TRC Blog: Textile Moments

A textile visit to Holland

I have just returned from a holiday in Holland, in early June, where I went to several wonderful exhibitions for West Weeft and I also had the pleasure of meeting Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, the director of the Textile Research Centre in Leiden. We chatted enthusiastically about our different interests in textiles, and how the centre relied on the help of volunteers and that recently they had set up a section on their website for textile wow moments, so I hope my small contribution will be accepted. Here goes, firstly the exhibition at the TRC was a WOW moment. Walking in to find displayed 7000 years of textile history is amazing. To be able to look closely and even try using some replica looms similar to those used by early mankind was fascinating and very humbling. The generosity of people donating textile artefacts, clothing, books and more to their ever increasing collections adding to the accessibility of knowledge for everyone is incredibly important. None of this would be possible without the dedication of the staff and the volunteers, so a big thank you for the privilege of visiting. Several days later we had another WOW moment, the at Geldrop, a very welcoming museum converted from a former textile factory that holds a superb collection of wooden floor looms and ancillary equipment from 18th century to large Jacquard, ribbon, double beam looms and all sorts of other equipment I knew nothing about but had fun looking at. There was a double sided sheet of paper written in English, but most of the descriptions were in Dutch and the centre was run by volunteers so I really need to return to Holland again and again and learn Dutch too!

Carolyn Griffiths, 18 June 2014


A Batak afternoon at the TRC

A Batak afternoon at the TRC. 15 June 2014

A Batak afternoon at the TRC. 15 June 2014

The afternoon of the 15th of June was dedicated to a film screening and a presentation of a new book by the anthropologist, Sandra Niessen, about the weaving traditions of the Batak in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Some forty people attended the afternoon and enjoyed, not only watching the film, but also discussing the Bataks and their culture with the author. And above all, they visited the new exhibition on weaving products and weaving techniques from all over the world. The photograph shows Sandra Niessen talking with some of the visitors. The orange coloured lady in the foreground is a mannequin with an orange coloured burqa from Afghanistan..........

15 June 2015


A bright orange burqa from Afghanistan for the TRC. Football is everywhere

Football is everywhere. A bright orange burqa from Afghanistan in the TRC window

Football is everywhere. A bright orange burqa from Afghanistan in the TRC window

We could not resist the temptation. With the world championship football in Brazil having just started and the Dutch team playing unexpectedly well, and the streets in Holland turning orange with flags, banners and whatever people can find, we at the TRC remembered the gift of an orange burqa from Afghanistan, in 2006. At that time, early in the year, I had joined a Dutch military task force in northern Afghanistan. I talked with some of the soldiers, who had just ordered three bright orange burqas from the local tailor, not exactly a colour very popular with Afghan women. Why did you order them? "Well...., we will wear them when we are back in Holland this summer and when we watch the world championship football in Germany." I asked them to order one for me as well, which they apparently did, since a month later, back at the Museum in Leiden where I was then working, I received a parcel from the Dutch Ministry of Defence with three headachy-orange coloured burqas. You will understand, when the Dutch team beat the Spanish in the opening match last Friday, the orange burqa of the TRC simply had to be brought forward again. You can see it right now in the shop window of the TRC. I do not know for how long; that depends on the next match of the Dutch team, against the Australians and then Chili. Life is full of surprises, and the ball is round, as my fellow-cloggie footballplayer/philosopher Johan Cruijff used to say.

Willem Vogelsang, 15 June 2014


The Silk Road

A brief account of the spread of a compound weave technique along the so-called Silk Road from China to the West, some two thousand years ago, was recently published in the summer issue of the Newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden). It was written by Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director TRC, on the occasion of a beautiful exhibition about the Silk Road in the Hermitage of Amsterdam, between 1 March and 5 September 2014. If you want to read the article, please click here.

14 June 2014


An intriguing christening veil, an historic gift from Princess Anna Paulowna

Early 19th century christening veil. TRC collection

Early 19th century christening veil. TRC collection

An intriguing donation came into the TRC on Thursday (29th May 2014), consisting of a very large christening veil made from a white, embroidered net lace.

The veil is unusual for several reasons, but most notably because it was given by Anne Paulowna (1795-1865), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia, and the wife of the later King Willem II, to Maria Petronella s’Jacob-Rochussen (1792-1848). The veil was probably given to the s‘Jacob family following the birth of her daughter, Jeanne Josein Antoinette s’Jacob (1821-1910) in Brussels. At the time, Maria Petronella’s husband, Frederik s’Jacob (1775-1831), was the Secretaris van de Raad van State and closely related to the Royal court.

The veil was given to the TRC by Mrs. V.P. Loeliger-Salomonson, a descendant of the s’Jacob family. Mrs. Loeliger-Salomonson wore the veil, as a bridal veil, at her own wedding to Emil Loeliger in 1954.

More details to come!

Gillian Vogelsang, 29 May 2014


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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. 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: 12 - 15 August 2019: Out of Asia: 2000 years of textiles

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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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