TRC Intensive Textile Course: A personal observation

TRC Intensive Textile Course October 2019: Fibres dyed with a range of natural dyes and mordants. Photograph: Anna Novitzky.

TRC Intensive Textile Course October 2019: Fibres dyed with a range of natural dyes and mordants. Photograph: Anna Novitzky.

Anna Novitzky attended the TRC Intensive Textile Course last October. She works for the British journal Nature and she sent us the following blog:

I’m a textiles hobbyist. I knit, crochet, spin — anything involving fibres, I want to try. I’ve dabbled in many techniques, but never done much systematically, or covered much theory. I wanted to change that, to know how things work. The TRC course seemed the ideal opportunity to learn.

I arrived not knowing what to expect, but found exactly what I needed. We dived straight in, identifying fibres through our senses, the burn test, dyes and microscopes, interspersing hands-on experience with theory linked to our observations.

TRC Intensive Textile Course October 2019: A textile from the collection, with my chart of the pattern and my attempt to recreate it. Photograph: Anna Novitzky.

TRC Intensive Textile Course October 2019: A textile from the collection, with my chart of the pattern and my attempt to recreate it. Photograph: Anna Novitzky.

Over the week, we moved on to fibre preparation, spinning with various tools, dyeing, ‘inventing’ the loom, weaving, exploring non-woven fabrics from leather to lace and examining printing and embroidery.  Fibre dyed with a range of natural dyes and mordants. We applied what we’d learnt by handling objects from the collection, a unique and rewarding experience.

It was a whirlwind of information and encounters that left me exhausted but exhilarated each day. A textile from the collection, with my chart of the pattern and my attempt to recreate it. I did things I’d long wanted to try: combing fibre; spinning on a charka. Others, I’d never dreamed of, such as examining 3000-year-old mummy cloth. Identifying, charting and recreating a woven pattern gave me a huge thrill.

Through it all, Gillian’s incredible expertise and depth of knowledge blew me away. I left with a renewed commitment to studying, understanding and experiencing textiles — and with my mind whirling with possibilities.

Anna Novitzky ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

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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.
 
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