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An exhibition of the Textile Research Centre. 5 September 2012 – 17 January 2013

Detail of a Vietnamese shoe, early 20th century. Copyright Joost Kolkman. TRC Collection.Detail of a Vietnamese shoe, early 20th century. Copyright Joost Kolkman. TRC Collection.

The TRC currently shows an exhibition that looks at what people do with their feet. It is based on a small display that the TRC presented at Leiden city hall in 2009. The new TRC version is considerably larger and certainly more thought provoking, and includes footwear from the Leiden area, some of which more than two thousand years old.

The exhibition includes a wide range of footwear for men, women and children from throughout the world, including Afghanistan, Canada, China, France, India, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkey, Vietnam, and many other countries. On display, among other things, are cloth, felt, leather and plastic boots, shoes and slippers, including forms as varied as (smelly) goat leather boots from Afghanistan and delicate lotus shoes from China (9 cm in length for an adult woman). There are many types of footwear to explain the differences between boots, mules, sandals, shoes and slippers. The exhibition also shows footwear for specific occupations, footwear with different decorative techniques, as well as footwear for various periods in a person’s life, from babyhood, via marriage to an (American) pair of foot coverings meant for burial purposes!

Thanks to the Department of Monuments and Archaeology, Leiden Council (Afdeling Monumenten & Archeologie Gemeente Leiden), there is a rare chance to see footwear from various archaeological sources in the Leiden region. These shoes date from the medieval period and include baby, child and adult versions.

In addition, there is a section devoted to various types of hosiery (socks, stockings, tights, garters and suspenders), as well as henna patterns for the feet and, of course, foot jewellery. Over 150 examples of footwear are  on display.

As with other TRC exhibitions, A Well-Dressed Foot! can be visited during the opening hours of the TRC, namely, from 10.00 until 16.00, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Entrance is free, but, since the TRC is completely run by volunteers, donations are most welcome!

Guided tours: During the period of the exhibition every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. You do not need to register in advance, but, if you are coming with a group, prior notification is appreciated. The guided tours last from 14.00 until 15.30 and cost €7.50 per person.

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

The TRC is open again from Tuesday, 2nd June, but by appointment only.

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

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -27 August 2020: American Quilts

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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: