Workshop breitechniek, 31 oktober, door Karin Koopman

Op donderdag 31 oktober a.s., van 11.00 - 14.00 zal Karin Koopman een workshop geven over het breien van sokken, en in het bijzonder over de rekbare opzet- en afkantsteken voor sokken. Van deelnemers wordt verwacht dat zij enige kennis hebben van breien. De workshop wordt georganiseerd in het kader van de TRC tentoonstelling Sokken&Kousen, die vanaf 5 september tot 19 december is te zien bij het TRC.

In de TRC tentoonstelling liggen 32 paar sokken gebreid en deels ontworpen door Karin Koopman. Karin is gek op sokken! Tijdens de workshop vertelt zij over verschillende methodes van opzetten en afkanten van een been-eerst sok. Karin neemt voorbeelden mee, licht de verschillen toe, noemt haar favorieten en we gaan aan de slag met verschillende manieren van opzetten en afkanten van een been-eerst sok. En natuurlijk kunnen over haar 32 paar hand gebreide sokken vragen gesteld worden.

Datum: donderdag 31 oktober. Tijd: 11.00 - 14.00 uur. Taal: Nederlands. Lokatie: TRC, Hogewoerd 164, Leiden. Toegang: 25 euro. Maximum aantal deelnemers: 15. Belangstellenden wordt verzocht zich tevoren aan te melden voor deelname. Registratie:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Knitting History symposium, 2 November 2019

Join the Textile Research Centre and the Knitting History Forum at the finale of the Texel Stockings Project in the historic centre of Leiden, The Netherlands.

As many as a hundred volunteers were involved in making reconstructions of the 17th century silk stockings from Texel. The symposium on Sat. 2nd November will explore the results of this research. It will offer a wide range of papers on current knitting research and related citizen science projects.

Read more: Knitting History symposium, 2 November 2019


Hand-knitted socks and embroidered footwear from Central Asia, 16 Nov.

Classic, hand-knitted sock from Tajikistan.

Classic, hand-knitted sock from Tajikistan.

On Saturday, November 16, the TRC is organising a special day on textiles from Central Asia. In the morning, from 10.00 - 13.00, Lita Rosing-Show from Denmark will give a workshop on knitting Tajik socks. In her afternoon, between 14.00 and 15.00, she will give a lecture on Central Asian socks, with an emphasis on Tajikistan. And from 15.30 until 16.30, Gillian Vogelsang, director TRC, will give a lecture on Central Asian and Indian embroidered footwear.

The special day is organised as part of the TRC exhibition Socks & Stockings, which can be seen at the TRC from 5 September to 19 December.

The TRC exhibition shows a pair of woollen stockings from Tajikistan, Central Asia. Their huge size stands out. The stockings are 90 cm long from top to toe and 38 cm wide. The stockings are knitted in two parts, with different motifs below and above. They have no heel, but the foot part is pointed. Deep clear colours and rich motifs stand out. Nowhere in the world a stocking is knitted this way.

The Danish Lita Rosing-Schow (1952) did research into these unique stockings. Her book Strik fra Verdens Tag - Knitting in the Pamirs (Danish / English) was published in 2018 and is dedicated to Henriëtte Hauser, granddaughter of botanist Ove Paulsen, who was part of a Danish expedition to Tajikistan in 1898-1899. Henriëtte inherited the three pairs of stockings that Grandfather Paulsen brought back and which were the reason for the investigation by Rosing-Schow.

Read more: Hand-knitted socks and embroidered footwear from Central Asia, 16 Nov.


The textile wealth in the Great Suriname Exhibition

Koto from Surinam, displated at the Great Suriname Exhibition, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.

Koto from Surinam, displated at the Great Suriname Exhibition, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.

On Wednesday, 16th October, Shelley Anderson wrote:

Surinam, in South America, has a rich heritage — a heritage also reflected in its textiles. Some of this heritage can be seen in the Great Suriname Exhibition now on at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

The exhibit begins with a collection of objects from some of the country’s indigenous groups. Surinam’s indigenous peoples cultivated their own cotton, and spun and then dyed the resulting textiles with natural dyes. A Lokono woman’s blue cotton skirt and shawl (late 19th-20th century) are on display, along with some cotton Kari’na loincloths (pre-1912) and stunning hair and arm ornaments (late 19th to early 20th century) made from feathers, beads, palm leaves and other materials.

Perhaps Surinam’s most iconic garment is the koto, a wide skirt or dress of printed cotton, worn by Creole-Surinamese women with a short jacket and an angisa, or head wrap. There are hundreds of ways to fold an angisa, which are often used to express the wearer’s emotions or opinions. The official history of the koto dates back to 1879, when the Dutch colonial government ruled that women, when outdoors, must wear a dress or paantje (chest covering) and a jacket or gown. Now worn mostly on festive occasions, there are numerous kotos on display, from different time periods.

Read more: The textile wealth in the Great Suriname Exhibition


From Buteh to Paisley: A new TRC exhibition in the making

Paisley motif used on an American feedsack, 1940s (TRC 2019.1245).

Paisley motif used on an American feedsack, 1940s (TRC 2019.1245).

On Sunday, 13th October, Erica Riccobon, a new TRC volunteer and MA student at Leiden University, wrote:

The TRC is currently preparing a new exhibition planned to open in the second half of 2020. Its provisional title is 'From Buteh to Paisley: The History of a Global Motif.'

The exhibition highlights the worldwide diffusion and popularity of the Paisley motif, through an analysis of its travel from East to West and its reinterpretation within 20th century European fashion. The Paisley motif first appeared in Iran under the name of buteh. Further developed for the design of the famous Kashmiri shawls, it was exported into Europe, through the (British) East India Company, from the 17th century onwards. In Europe it was copied and used in local industry, and hence again distributed across Europe. The motif, though quintessentially Eastern in origin, owes its Western name to the Scottish town of Paisley, a major weaving site during the Industrial Revolution, not far from Glasgow.

Read more: From Buteh to Paisley: A new TRC exhibition in the making


Quilts and quilting week at the TRC, 11-16 May 2020

American quilt, c. 1840s (TRC 2018.3119).

American quilt, c. 1840s (TRC 2018.3119).

During the Textile Festival in Leiden, from 13-16 May 2020, the TRC will be presenting a quilts and quilting week! Everyday, in the morning, afternoon and evening, there will be workshops and lectures about the history, techniques, types, uses and different designs associated with this ancient technique.

The programme for the lectures and workshops is still being organised, but enough is known to say that Linzee McCree will be coming from the US, while the Holland-based group of lecturers and instructors includes Susan Cage and Beverly Bennett, Joke van Soest and Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (TRC Director), all of whom will be contributing to the week’s events.

At the same time there will be the opportunity to see the TRC’s exhibition on the theme of 200 years of American quilts. On display will be c. thirty quilts and quilt tops, as well as a wide range of blocks, patterns and materials, all presented as a source of inspiration!

Saturday afternoon will also see a party at the TRC to round off all these exciting (and inspirational) activities.

As soon as the programme becomes available we will have it online so that people can register for the various activities.


NewTextileBooks, September 2019

It has been suggested that the writing and publishing of printed books will stop as a result of the internet, the use of ebooks and so forth. But we see little signs of this! The reverse, in fact. More and more books about textiles, dress and accessories are being published. It is the diversity of subjects that is particularly increasing. This diversity of subjects is highlighted in the following book recommendation for September 2019. These include books recently published and/or recently added to the TRC library.


Lectures and workshops programme, Socks&Stockings exhibition

On the occasion of the current Socks&Stockings exhibition, the TRC is organising a series of lectures and workshops. For all activities, please register in advance at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Further information will be added when available.


Socks&Stockings: A world full of surprises. A new TRC exhibition, until 19 December.

Woollen Turkmen socks from Iran, 1999, TRC 1999.0130a-b.

Woollen Turkmen socks from Iran, 1999, TRC 1999.0130a-b.

Every morning we put them on, those socks. Often we don't even think about it. But behind the apparently common sock there is a world full of surprises. Did you know that people in Tajikistan knit the most colourful socks of almost one metre long and half a metre wide? And that in the Middle East socks are knitted from the toe upwards, while in Europe we tend to start at the top? And that hand knitting socks has become very popular again?

A major element of the exhibition were the silk stockings found in a mid-seventeenth century wreck discovered off the coast of Texel in the north of The Netherlands. These hand knitted stockings became the focus of a special project led by Chrystel Brandenburgh to study the techniques applied to knit these ultra-fine stockings.

The project was sponsored by the Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds. The exhibition will show the story of the project and the hand knitted stockings made by a group of dedicated and skilful knitters.



Read more: Socks&Stockings: A world full of surprises. A new TRC exhibition, until 19 December.


TRC online exhibitions

Craftsmen at work in the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo, Egypt.

Craftsmen at work in the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo, Egypt.

The TRC is very proud to publish the first eleven of a planned series of online exhibitions, which will highlight some of the fascinating textiles and garments in the TRC collection. The latest, Lace identification: 7 examples, has just been added. The online displays are all based on the TRC Collection and past TRC exhibitions, which can be lend out to other suitable venues. If you are interested, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it us.

Please have a look and enjoy.

The eleven titles are:





For many of us, the code 501(c)(3) means nothing, but in the US it is very important, it means that financial and object donations to a registered charity can be tax deductable for American tax payers.

From May 2019, the Textile Research Centre, Leiden (TRC Leiden) and the Tracing Patterns Foundation, Berkeley (TPF) will be working together to raise funds for textile studies and textile craftspeople worldwide.

The Tracing Patterns Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural organisation based in California and headed by textile scholar and curator Dr. Sandra Sardjono. All financial and object donations made through the TPF are tax deductible for US tax payers.

Read more: 501(c)(3)


TRC Intensive Textile Courses, 21-25 October and repeated 18-22 November 2019

Photograph taken at the TRC Intensive Textile Course in April 2017.

Photograph taken at the TRC Intensive Textile Course in April 2017.

In 2019, the TRC is again be running its successful five-day intensive courses on textiles. The first upcoming course is from 21-25 October, and is repeated from 18-22 November, and again four times in 2020 (16-20 March, 20-24 April, 21-25 September, 19-23 October 2020). The courses are being taught in English by Dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, textile and dress historian and director of the TRC. The courses are a mixture of theoretical and practical elements, with an emphasis on trying out the various techniques of textile production (spinning, dyeing, weaving), on holding and examining fibres, textiles and finished items, all in order to learn and understand what is happening and why various combinations take place. The aim is to make textiles less ‘frightening’ and allow people to look at a textile, from virtually any historical period or culture, and be able to understand it. 


Read more: TRC Intensive Textile Courses, 21-25 October and repeated 18-22 November 2019



The Textile Research Centre wants to stimulate people to discover the fascinating World of Textiles and Dress. The TRC therefore is gradually expanding its shop and its range of products. You can buy new and secondhand books on textiles and dress, including Dutch regional dress, but also on the history of fashion, and 'how-to-do' subjects. The shop has craft items from all over the world, in particular handmade jewellery. There are woven Syrian sheep bands, knitted objects from Peru, embroidered Turkish lavender bags with oya decoration, gaudily decorated caps from Afghanistan, and many other beautiful and interesting objects. We also sell a wide range of picture postcards of textiles and costume.

The shop also sells collection care items, including acid free paper and boxes for storing your delicate textiles and articles of dress, rolls for more compact storage of long textile items, heads and wigs for display purposes, etc. The TRC sells a range of tools, materials and threads for spinning, crochet, embroidery, hairpin lace production, and silk cocoons for making silk paper.

A new line in this assortment is a wide range of beads for making or restoring Dutch regional dress items, including imitation garnets, blood coral and jet, plus all sorts of metal and glass seed beads for embroidery. You are very welcome to visit the TRC shop at our premises along the Hogewoerd.


Embroidery charts

We recently put some embroidery charts online for some unusual and intriguing needlework patterns from the eastern and northern parts of Europe. Int the next few months, we hope to publish more. Please click here for an Hungarian cushion covertwo cross-stitch patterns for ecclesiastical garmentsan Hungarian/Romanian geometric design, a deer design from Eastern Europe, a simple blouse design from Romania, and a rabbits and birds design originally for a beadwork panel, also from Hungary. You can use them as you wish. Enjoy !


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TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment. Holidays: until 11 August

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59, Stichting Textile Research Centre

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

TRC Gallery exhibition: 5 Sept. -19 Dec. 2019: Socks&Stockings

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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 Stichting Textile Research Centre.
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 to the TRC can also be made via Paypal: 

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