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From Tuesday, 2nd June, the TRC has again opened its doors (although by appointment only) for visitors who want to see the American Quilts exhibition, consult the library, browse through the TRC shop, look at objects in the TRC Collection, or to talk with TRC staff. We also started with an extensive programme of activities. Yet we want to make sure that all our staff and all our visitors will remain healthy and not affected by the corona virus. We are following governmental guidelines, and we ask our visitors to heed the following rules:

Next month, on 5 February, the TRC wll open its new exhibition American Quilts. To introduce you to the intriguing history of quilts and quilt making in America, we present to you the provisional text boards that will go with the exhibition. The texts were written by the two curators of the exhibition, Susan Cave and Beverley Bennett. A PDF file with the texts can be downloaded hereEnjoy!

It has been suggested that the writing and publishing of printed books will stop as a result of the internet, the use of ebooks and so forth. But we see little signs of this! The reverse, in fact. More and more books about textiles, dress and accessories are being published. It is the diversity of subjects that is particularly increasing. This diversity of subjects is highlighted in the following book recommendation for September 2019. These include books recently published and/or recently added to the TRC library.

Craftsmen at work in the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo, Egypt.Craftsmen at work in the Street of the Tentmakers, Cairo, Egypt.The TRC is very proud to publish the first thirteen of a planned series of online exhibitions, which will highlight some of the fascinating textiles and garments in the TRC collection. The latest, Out of Asia, has just been added. The online displays are all based on the TRC Collection and past TRC exhibitions, which can be lend out to other suitable venues. If you are interested, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us.

Please have a look and enjoy.

The thirteen titles are:



The new list of some of the books recently added to the TRC Library is very varied with respect to languages! It includes items in Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Russian as well as English. This variety is partly due to the fact that the director of the TRC attended a conference on handlooms at the National Silk Museum, Hangzhou, at the end of May 2018. During the course of the conference she was given, as well as purchased, a number of books about looms, textiles, clothing and embroidery. Some of these books are described below.

But the range of languages is also due to the fact that more and more people and indeed publishers are sending books to the TRC. The list reflects this growing interest in ‘real’ books about textiles, clothing and accessories in all their many and varied forms.

The TRC collection of textiles, clothing and accessories from around the world was started in 1997 with 43 pieces from Afghanistan, Egypt and Syria. Since then it Indian batik for a sariIndian batik for a sarihas grown to almost 26000 items (November 2019). The items come from very diverse backgrounds with respect to time and place. Some of the items in the collection have been purchased, but the vast majority has been collected during fieldwork or very kindly donated by various institutions and private donors.

The collection has no boundaries with respect to geography or time. It ranges from Afghan embroidery, German Lederhosen, Indonesian batiks, historical textiles from Leiden, to delicate silks from Renaissance Italy and spinning and weaving equipment from the Andes. Diverse? Yes, but there is one common denominator: The TRC focusses on the language of textiles and dress, and hence the common factor is that all items have a story to tell. Why do people wear this item of clothing? Why do people wear silk or cotton garments? What do they want to tell the world with their appearance, and how do people interpret and understand such a statement.

All of the pieces in the TRC collection have been catalogued and incorporated into the TRC Digital Collection Database.  By November 2019, two thirds of the objects in the collection have been photographed and all information and the photographs can be used free of charge by anyone who is interested, but please add the reference: 'Courtesy Textile Research Centre, Leiden', and the registration number, e.g. TRC 2017.1765.

To give an idea of the range and depth of the collection, below we present a broad outline of some of its most important and intriguing elements. 

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Hogewoerd 164
2311 HW Leiden.
Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 /
+31 (0)6 28830428  

The TRC is open again from Tuesday, 2nd June, but by appointment only.

Bank account number:
NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59,
Stichting Textile Research Centre

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -27 August 2020: American Quilts

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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.
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: