TRC Blog: Textile Moments

In de ban van de kous

10 maart 2018: Reconstructie van 17de-eeuwse kousen uit een scheepswrak gevonden voor de kust van Texel. Foto: Museum Huis van Hilde, Castricum.

10 maart 2018: Reconstructie van 17de-eeuwse kousen uit een scheepswrak gevonden voor de kust van Texel. Foto: Museum Huis van Hilde, Castricum.

Het is zaterdag 10 maart: Vandaag heb ik iets bijzonders op het programma staan. Ik mag dit weekeinde, samen met een stuk of honderd anderen, naar een reconstructie van 17e-eeuwse zijden kousen. Er wordt door het Textile Research Centre in Leiden een experiment gedaan met het reproduceren, onderzoeken en het gebruik van deze kousen en ik mag daaraan meedoen.

Met de trein van Groningen naar Castricum, drie keer overstappen, ik verheug me op wat komen gaat. In de laatste trein, Amsterdam Centraal naar Castricum, hoor ik opeens, door het geroezemoes in de coupé heen, iemand "0,7" zeggen. Het is als een afgesproken code-woord. Ik weet dat deze mensen hetzelfde reisdoel hebben als ik en ik sluit me bij hen aan. In Castricum, bij  het archeologisch museum Huis van Hilde, ziet het er al gezellig druk uit. Als we naar binnen mogen staat er een ontvangstcomité op ons te wachten. Bij hen leveren we de kleine, gebreide stukjes zijde in die we bij de vorige bijeenkomst mee hebben gekregen als onderzoeksmateriaal, gebreid op pen 0,7 en pen 1, met verschillende soorten zijde. We krijgen een beschrijving van een deel van de kous waar we dit weekeinde op zullen oefenen. Een zaal met zo’n honderdvrouwen en één man, voornamelijk Nederlands maar de bijeenkomst wordt ook bijgewoond door mensen uit Hongarije, Portugal en Duitsland.

Read more: In de ban van de kous

   

About white, blue, grey and pink collar workers

Clerical collar of an Anglican vicar (TRC 2018.0902).

Clerical collar of an Anglican vicar (TRC 2018.0902).

Last week the TRC was given an Anglican priest’s detachable collar (the so-called ‘dog collar’; TRC 2018.0902), this week we were given a small collection of blue shirt collars. All of which led me to think about the English language idioms ‘white collar worker’ and ‘blue collar worker.’

A ‘white collar worker’ is associated with the detachable shirt collars made of white, highly starched linen or cotton. These were worn by professional and administrative staff, such as managers and accountants in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries. In contrast, ‘blue collar workers’ were generally manual workers and associated with shirts of blue, brown, etc., which were easier to keep clean. These two terms represent two different social groups and occupations.

Read more: About white, blue, grey and pink collar workers

   

"Jewellery: Made by, worn by

Showcase with feather jewellery from Brazil, in the exhibition "Jewellery: Made by, worn by", in the Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden. Photograph: Shelley Anderson.

Showcase with feather jewellery from Brazil, in the exhibition "Jewellery: Made by, worn by", in the Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden. Photograph: Shelley Anderson.

This is the name of the latest exhibition at the Volkenkunde Museum (Ethnographic Museum) in Leiden. Some 1000 pieces of jewellery are currently on display, out of the Museum‘s collection of thirty thousand pieces. Interestingly, in addition to the pieces themselves, the exhibit focuses on makers of jewellery. There are dozens of videotaped interviews with makers of both modern and traditional jewelry, from Japan, the Netherlands, Yemen, Ghana, India, the USA and elsewhere.

The exhibit is broadly divided into four sections, based on materials. The first section was an eye opener for me. An astonishingly wide variety of materials from nature have been, and still are, used to make jewellery. The necklaces, bracelets, brooches and head gear on display are made from stone, flowers, seeds, shells, bone, feathers, teeth, antler, hair, skin, wood and plant fibres. Many of the objects in this section are from indigenous cultures, like the large opalescent mother-of-pearl pendant, engraved and then rubbed with red ochre, from an Aboriginal nation in Australia, or the jade hei-tiki Maori pendants.

Read more: "Jewellery: Made by, worn by

   

The ever growing TRC collection: About lace, velvet, and knitted underwear

Red velvet bag from nineteenth century Iran (TRC 2002.0115).

Red velvet bag from nineteenth century Iran (TRC 2002.0115).

The last week or so have been very busy at the TRC. We have been sorting out the little depot, removing stands, adding racks, and putting items on the table to be photographed, catalogued and boxed. The lace collection, for example, is being moved from one storage system to another, with a much more suitable drawer system. In the process the lace will be further sorted and the descriptions refined. Thanks to the Pepin Donation, there is also a large number of machine made lace samples to be added to the lace collection. The TRC collection now includes a wide range of hand and machine made forms for people to study and be inspired by.

Speaking of inspiration: We currently have two students (Kate and Kazna) from the Manchester School of Art who are helping, among other things, to photograph and catalogue a collection of 1930’s textiles, accessories and fastenings that came from the aunt of a family now living in Wassenaar. The aunt was a textile buyer for a Dutch fashion house during the 1930’s and many of her items were stored in a flat that had to be emptied. She was also involved in the decoration of hats and had a supply of felt hat bases, satin and velvet hat bands, as well as items to decorate hats including hat pins, hat jewellery, feathers, beaded appliqués and buckles. Do you know the difference between a buckle and a clasp? And what exactly is a frame buckle and do you know that they can be divided into practical and decorative forms? There is always new to learn at the TRC.

Read more: The ever growing TRC collection: About lace, velvet, and knitted underwear

   

Painted curtains again, in Assen

The paintings of hanging curtains, Statenzaal, Drents Muzseum, Assen, The Netherlands (photograph Willem Vogelsang)

The paintings of hanging curtains, Statenzaal, Drents Muzseum, Assen, The Netherlands (photograph Willem Vogelsang)

Late December 2015, I wrote a blog about the paintings of curtains in various ancient monuments in Rome, including the Temple of Romulus at the Forum Romanum, in the Sistine Chapel and in the Santa Maria Maggiore (click here). In the summer of 2016 I saw similarly curtains being painted on a wall in the Chapel of St Gabriel, in Canterbury Cathedral. Last Sunday I saw painted curtains again, but this time at a very unexpected place, namely the beautiful Drents Museum in Assen, capital of the Dutch province of Drenthe.

Painting of curtain, Drents Museum, Assen.

Painting of curtain, Drents Museum, Assen.

On 25th March, the Museum opened a photo exhibition of Dutch military in Kabul, and I had been asked to give a talk about Afghanistan. The Museum is housed in the former Provinciehuis ('Provincial House'). When I was shown the room for the lecture, I was absolutely amazed. It was the so-called Statenzaal, the room where in the past the Staten ('Estates') of Drenthe would meet. This council constitutes the legislative body for the administration of the province.

The room dates to the late nineteenth century and is lavishly decorated, among others with paintings by the Austrian painter Georg Strum. They show the history of the province, from prehistory to the nineteenth century. The building, and its Statenzaal, were designed by Jacobus van Lokhorst, and the actual building was started in 1882. The decorations of the Statenzaal date to this period.

But what attracted my attention in particular were the paintings of curtains, so reminiscent of what I had seen in Rome two years ago. I attach a photograph of the room and one of its walls, decorated with the panels with the painted curtains.

Willem Vogelsang, Saturday 31th March 2018

   

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TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.

Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

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

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Donations

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 Textile Research Centre, Leiden. 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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