Wednesday workshop, 29 May: Identifying velvets

Early 19th century Chinese, silk velvet for the European market velvet (TRC 2018.2401).

Early 19th century Chinese, silk velvet for the European market velvet (TRC 2018.2401).

As part of the TRC velvet exhibition  about the history and use of velvet, the TRC is running a three-hour workshop on what is velvet and how to identify the main types, including block printed, ciselé, cut and uncut velvet, crushed, devoré, pile, pile-on-pile, solid, voided (tabby and satin forms), etc.

The workshop is intended for those working with, or for those interested in different forms of velvet, rather than as a practical workshop on how to make velvet. The workshop will be given by Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director of the TRC and curator of the velvet exhibition. 

Date: 29 May 2019. Time: 10.00 until 13.00. Fee: 25 euros, incl. coffee/tea. Venue: TRC, Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Language: Dutch. Please register well in advance at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

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 (I am talking about the clothes). 

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

 

Weekend Workshop: What is lace?, 31 Aug - 1 Sept. 2019

Detail of a christening veil made from Brussels net lace, c. 1820. TRC 2014.0831.

Detail of a christening veil made from Brussels net lace, c. 1820. TRC 2014.0831.

Lace is one of the finest fabrics that human hands can produce. It has been made, in its many forms, for centuries and reflects changes in life style, fashion and technology. But there are many questions around the concept of lace, including what actually is lace? How is it made? And how can you identify the various forms? These are the main questions (and there are many more) that will be answered during the two-day course.

The aim of the course, which is a repeat of a very successful workshop in November 2017 and September 2018, is for the participants to understand the basics of the main techniques, and to look at and study the various tools and materials used during the process of lace making.

The first day is dedicated to identify the main types of lace – bobbin, knotted and looped techniques, as well as embroidered and appliqué forms. This section will include some practical work. The second day is dedicated to the identification of lace samples and personally making some (simple) examples of bobbin lace.

Participants will take part in the examination of various typical and more unusual samples of lace from the TRC Collection under the supervision of Olga Ieromina, a bobbin lace maker and curator in charge of the TRC’s lace collection. If you have any pieces of lace you would like help in identifying, then you are welcome to bring them.

Date: 31 Aug - 1 Sept. 2019. Time: 10.00 – 16.00. Location: TRC Leiden, Hogewoerd 164, 2351 HW Leiden, The Netherlands. Lecturer: Olga Ieromina. Language: English. Advance registration required ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). Fees: 175 euro (with half to be paid in advance upon receipt of invoice). Number of participants: maximum 8.

 

Velvet! The new TRC Gallery exhibition, until 27 June 2019

A length of modern velvet from Italy with a classic flower design (TRC 2018.2510).

A length of modern velvet from Italy with a classic flower design (TRC 2018.2510).

Velvet is a rich, varied and versatile type of cloth that can be used in many different and at times surprising ways. Velvet is used for garments, covering the body literally from head to foot, and worn by men, women and children. Houses are also decorated with velvets and the material has been used for soft-furnishings as well as upholstery.

The new TRC exhibition includes examples of velvet dating from the late fifteenth century to the present day. There are over 100 garments and textiles, ranging from samples of cotton, linen, mohair, silk and wool velvet (some of which visitors can touch), velveteens, kuba velvets, to children’s velvet garments, wedding dresses, not to mention a wide range of velvet hats! A real feast for the senses.

 

Postcard and stamp of a 19th century painting depicting a lady in a velvet jacket, Hungary (TRC 2018.2544).

Postcard and stamp of a 19th century painting depicting a lady in a velvet jacket, Hungary (TRC 2018.2544).

 

The luxurious character of velvet is made clear by a length of so-called Utrecht velvet (made from mohair), and also by an example of a pressed velvet that is used in the Tweede Kamer, The Hague, for a wall hanging. There is even a sample of the velvet used to decorate the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain.

The TRC exhibition VELVET! was officially opened on the 22nd January 2019 by the Wethouder for Cultural Affairs (Leiden), Ms. Yvonne van Delft. It will be on view until the afternoon of Thursday, 27th June 2019.

For a brief introduction to the subject of velvet, please click here. For the complete list of objects that are being displayed, with direct references to the TRC online catalogue, click here.

The exhibition was made possible with the help of Lunsingh Meubelstoffering en Zitmeubelrestauratie, Leiden.

 

 

 

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)

 

Fowler Museum Los Angeles: Special exhibition curated by director TRC, 17 March - 18 August 2019

Woman's jacket from Syria, late 19th - early 20th cent., front and back (Fowler Museum at UCLA X2018.20.3).

Woman's jacket from Syria, late 19th - early 20th cent., front and back (Fowler Museum at UCLA X2018.20.3).

 

Dressed with Distinction: Garments from Ottoman Syria is the title of a new exhibition at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles. The exhibition explores the region’s textile production during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when Syria was an international hub for the trade and production of handwoven cloth.

With a focus on the social and seasonal contexts in which garments were worn by men, women, and children, the exhibition’s presentation of these distinguished textiles enables audiences to engage with Syrian culture and weaving techniques from a bygone era.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Director of the Textile Research Centre (TRC Leiden). The exhibition can be seen until 18th August 2019.

For more information on the exhibition, click here.

 

TRC Intensive Textile Courses, 21-25 October and repeated 18-22 November 2019

Photograph taken at the TRC Intensive Textile Course in April 2017.

Photograph taken at the TRC Intensive Textile Course in April 2017.

In 2019, the TRC is again be running its successful five-day intensive courses on textiles. The first upcoming course is from 21-25 October, and is repeated from 18-22 November, and again four times in 2020 (16-20 March, 20-24 April, 21-25 September, 19-23 October 2020). The courses are being taught in English by Dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, textile and dress historian and director of the TRC. The courses are a mixture of theoretical and practical elements, with an emphasis on trying out the various techniques of textile production (spinning, dyeing, weaving), on holding and examining fibres, textiles and finished items, all in order to learn and understand what is happening and why various combinations take place. The aim is to make textiles less ‘frightening’ and allow people to look at a textile, from virtually any historical period or culture, and be able to understand it. 

 

Read more: TRC Intensive Textile Courses, 21-25 October and repeated 18-22 November 2019

 

Ties to history. A new TRC exhibition for 2020

Statue of one of the soldiers in the tomb of the Chinese Emperor Shih Huan Ti (d. 210 BC), wearing a neckband. President Donald Trump's name is shown on a tie label in the background, advertising Trump's fashion line of ties (incidentally, made in China).

Statue of one of the soldiers in the tomb of the Chinese Emperor Shih Huan Ti (d. 210 BC), wearing a neckband. President Donald Trump's name is shown on a tie label in the background, advertising Trump's fashion line of ties (incidentally, made in China).

TRC volunteer, Loren Mealey, writes on Thursday, 3 January 2019:

In our twenty-first century, fashion appears to change every week. A man’s necktie, however, is an accessory that has endured social and cultural transformations for hundreds of years.

The traditional Western necktie has ancient antecedents and forms. The earliest representation of a piece of cloth or another material tied around the neck is a cloth worn by the first emperor of China, Shih Huan Ti, who died in 210 BC.  The accessory was depicted in his mausoleum in Xian, along with 7000 images of his warriors, meticulously carved in terracotta, and each wearing a neck cloth.

In Europe the large ruffs worn by men and women from the mid-sixteenth century for over a hundred years became iconic items in paintings of royalty and affluent merchants. Then came bandanas, bands, bolos, cravats, steinkirks, rabats, ties and all sorts of variations. But from ancient China to the red carpet of fashion shows, this men's wear accessory is consistently associated with identity, power and status.

Read more: Ties to history. A new TRC exhibition for 2020

 

TRC Asia week, 13-19 July 2019

Boy's apron (locally called a boezel) from the Dutch island of Marken, made from a cotton, indigo resist-dyed Indonesian batik textile with Arabic (style) script, early 20th century (TRC 2009.0048).

Boy's apron (locally called a boezel) from the Dutch island of Marken, made from a cotton, indigo resist-dyed Indonesian batik textile with Arabic (style) script, early 20th century (TRC 2009.0048).

To highlight the theme of the upcoming International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), namely ‘Asia and Europe/Asia in Europe’ (Leiden, 16-19 July), the TRC is organising an Asia Week with a special exhibition and a programme of workshops and lectures.

The exhibition Out of Asia: 2000 years of fascination with Eastern textiles will reflect upon the influence of Asia upon European and Middle Eastern textiles and fashion. It will include both urban garments and regional dress that are made from Chinese, Indian and Indonesian textiles, as well as European and Middle Eastern textiles that have been influenced by Asian and ‘Oriental’ forms. There will also be much older examples of East-West textile connections in the form of silk textile fragments transported two thousand years ago along the Silk Road, and a Central Asian inspired Roman-period textile from Egypt. Other examples date from the eighteenth century to the present day. There will also be a special display of thirteenth century Indian indigo textiles produced for the Middle Eastern market and indirectly that of Europe. The exhibition is open to the public from 1 July until 22 August 2019.

Read more: TRC Asia week, 13-19 July 2019

 

Velvet! A luxurious textile in the TRC spotlights. An introduction

Postcard of an Hungarian painting by Borsos Jóseph, showing a woman wearing a red velvet jacket  with the same image on an Hungarian postage stamp (TRC 2018.2544).

Postcard of an Hungarian painting by Borsos Jóseph, showing a woman wearing a red velvet jacket with the same image on an Hungarian postage stamp (TRC 2018.2544).

Soft, smooth, silky – these are just some of the terms conjured up by the word velvet, but velvet is much more than a mere soft and silky material and often it is not even smooth!

This brief introduction, spread out over several separate pages  (see below), provides the background to the TRC Gallery Exhibition VELVET!, which opens at the TRC on 22nd January and will be on display until 27th June 2019. All velvets and the illustrations in this and following pages form part of the TRC collection and can be seen, together with many others, at the exhibition.

Velvet is one of the most luxurious textiles that has been produced in Europe and elsewhere, for at least one thousand years. Despite the fact (or perhaps because of it) that it is very expensive to make, in both time and raw materials, velvet became an essential item for any self-respecting royal court or church in Europe and is now made and used in many places throughout the world.

Velvet is used for garments, and may be covering the body literally from head to foot, and is worn by men, women and children. Houses are also decorated with velvets and the soft material has been used for soft-furnishings as well as upholstery – think of the velvet cloth that was placed over a piano or table, not to mention the precious velvet curtains.

 

Read more: Velvet! A luxurious textile in the TRC spotlights. An introduction

 

Encyclopedia of Embroidery Series update

Preparations for Vol. 8 of the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series, covering the Antarctic, are already well advanced. Martin Hense, the draughtsman for the full series, just completed the first illustration.

Preparations for Vol. 8 of the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series, covering the Antarctic, are already well advanced. Martin Hense, the draughtsman for the full series, just completed the first illustration.

During the last few months the Encyclopedia of World Embroidery series (Bloomsbury Publishing, London), has been gaining momentum. The first volume on embroidery from the Arab World came out in 2016 (see here) and to everyone’s pleasure won the prestigious international award, the Dartmouth Medal.

Since then we have been working hard on volume 2, which is about embroidery from Central Asia, the Iranian Plateau and the Indian subcontinent (see here). The manuscript for this volume has gone to Bloomsbury and the book should appear by the end of 2019. For the Bloomsbury announcement, click here. Once again many people have been helping with advice, suggestions and with providing actual examples of embroidery.

For the next few years, we are planning the following volumes: 3 – Scandinavia and Western Europe; 4 – East and Southeast Asia; 5 – Eastern Europe and Russia; 6- Sub-Saharan Africa; 7- The Americas. 

 

Read more: Encyclopedia of Embroidery Series update

 

TRC online exhibitions

Appliqué from the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo. TRC 2015.0560.

Appliqué from the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo. TRC 2015.0560.

The TRC is very proud to publish the first nine of a planned series of online exhibitions, which will highlight some of the fascinating textiles and garments in the TRC collection. Please have a look and enjoy.

The nine titles are:

 

 

 

TRC SHOP

The Textile Research Centre wants to stimulate people to discover the fascinating World of Textiles and Dress. The TRC therefore is gradually expanding its shop and its range of products. You can buy new and secondhand books on textiles and dress, including Dutch regional dress, but also on the history of fashion, and 'how-to-do' subjects. The shop has craft items from all over the world, in particular handmade jewellery. There are woven Syrian sheep bands, knitted objects from Peru, embroidered Turkish lavender bags with oya decoration, gaudily decorated caps from Afghanistan, and many other beautiful and interesting objects. We also sell a wide range of picture postcards of textiles and costume.

The shop also sells collection care items, including acid free paper and boxes for storing your delicate textiles and articles of dress, rolls for more compact storage of long textile items, heads and wigs for display purposes, etc. The TRC sells a range of tools, materials and threads for spinning, crochet, embroidery, hairpin lace production, and silk cocoons for making silk paper.

A new line in this assortment is a wide range of beads for making or restoring Dutch regional dress items, including imitation garnets, blood coral and jet, plus all sorts of metal and glass seed beads for embroidery. You are very welcome to visit the TRC shop at our premises along the Hogewoerd.

 

Search in the TRC website

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, Stichting Textile Research Centre

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 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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