TRC Blog: Textile Moments

Visitors from Kyoto and Tokyo musums

Dr. OYAMA Yuzuruha (Tokyo National Museum) and Dr. Melissa M. Rinne (Kyoto National Museum) visiting the TRC, Friday 15 March 2019.

Dr. OYAMA Yuzuruha (Tokyo National Museum) and Dr. Melissa M. Rinne (Kyoto National Museum) visiting the TRC, Friday 15 March 2019.

On Friday 15 March 2019, Gillian Vogelsang wrote:

We had two very interesting visitors to the TRC today, namely OYAMA Yuzuruha (Tokyo National Museum) and Melissa M. Rinne (Kyoto National Museum). They are on a study tour of various West European museums and private institutes as part of a much larger project to study pre-1939 Japanese textile and dress collections, including those that found their way to Europe.

They came to the TRC in order to see our current exhibition about velvet, and stayed for several hours to see what the TRC actually does (they were particularly taken with the Dutch lace caps), as well as to look at our collection of Japanese textiles and garments. They had a long discussion with Francesco Montuori, a TRC student, who is working on a MA about Japanese culture. He is also cataloguing the TRC’s collection of Japanese textiles and garments.

Various garments were brought out and discussed. We will be amending some of our catalogue entries based on what was said.

There was also an impromptu kimono folding session, which was really interesting and fun. Francesco is now seriously interested in the idea of staging an exhibition about Japanese garments and culture at the TRC. More news about this will be presented in due course.

Needless to say we are now looking for donations of Japanese textiles and garments and funding to stage such an exhibition in 2022 (which sounds a long way away, but it will soon come).

Both Francesco and I are looking forward to working with these colleagues from Japan in due course.


International Women's Day

International Women's Day, 8 March 2019, Moniek van Sandick to the right, and Gillian Vogelsang to the left.

International Women's Day, 8 March 2019, Moniek van Sandick to the right, and Gillian Vogelsang to the left.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019, Gillian Vogelsang writes:

Last Friday, International Women's Day, the TRC had a surprise visit from Moniek van Sandick, who is running for the Provincial Council of Zuid-Holland at the forthcoming elections in The Netherlands. She handed me a large and exubriant bouquet of flowers. Moniek was one of the first volunteers at the TRC and continues to have a great interest in our activities. For a long time, she was a member of the municipal council of Leiden.


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.


Collection of Nepalese textiles donated to TRC

TRC colleagues going through the recent arrival of the Nepalese textiles.

TRC colleagues going through the recent arrival of the Nepalese textiles.

The TRC recently received a collection of Nepalese textiles, which were donated on behalf of the late Susi Dunsmore by her executor. The textiles were collected in Nepal from the 1980's to 2013. On Thursday morning (27th February 2019) the textiles and related items, including several looms, arrived at the TRC. A team from the TRC will spend the next month working on a basic catalogue and photographing all the items, and getting all the items online. A more detailed catalogue and an online exhibition will be coming in due course.

There are over 600 items in the collection, including raw fibres, spinning and weaving equipment, and samples of dyed, woven, embroidered and knitted textiles, as well as complete garments and headgear for men and women. There is, for example, a wide range of Himalayan nettle textiles in a variety of different weaves (including leno) and embroidered textiles carried out with orchid stem threads.

Read more: Collection of Nepalese textiles donated to TRC


Sunday, 24 February

Gillian Vogelsang writes on Sunday 24 Fenruary:

Today has been quite a day. This morning we had a meeting of a hand knitting group working on samples for the sock exhibition to be held at the TRC in the autumn of 2019. These fanatic knitters come from all over the Netherlands to work on this exhibition and make it a comprensive story of hand knitted socks.

Then in the afternoon we staged a lecture about the embroidered and beaded garments from the tomb of Tutankhamun. Although textiles and garments are the largest group of objects from the tomb, they remain virtually invisible in comparison to the gold masks, chariots, chests, and so forth. The TRC has long been involved in cataloguing, describing and presenting information about these textiles.

This afternoon saw the TRC also looking to the future in the form of signing a MoU with The Zay Initiative, Dubai, and more specifically with its director, Dr. Reem El Mutwalli. The aim of this MoU is to share experiences, to work on mutal interests in Middle Eastern dress and more specifically, Arabian Peninsula dress and accessories, and helping with fund raising, publicity and educational programmes that will benefit everyone. Interesting days ahead.


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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.

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

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

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

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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
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