TRC Blog: Textile Moments

Black and gold dissent collar

Package containing miniature Black and Gold Dissent Collar, USA 2018 (TRC 2018.3367).

Package containing miniature Black and Gold Dissent Collar, USA 2018 (TRC 2018.3367).

TRC volunteer Shelley Anderson tells:

A recent donation to the TRC reflects some very interesting social history. The object is a small gold plated necklace (TRC 2018.3367), sold on the internet by a group called Dissent Pins. It is a stylized version of a black and gold jabot (a detachable collar, usually of lace) worn by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the US Supreme Court.

Appointed in 1993 Ginsburg was only the second woman appointed to the US Supreme Court. She joined Sandra Day O’Connor on the nine-member court. Both women realized they had a problem. "I didn't know anybody who made robes for women justices, and I think most of what was available was something like a choir robe or an academic robe," O’Connor said. She decided to wear a black robe that she had worn earlier as a judge.

She was criticized for looking like a “washed-out judge” and for not wearing some sort of judicial collar underneath the robe. "You know, the standard robe is made for a man because it has a place for the shirt to show, and the tie," Ginsburg said. "So Sandra Day O'Connor and I thought it would be appropriate if we included as part of our robe something typical of a woman. So I have many, many collars."

Justice Ginsburg now owns dozens of jabots that she wears with her robe. She is given them as gifts, such as the French lace jabot gifted by the University of Hawaii, decorated with beads from a beach; or the white tatted jabot made by an admirer, who proudly published Ginsburg’s thank-you on the Internet. Her favourite is a simple white beaded collar from Cape Town, South Africa.

The 83-year-old Justice, known for her strong feminist legal opinions, is also famous because her collars are not just accessories. When she is giving a majority opinion she wears a light yellow collar, given to her by her law clerks. Her ‘dissent collar’, when she takes a stand against the majority opinion, is a black and gold embellished jabot. She wore this to Court the day after Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. This made her even more of a popular icon.

Her ‘dissent’ collar has been made into enamel pins and stickers, like that in the TRC collection; she’s been the subject of films, comedy skits and a rap song. Wearing a version of her black robe and lace collar is popular as a Halloween costume across the US, with its own Instagram account (#notoriousrbg).

Monday, 10 December 2018


Changes in the TRC Board

Prof. Lammert Leertouwer, painted by Marike Bok.

Prof. Lammert Leertouwer, painted by Marike Bok.

Gillian Vogelsang, director TRC, writes on 15th December 2018:

At the last meeting of the board of the Textile Research Centre, on Friday 14th December 2018, the chairmanship was passed on from Prof. Lammert Leertouwer to Prof. Barend ter Haar Romeny. Lammert Leertouwer, the former Rector Magnificus of Leiden University, has led the board from 2006 onwards and has been an invaluable help in the building up and rapid expansion of the TRC. Our heartfelt thanks to Prof. Leertouwer for all his support over the years. Fortunately, he has not resigned from the Board, and we hope that he will remain involved and keep giving us his advice for many years to come.

The chairmanship has been taken over by Prof. Bas ter Haar Romeny, who already was a board member of the TRC and who is Professsor of Ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern History, Free University, Amsterdam.




Drawing of the TRC premises

Drawing of the TRC premises along the Hogewoerd in Leiden.

Drawing of the TRC premises along the Hogewoerd in Leiden.

The TRC received a lovely ink drawing of the outside of the TRC premises, in the old heart of Leiden. The drawing was made by Matthew Hill, the husband of Heidi Hilliker, who participated in the October Intensive Textile Course.

The TRC can be found along the Hogewoerd in the ancient city of Leiden. The street used to be, many centuries ago, part of the dyke along the Rhine river.

The TRC is housed in a building dated to c. AD 1850, and used to be the stable block for a hotel at the back, along the Rhine river. This hotel, at the Utrechtse Veer ('Utrecht  Ferry') catered for travellers between Leiden and Utrecht, by 'trekschuit' (horse-drawn barge).

Matthew, many thanks !


Lecture about Zilu looms, by Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood

At the international conference on the history of hand looms and the various types of looms, at the China National Silk Museum in Hangzhou (China), on 31st May of this year, dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director TRC, gave a talk on the zilu looms from Iran. She studied these enormous vertical looms beteeen 1998 and 2001 in Iran, and collected various examples of zilu floor coverings. These are characterized by the use of two colours, and designs that appear on both sides of the woven cloth. Technically, they are weft-faced compound tabby weaves, the history of which in Iran and the Midddle East goes back for at least two thousand years, but their origin may be placed in Central Asia or China. The lecture can be viewed here..


A participant from Serbia tells about the TRC Intensive Textile Course of November 2018

Draginja Maskareli from the Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade, Serbia, attended the TRC Intensive Textile Course in November 2018. She wrote the following blog:

Thanks to generous support of the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia and the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade, I had the opportunity to attend the five-day Intensive Textile Course at the Textile Research Centre (TRC) in Leiden, held in November 2018.

Read more: A participant from Serbia tells about the TRC Intensive Textile Course of November 2018


Page 8 of 52

Search in the TRC website

TRC in a nutshell

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!

facebook 2015 logo detail




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: 

Subscribe to the TRC Newsletter