TRC Blog: Textile Moments

A visit to Greece

Marleen Audretsch, one of the TRC volunteers, describes her textile moment. "In Greece, 25 March is Independence Day, celebrating independence from the Ottoman Empire," she writes. "I was in Argos, Peloponnese, that day, and what a surprise it was: hundreds of proud Greeks, old and young, marching in their gorgeous regional costumes. I've never seen so many foustanellas, the white skirts worn by the Evzones, the Presidential Guards who keep a vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens. The foustanella was the uniform of the freedom fighters of the 1821 revolution. It has 400 pleats, thus symbolizing the four centuries of Ottoman rule. Visitors who want to see more national costumes should visit the beautiful collection of the Ethnological Museum in Corinth." For a video of Marleen's visit and the garments she saw, go to the TRC Facebook page.

11 May 2014



Visit to Saudi Arabia

Embroidered bridal jacket from the Asir, Southwest Saudi Arabia. Collection TRC.

Embroidered bridal jacket from the Asir, Southwest Saudi Arabia. Collection TRC.

Well, I have just come back from a 6-day trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia at the kind invitation of the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society. I gave a workshop on the history of embroidery from around the world to a large group of Saudi women and talked with various specialists about the role and types of embroidery in Saudi Arabia.

It is very clear that the love of embroidery is very deep in the ‘Kingdom’ and they have a long and vary varied tradition of this technique. It is literally one of the hidden gems of Saudi life!

There are various groups recording the many forms of embroidery to be found throughout this vast country. At the moment this information is only available in Arabic, however they are actively translating the books into English. We will let you know when they appear, as these volumes will be worth having in any embroidery library.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, 21 April 2014


Jordan, Amsterdam and Prague

Jordan Conference and visit to Tiraz!

25th – 31st March 2014

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director of the TRC, has just come back from a textile conference in Amman, Jordan, organised by the Centre for Textile Research, Copenhagen and the Jordan Museum, Amman. For a copy of her report click here.

There was also an opportunity to see the Tiraz, the new home of the Widad Kawar collection, which is involved in displaying, recording and preserving various aspects of Palestinian history and material culture. Although the Centre is not yet open to the general public, when it does later in 2014 it should be regarded as a must for any textile lover.



Expedition Silk Road

Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam


Expedition Silk Road features 250 objects--murals, gold, glass and silk--in a new exhibit at the Hermitage Museum, Amsterdam. Some amazing textiles are on display, including linen doll's clothing from the 8th-9th century; Buddhist banners from the same period; silk and fur kaftans, and a 2000-year-old pair of baggy silk trousers from a burial mound in Northern Mongolia. "Expedition Silk Road" is open until 5 September. For more information see (Shelley)



Textile Moments in Prague, Czech Republic


I have just come back from a three day visit to Prague and thought you might be interested in the following collections:

Prague Castle Museum: I was in the museum of the history of Prague Castle and found that there is an amazing collection of medieval textiles and garments that have come from various local graves. The textiles include many silk pieces of various origins, including Spain, Italy, Byzantium and the Middle East. There was one piece that was clearly derived from a Sassanian original with paired birds and a pearl border. Some of the silks and garments are difficult to see, but if you are in Prague the museum is well worth a visit.

Treasury of the Holy Cross: near to the museum of Prague Castle there is the Treasury of the Holy Cross, part of the St. Vitas Cathedral. The treasury includes a number of medieval textiles and garments including a pearl ornamented crown, mitre, and four amazing panels for a dalmatica. In addition, there is a chasuble, stola and maniple made out of decoratively woven straw and further embellished with straw embroidery (couching). Well worth seeing.

Museum of Decorative Arts: Another place to visit in Prague is the (Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum v Prazeor; Museum of Decorative Arts), which is on the other side of the river to the castle and cathedral. The museum has a large permanent exhibition about textiles and urban dress, called the History of Fibre: Textiles and Fashion. Down the centre of the room is a fashion parade of indoor and outdoor garments spanning the late nineteenth to the latter half of the twentieth century. These are displayed so that you can see the front and back of the garments. Down the sides of the room are chests of drawers full of textiles – based on embroidered, lace, printed, and woven types, and so forth. There is a mezzanine floor with a collection of embroidered and woven ecclesiastical garments and dresses for the Virgin Mary and various female saints.

Gillian Vogelsang, 6 April 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: 5 Sept. -19 Dec. 2019: Socks&Stockings

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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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