More about American quilts and the TRC

Sherry Cook and Adrian Pratt, with Gillian Vogelsang, at the TRC, 12th October 2018

Sherry Cook and Adrian Pratt, with Gillian Vogelsang, at the TRC, 12th October 2018

On Saturday, 13th October 2018, Gillian Vogelsang writes:

Since August 2018 we have had an exhibition called ‘Sherry’s American Quilts’ on display at the TRC. It includes over twenty quilts  and quilt tops donated by Sherry Cook. It is a gentle exhibition with some lovely items dating from the 1830’s onwards.

A few days ago we had the great pleasure of actually showing Sherry and her husband Darwin around the exhibition. They have come all the way from their home near Portland, Oregon (USA), to hand deliver another group of quilts, which they have donated to the TRC. These ‘new’ quilts date from the 1840’s to the present day (compare TRC 2018.3121TRC 2018.3127; TRC 2018.3118) and represent many aspects of American history and cultural heritage, as well as changing artistic tastes and textile technology.

Read more: More about American quilts and the TRC

 

Workshops on rush weaving in Taiwan: 29 Oct.-2 Nov.

 

Woman weaving with rushes, Taiwan.

Woman weaving with rushes, Taiwan.

From 30th October until 2nd November, the TRC is the venue for a series of practical workshops on rush weaving. The meetings are organised in the context of a special Spotlight Taiwan programme, organised by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden), and sponsored by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture. Together with the workshops there will be a special, temporary exhibition at the TRC on rush weaving, and a series of lectures and discussions at IIAS (Rapenburg 59, Leiden). The full programme can be downloaded here.

The workshops will be given by a number of specialist craftswomen from Taiwan. The language of communication is English. There will be in total four workshops, and since the techniques discussed and practised will increase in difficulty, participants are encouraged to attend all four meetings, but this is not altogether necessary; the number of participants is limited to twelve per meeting, and there will be plenty of individual assistance to help anyone.

Participation is free of charge, but a donation to the TRC is welcome. The workshops are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday 30th October: 14.00 - 16.30 (there is a guided tour of the exhibition starting at 13.30)
  • Wednesday 31st October: 14.00 - 16.30
  • Thursday 1st November: 14.00 - 17.00
  • Friday 2nd November: 13.30 - 17.00, followed by a reception

Since each workshop can only take a maximum of twelve participants, those who are interested are advised to register in advance at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

 

Hanging by a sleeve

Beverley Bennett sewing on sleeves for the quilts (TRC October 2018).

Beverley Bennett sewing on sleeves for the quilts (TRC October 2018).

Beverley Bennett, a TRC volunteer, reports on her work with the American quilts recently donated to the TRC (Monday, 8th October 2018):

Sherry’s American Quilts is the current exhibition at the TRC and I have taken on the task of making ‘hanging sleeves’ for some of the quilts. Why is this necessary? Well, quilts were made for beds – mostly for the warmth that the three layers (top, bottom and some form of ‘padding’) provided. However, they soon became decorative objects in their own right.

Striving to be the best at making quilts led to competitions at County and State Fairs, where quilters would show their work and compete for first place and a blue ribbon – later there were larger quilt contests where cash prizes could be won. Today there are huge Quilt Shows with prizes for every category that you can think of.

Read more: Hanging by a sleeve

 

TRC Intensive Textile Course, 15-19 October and next repeated from 19-23 November 2018

TRC Intensive Textile Course, 12-16 April 2017

TRC Intensive Textile Course, 12-16 April 2017

From 15-19 October 2018, the TRC will be running again its successful five-day intensive course on textiles. The course is being taught in English by Dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, textile and dress historian and director of the TRC. The course is 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. The course is an absolute 'must' for anyone dealing with archaeological, historical and modern textiles, for designers and fashion students, as well as anyone who is seriously interested in all aspects of textile history and production, and simply wants to know and practise more. 

Over the years, the course has attracted participants from renowned institutes such as the Rijkmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London, the Centre for Textile Research in Copenhagen, the Netherlands Forensic Institute, as well as commercial groups (Kwantum), but also enthusiasts without an institutional backing from the Netherlands and abroad, who are often just as curious and stimulating as the professionals. A personal report, written by dr. Dana Sonnenschein, who attended the course in September 2016, can be consulted by clicking here

The course will be repeated from 19-23 November 2018, 25-29 March 2019, 13-17 May 2019, 21-25 October 2019, and 23-27 November 2019.

Fees for the full course, including the use of materials, are € 650/€ 700 (from 2019). Those who want to attend the course, please contact the TRC

Read more: TRC Intensive Textile Course, 15-19 October and next repeated from 19-23 November 2018

 

Sherry's American quilts: current TRC exhibition until 18 October

A late 19th century velvet crazy quilt from the USA (TRC 2018.2407).

A late 19th century velvet crazy quilt from the USA (TRC 2018.2407).

The TRC has organised a special exhibition in order to celebrate the recent donation of over twenty quilts and tops by the American collector, Sherry Cook. The exhibition includes many examples that this summer arrived at the TRC in Leiden. The exhibition will be presented for only two months, from Monday 20th August until and including 18th October. Sherry Cook has written a brief blog about the donation. See also the brief blog about the Charles Lindbergh quilt.

  • SHERRY'S AMERICAN QUILTS: An exhibition celebrating the Sherry Cook donation
  • 20th August 2018 to and including 18th October 2018
  • TRC Leiden, Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden, The Netherlands.
  • Entrance is free
 

New acquisitions for the TRC collection

Hand embroidered bride's dress from 19th century China, decorated with wisteria flowers woven in a delicate tapestry weave (TRC 2018.2840).

Hand embroidered bride's dress from 19th century China, decorated with wisteria flowers woven in a delicate tapestry weave (TRC 2018.2840).

Saturday 8th September. Gillian Vogelsang, director TRC, writes:

The last two weeks has seen a very diverse group of textiles and garments being donated to the TRC Leiden. These include nineteenth century Chinese garments, some of them for court officials, another for a bride, and also a number of Zoroastrian textiles and garments from Yazd in Iran and dating to the early 20th century (see below). The Zoroastrian garments are part of a donation by the Katayoun Keyani and Mehraban Bondarian family in America.

There is also a group of Peruvian hand knitted caps form the 1970’s (compare TRC 2018.2913). Some of these will appear in the TRC’s exhibition about hand knitting, planned for the autumn of 2019. And from the Indian subcontinent we received a donation of ralli quilts from Pakistan/western India, and these date from the 1960’s and 70’s (compare TRC 2018.2896, TRC 2018.2897, TRC 2018.2898 and TRC 2018.2899).

Read more: New acquisitions for the TRC collection

 

Quiltnieuws article about the TRC

The September 2018 issue of the Dutch journal Quiltnieuws includes an article about the TRC. Please click here to download the article in PdF format.

 

An intriguing quilted shirt for a Pashai man from Afghanistan

A quilted shirt for a Pashai man, Afghanistan (TRC 2018.2581).

A quilted shirt for a Pashai man, Afghanistan (TRC 2018.2581).

Gillian Vogelsang writes about a recent trip to Cambridge:

Willem and I have just had a textile weekend in Cambridge, England. It was meant to be a mixture of holiday and work, but embroidery dominated the time. We were there to talk with Caroline Stone and John Gillow about the Encyclopedia of Embroidery series (Bloomsbury), Afghanistan and the Indian subcontinent embroidery in particular. It was intensive and hundreds of photographs were made, notes taken, embroideries examined and ‘new’ stitches identified. Not so surprising, perhaps, a number of textiles were acquired so that further technical analysis could took place at the TRC in Leiden.

Read more: An intriguing quilted shirt for a Pashai man from Afghanistan

 

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. 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

 

Newsletter TRC Silk Stockings Project

TRC Silk Stockings Project: Samples made by the volunteers

TRC Silk Stockings Project: Samples made by the volunteers

A Newsletter, in Dutch and English, on the progress of the TRC Silk Stockings Project, which relates to the reconstruction of silk stockings recently discovered in a seventeenth century shipwreck found off the coast of the island of Texel in the north of The Netherlands, was published on 5th July and can be read here, or click on the illustration. The project is sponsored by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRC receives grant to update its website and improve the online catalogue

Thanks to the generosity of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds and the Themafonds Digitalizering Erfgoedcollecties Zuid-Holland, the TRC Leiden has received a substantial grant to update the online catalogue of the TRC collection, improve and extend the digital database and to revamp the internet presence of the TRC in general. The work will start very shortly in re-styling the database, updating programmes, and getting even more photographs and information online!

Read more: TRC receives grant to update its website and improve the online catalogue

 

An intriguing parliamentary uniform from Holland

Embroidered coat of the parliamentary uniform of Laurens de Groot (TRC 2018.2133a).

Embroidered coat of the parliamentary uniform of Laurens de Groot (TRC 2018.2133a).

A few weeks ago the TRC received a donation of a group of items belonging to Mariet Portheine-ter Kuile. This donation included fifty Berlin wool work charts that formed the basis for a digital exhibition on this subject [click here]. Since then various other items belonging to the Portheine-ter Kuile family have been given to the TRC, including a gala uniform associated with the Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (commonly known as the Tweede Kamer), the Dutch equivalent of the British House of Commons.

The uniform consists of a gold embroidered coat, matching trousers, a bicorn hat with orange cockade, gloves and, of course, a sword. The uniform belonged to the politician, Frederick (Frits) Portheine (1923-1990), who had been a member of the Tweede Kamer between 1963 and 1981. This type of uniform was worn by members of the Tweede Kamer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on all formal occasions. There were various rules concerning how such garments were worn, as well as colour coding. Ministers, for example, had white trousers with a dark blue coat, while members of the Kamer had dark blue trousers and coat. So what is the history of this particular uniform?

 

Read more: An intriguing parliamentary uniform from Holland

 

NewTextileBooks May 2018

The number of textile books being produced is steadily increasing and it is clear from the range of subjects covered in the following list that authors from diverse academic and non-academic backgrounds have become involved in placing textiles and dress within their well-earned positions in cultural studies - in all its many forms. To make it easier for the reader, the TRC librarians are in the process of putting all the recommended books, discussed in the preceding years, into a single list based on author and title, which will then be linked to the TRC Library catalogue. Anyhow, below is a varied list of some of the publications recently added to the TRC library. For the online catalogue of the library, click here. For the list of reviews published in December last year, click here.

 

Support the TRC

The TRC is dependent on the external financing of specific projects as well as private donations. All the work the TRC is doing is carried out by volunteers, but the building, office equipment etc., all have to be paid for.

To support the TRC, we would like to ask for your support. Donations can be transferred to our bank account NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, in the name of the Stichting Textile Research Centre. The TRC is officially registred as an Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (ANBI) and in addition as a Culturele Instelling ('Cultural Institution'). Private donations are therefore tax deductible in the Netherlands for up to 125%, and donations by companies for up to 150%.

 

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Donations

 
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal; Donaties aan de TRC kunnen worden overgemaakt via Paypal:
 
 

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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 !

Current exhibition: Sherry Cook's Americaan quilts, until 18th October

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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
 
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal: