TRC Blog: Textile Moments

A Russian ribbon with a history

A St. George ribbon, produced and distributed in Russia to mark the end of World War II (May 2019). TRC collectiom

A St. George ribbon, produced and distributed in Russia to mark the end of World War II (May 2019). TRC collectiom

On Saturday, 18th May 2019, TRC volunteer Shelley Anderson wrote:

I visited St. Petersburg (Russia) on a national holiday. Victory Day, 9 May, celebrates the end of the Second World War, or, as it’s known in Russia, the Great Patriotic War. Millions had gathered in St. Petersburg to participate in a massive parade. Many carried placards with photographs of relatives who had fought and died during the war and the brutal siege the city had suffered. You could spot some people in 1940s-style military uniforms. Thousands of people also wore a ribbon on their chest.

I was curious about this wide ribbon, tied in a bow. It’s called the Saint George ribbon, after a patron saint of Russia, and has three black stripes and four orange ones. It is worn on the left side, closest to the heart, as a symbol of respect for those who  died during the war and as a symbol of pride in being Russian. Its history goes back to 1769, when Empress Catherine the Great first established the prestigious military decoration, the Order of St. George. The black stripe symbolised gun powder, while the orange symbolised the fire of war.

Read more: A Russian ribbon with a history

   

About André Rieu, Volendam, and American GI's.

Postcard with two German soldiers and two women in Volendam-style costume, 1943 (TRC 2019.1436).

Postcard with two German soldiers and two women in Volendam-style costume, 1943 (TRC 2019.1436).

On Friday night, 17 May 2019, Willem Vogelsang wrote:

Tonight Gillian and yours truly watched a music show by André Rieu (we are not proud). What struck us was a group of supposedly Dutch girls in folkloristic costume dancing on the stage. They looked perfect. That is, from a distance. Long blond hair, blue eyes, and you could imagine tulips sticking out of their ears.

But a closer look revealed that their costume was rather weird: they covered their head with the Volendam cap, which, I know, appears to be world-famous and for many is The cliché of Holland. That is fine, but they also wore bright yellow and painted clogs, which again seem to be very Dutch (although I have never worn them and I am afraid my Dutchness is beyond doubt). A little detail, however, is that the Volendam cap and yellow clogs do not go well together. Women in Volendam wore black, carved clogs during the week, and shoes on Sundays. A little detail, but still...

That was not all. In between the Volendam cap and non-Volendam clogs the girls on André Rieu's stage also wore what looked like South German / Austrian Dirndl outfits. I like these costumes, and all they contain, but not really what one would expect to see anywhere in Holland. 

Read more: About André Rieu, Volendam, and American GI's.

   

TRC object on display in American museum

TRC sheet of embroidered designs for WW1 postcards, on display in Kansas City (TRC 2015.0422).

TRC sheet of embroidered designs for WW1 postcards, on display in Kansas City (TRC 2015.0422).

The National World War 1 Museum and Memorial of the United States, in Kansas City, USA, has mounted a special exhibition called 'Colour of Memory'. It includes souvenirs from the war front, but also an item from the TRC Collection (TRC 2015.0422).

It is a sheet of embroidered designs for decorated postcards, to be sent home by soldiers fighting in the war. The sheet was identified by the museum after looking at the TRC's digitial exhibition on WW1 postcards. The interesting detail about this sheet is that the designs are dated to 1919, and were obviously prepared before the war was ended on 11th November 1918.

   

501(c)(3)

For many of us, the code 501(c)(3) means nothing, but in the US it is very important, it means that financial and object donations to a registered charity can be tax deductable for American tax payers.

From May 2019, the Textile Research Centre, Leiden (TRC Leiden) and the Tracing Patterns Foundation, Berkeley (TPF) will be working together to raise funds for textile studies and textile craftspeople worldwide.

The Tracing Patterns Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit cultural organisation based in California and headed by textile scholar and curator Dr. Sandra Sardjono. All financial and object donations made through the TPF are tax deductible for US tax payers.

Read more: 501(c)(3)

   

New materials for the Encyclopaedia of Embroidery

Detail of an Elizabethan (late 16th century) British embroidery (Cotsen collection, Los Angeles).

Detail of an Elizabethan (late 16th century) British embroidery (Cotsen collection, Los Angeles).

On Sunday, 28th April, Gillian Vogelsang writes:

My recent trip to Los Angeles was also intended to help with the TRC/Bloomsbury series about the history of world embroidery (the first volume came out in 2016, another on Central Asian, Iranian Plateau and Indian sub-continent embroidery will be available within 12 months).

I was invited by Lyssa Stapleton of the Cotsen Family Foundation to see an amazing group of embroideries. These form part of the Cotsen textile collection that will shortly be leaving LA for their new home in The Textile Museum, Washington D.C. They are to be the core of a new textile study centre that is going to be opened later this year.

I was able to examine a group of medieval embroideries, as well some fantastic 17th century English stumpwork and more ‘normal’ embroidery (tent stitch). We hope to study these embroideries in greater detail in due course.

Central and Eastern Europe were not forgotten, as the Fowler Museum has a wonderful collection of textiles and outfits from this part of the world. Marla Berns, the Director of the Fowler Museum, has very kindly agreed to allow me the use of their collection and to provide high resolution photographs of the objects for use in the relevant volume.

Two developments that mean that the Encyclopaedia of Embroidery series is going to be really well illustrated, which is so important for texitle and embroidery lovers!

   

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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.
 
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