual donations. All of our work is being carried out by volunteers. To support the TRC activities, we therefore welcome your financial assistance: donations can be transferred to bank account number NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden. Since the TRC is officially recognised as a non-profit making cultural institution (ANBI), donations are tax deductible for 125% for individuals, and 150% for commercial companies. For more information, click here
 
Financial donations can also be made via Paypal: