TRC Intensive Textile Course, 25-29 March. Still two places available

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 will again be running its successful five-day intensive courses on textiles. The first will take place from 25-29 March. The course is repeated from 13-17 May, 21-25 October and 18-22 November. 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 Course, 25-29 March. Still two places available

 

Leiden Mayor visits the TRC

The Mayor of Leiden, Henri Lenferink

The Mayor of Leiden, Henri Lenferink

Friday, 8 March 2019, Gillian Vogelsang writes:

This morning saw a visit to the TRC by Henri Lenferink, the Mayor of Leiden. He had heard from various sources about the TRC and what we do and had decided to see exactly what was happening – and it was far more interesting than he had expected! The Mayor is an historian by training and quickly understood what the TRC was doing, the significance of the broad and diverse nature of the Collection and its online catalogue, and the importance of the stories behind the many objects housed there. It is clear: more and more people are listening to the language of dress and textiles.

Various items were shown to the Mayor, including the Leiden Hat, which dates to the late eighteenth century and was made in Leiden, and from the Second World War we showed him a feestrok that commemorates the liberation of Holland in 1945, and a handkerchief, with the embroidered names of female collaborators with the Germans, who had been interned in Stadskanaal (Groningen) in 1945. These two textiles represent two different stories about war-time Holland. The Mayor also admired some of the Nepalese textiles, which were donated on behalf of the late Susi Dunsmore by her executor.

The Mayor had checked out the TRC’s website, but as so often happens reading about the TRC and actually experiencing it are two different matters! The TRC is a valuable asset for Leiden, once described as a secret treasure trove, but one that is receiving more and more attention and is being recognised as a fantastic resource for a broad public, both in Leiden and elsewhere in the world. However, with the rapidly expanding collection and library, and the growing number of lectures, workshops, gallery exhibitions etc., the present premises are no longer sufficient, and more space is urgently needed. The Mayor noted our need for larger premises. We are in total agreement.

 

Velvet! The new TRC Gallery exhibition, until 27 June 2019

A length of modern velvet from Italy with a classic flower design (TRC 2018.2510).

A length of modern velvet from Italy with a classic flower design (TRC 2018.2510).

Velvet is a rich, varied and versatile type of cloth that can be used in many different and at times surprising ways. Velvet is used for garments, covering the body literally from head to foot, and worn by men, women and children. Houses are also decorated with velvets and the material has been used for soft-furnishings as well as upholstery.

The new TRC exhibition includes examples of velvet dating from the late fifteenth century to the present day. There are over 100 garments and textiles, ranging from samples of cotton, linen, mohair, silk and wool velvet (some of which visitors can touch), velveteens, kuba velvets, to children’s velvet garments, wedding dresses, not to mention a wide range of velvet hats! A real feast for the senses.

 

Postcard and stamp of a 19th century painting depicting a lady in a velvet jacket, Hungary (TRC 2018.2544).

Postcard and stamp of a 19th century painting depicting a lady in a velvet jacket, Hungary (TRC 2018.2544).

 

The luxurious character of velvet is made clear by a length of so-called Utrecht velvet (made from mohair), and also by an example of a pressed velvet that is used in the Tweede Kamer, The Hague, for a wall hanging. There is even a sample of the velvet used to decorate the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain.

The TRC exhibition VELVET! was officially opened on the 22nd January 2019 by the Wethouder for Cultural Affairs (Leiden), Ms. Yvonne van Delft. It will be on view until the afternoon of Thursday, 27th June 2019.

For a brief introduction to the subject of velvet, please click here. For the complete list of objects that are being displayed, with direct references to the TRC online catalogue, click here.

The exhibition was made possible with the help of Lunsingh Meubelstoffering en Zitmeubelrestauratie, Leiden.

 

 

 

Silk Stockings Project: The Hall of Fame

The TRC Silk Stockings Project is progressing well. Last year summer, some forty knitters started with their attempt to knit stockings with extremely fine needles and equally fine silk threads. They were going to reconstruct the seventeenth century silk stockings that had been discovered in a ship wreck off the coast of the Dutch island of Texel some years ago. The first stockings have now been completed! The photographs show the proud knitters and their results. 

Read more: Silk Stockings Project: The Hall of Fame

 

Ties to history. A new TRC exhibition for 2020

Statue of one of the soldiers in the tomb of the Chinese Emperor Shih Huan Ti (d. 210 BC), wearing a neckband. President Donald Trump's name is shown on a tie label in the background, advertising Trump's fashion line of ties (incidentally, made in China).

Statue of one of the soldiers in the tomb of the Chinese Emperor Shih Huan Ti (d. 210 BC), wearing a neckband. President Donald Trump's name is shown on a tie label in the background, advertising Trump's fashion line of ties (incidentally, made in China).

TRC volunteer, Loren Mealey, writes on Thursday, 3 January 2019:

In our twenty-first century, fashion appears to change every week. A man’s necktie, however, is an accessory that has endured social and cultural transformations for hundreds of years.

The traditional Western necktie has ancient antecedents and forms. The earliest representation of a piece of cloth or another material tied around the neck is a cloth worn by the first emperor of China, Shih Huan Ti, who died in 210 BC.  The accessory was depicted in his mausoleum in Xian, along with 7000 images of his warriors, meticulously carved in terracotta, and each wearing a neck cloth.

In Europe the large ruffs worn by men and women from the mid-sixteenth century for over a hundred years became iconic items in paintings of royalty and affluent merchants. Then came bandanas, bands, bolos, cravats, steinkirks, rabats, ties and all sorts of variations. But from ancient China to the red carpet of fashion shows, this men's wear accessory is consistently associated with identity, power and status.

Read more: Ties to history. A new TRC exhibition for 2020

 

TRC Asia week, 13-19 July 2019

Boy's apron (locally called a boezel) from the Dutch island of Marken, made from a cotton, indigo resist-dyed Indonesian batik textile with Arabic (style) script, early 20th century (TRC 2009.0048).

Boy's apron (locally called a boezel) from the Dutch island of Marken, made from a cotton, indigo resist-dyed Indonesian batik textile with Arabic (style) script, early 20th century (TRC 2009.0048).

To highlight the theme of the upcoming International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), namely ‘Asia and Europe/Asia in Europe’ (Leiden, 16-19 July), the TRC is organising an Asia Week with a special exhibition and a programme of workshops and lectures.

The exhibition Out of Asia: 2000 years of fascination with Eastern textiles will reflect upon the influence of Asia upon European and Middle Eastern textiles and fashion. It will include both urban garments and regional dress that are made from Chinese, Indian and Indonesian textiles, as well as European and Middle Eastern textiles that have been influenced by Asian and ‘Oriental’ forms. There will also be much older examples of East-West textile connections in the form of silk textile fragments transported two thousand years ago along the Silk Road, and a Central Asian inspired Roman-period textile from Egypt. Other examples date from the eighteenth century to the present day. There will also be a special display of thirteenth century Indian indigo textiles produced for the Middle Eastern market and indirectly that of Europe. The exhibition is open to the public from 1 July until 22 August 2019.

Read more: TRC Asia week, 13-19 July 2019

 

Velvet! A luxurious textile in the TRC spotlights. An introduction

Postcard of an Hungarian painting by Borsos Jóseph, showing a woman wearing a red velvet jacket  with the same image on an Hungarian postage stamp (TRC 2018.2544).

Postcard of an Hungarian painting by Borsos Jóseph, showing a woman wearing a red velvet jacket with the same image on an Hungarian postage stamp (TRC 2018.2544).

Soft, smooth, silky – these are just some of the terms conjured up by the word velvet, but velvet is much more than a mere soft and silky material and often it is not even smooth!

This brief introduction, spread out over several separate pages  (see below), provides the background to the TRC Gallery Exhibition VELVET!, which opens at the TRC on 22nd January and will be on display until 27th June 2019. All velvets and the illustrations in this and following pages form part of the TRC collection and can be seen, together with many others, at the exhibition.

Velvet is one of the most luxurious textiles that has been produced in Europe and elsewhere, for at least one thousand years. Despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that it is very expensive to make, in both time and raw materials, velvet became an essential item for any self-respecting royal court or church in Europe and is now made and used in many places throughout the world.

Velvet is used for garments, and may be covering the body literally from head to foot, and is worn by men, women and children. Houses are also decorated with velvets and the soft material has been used for soft-furnishings as well as upholstery – think of the velvet cloth that was placed over a piano or table, not to mention the precious velvet curtains.

 

Read more: Velvet! A luxurious textile in the TRC spotlights. An introduction

 

A participant from Serbia tells about the TRC Intensive Textile Course of November 2018

Draginja Maskareli from the Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade, Serbia, attended the TRC Intensive Textile Course in November 2018. She wrote the following blog:

Thanks to generous support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade, I had the opportunity to attend the five-day Intensive Textile Course at the Textile Research Centre (TRC) in Leiden, held in November 2018.

Read more: A participant from Serbia tells about the TRC Intensive Textile Course of November 2018

 

NewTextileBooks: December 2018

The new list of some of the books recently added to the TRC Library is very varied with respect to languages! It includes items in Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Russian as well as English. This variety is partly due to the fact that the director of the TRC attended a conference on handlooms at the National Silk Museum, Hangzhou, at the end of May 2018. During the course of the conference she was given, as well as purchased, a number of books about looms, textiles, clothing and embroidery. Some of these books are described below.

But the range of languages is also due to the fact that more and more people and indeed publishers are sending books to the TRC. The list reflects this growing interest in ‘real’ books about textiles, clothing and accessories in all their many and varied forms.

Read more: NewTextileBooks: December 2018

 

Encyclopedia of Embroidery Series update

Preparations for Vol. 8 of the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series, covering the Antarctic, are already well advanced. Martin Hense, the draughtsman for the full series, just completed the first illustration.

Preparations for Vol. 8 of the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series, covering the Antarctic, are already well advanced. Martin Hense, the draughtsman for the full series, just completed the first illustration.

During the last few months the Encyclopedia of World Embroidery series (Bloomsbury Publishing, London), has been gaining momentum. The first volume on embroidery from the Arab World came out in 2016 (see here) and to everyone’s pleasure won the prestigious international award, the Dartmouth Medal.

Since then we have been working hard on volume 2, which is about embroidery from Central Asia, the Iranian Plateau and the Indian subcontinent (see here). The manuscript for this volume has gone to Bloomsbury and the book should appear by the end of 2019. Once again many people have been helping with advice, suggestions and with providing actual examples of embroidery.

For the next few years, we are planning the following volumes: 3 – Scandinavia and Western Europe; 4 – East and Southeast Asia; 5 – Eastern Europe and Russia; 6- Sub-Saharan Africa; 7- The Americas. 

 

Read more: Encyclopedia of Embroidery Series update

 

TRC online exhibitions

Appliqué from the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo. TRC 2015.0560.

Appliqué from the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo. TRC 2015.0560.

The TRC is very proud to publish the first nine of a planned series of online exhibitions, which will highlight some of the fascinating textiles and garments in the TRC collection. Please have a look and enjoy.

The nine titles are:

 

 

 

TRC SHOP

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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Donations

 
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal; Donaties aan de TRC kunnen worden overgemaakt via Paypal:
 
 

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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

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

TRC Gallery exhibition: 22 Jan. - 27 June: Velvet!

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Donations

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 be made via Paypal: