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How to (financially) support the TRC

The TRC is growing rapidly, both in size and in the quality of the collection, the library, the exhibitions, the number of workshops, and much more. All of this means that more financial support is highly desirable. And please bear in mind that all TRC activities are carried out by volunteers! In order to make it a little easier to make a donation (not that it is difficult of course!) we have prepared a list of various options:

Read more: How to (financially) support the TRC


TRC Newsletter August 2015

The TRC Newsletter for August 2015 has just been completed and sent around to all our contacts. Please click here for downloading


Mini TRC exhibition: Karen embroidery from Myanmar

Next to the large gallery exhibition on Yemeni clothing and jewellery, which will be opened on Monday 17th August, the TRC has now also mounted a mini exhibition of some embroidered garments from the Karen people in Myanmar (Burma) and neighbouring Thailand. The Karen are an ethnic group of some seven million people. Traditionally Karen women spun, dyed and wove their families’ clothes, shoulder bags and blankets, from cotton, on backstrap looms. Red, blue and black were the most common colours for both men’s and women’s clothing. Men wore undecorated tunics with fringes, while women wore tunics decorated with Job’s Tears seeds and coloured threads, and a sarong. Both men and women might wear a turban and carry a colourful shoulder bag. Women would also wear silver bracelets and necklaces made from beads of Job’s Tears. Women’s sarongs often had woven patterns of vertical or horizontal stripes, diamonds and zigzags. Tunics were embroidered with these and other geometrical patterns.

Read more: Mini TRC exhibition: Karen embroidery from Myanmar


Wednesday Morning Workshops

Every last Wednesday of the month, the TRC organises a workshop between ten in the morning and one in the afternoon. The meetings combine theory and practice, or, in other words: participants will watch, listen, and do. No prior knowledge or experience is required. These workshops were started in October last year and have proven to be a great success, and most of them do in fact attract more people than the maximum we can take (15). All workshops are led by various specialists in the field. Language of communication is Dutch, but English will also be used if required.

We now have the list of the following workshops until March 2016. Please book early, since all the workshop registration lists fill up very quickly ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). 26 August: Yemeni embroidery; 30 September: Traditional broad cloth (laken) from Leiden; 28 October: Beadwork from the Strait of Malakka; 25 November: Early medieval European needlework; 16 December: What is embroidery? 27 January: Threading necklaces: Professional tips; 24 February: East European and Balkan embroidery; 30 March: Japanese kimonos.

The costs are €25, including coffee/tea and working materials. Further information and invoice will be sent in advance to those who have registered for participation.


TRC Intensive Textile Courses in 2015 and 2016

TRC Intensive Textile Course March 2015

TRC Intensive Textile Course March 2015

In 2015 and 2016, the TRC is again running its successful five-day intensive course on textiles. This year, the course is given five times, in March, April, May, September and October. For next year, we have reserved three periods, in March, May and October. 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. A personal impression of the course by one of the students who attended this course in October 2011 can be read here. Another report, written by dr. Paula Hohti from the University of Copenhagen, who attended the course in May 2013, can be consulted by clicking here. Dates of the next courses:  14-18 September 2015 (two places left), 12-16 October 2015 (one place left); 21-25 March 2016, 16-20 May 2016, and 17-21 October 2016.

Fees for the full course, including the use of materials, are € 600 (€ 550 in 2015). Those who want to attend the course, please contact the TRC

Read more: TRC Intensive Textile Courses in 2015 and 2016


TRC gallery exhibition: Dressing Sheba

Yemeni dagger sheath and gold embroidered belt. TRC Collection. Photograph: Joost Kolkman

Yemeni dagger sheath and gold embroidered belt. TRC Collection. Photograph: Joost Kolkman

Glittering garments and jewellery from Yemen, from 17 August until 17 December 2015

The image of the Queen of Sheba, dressed in exotic garments and jewellery and dancing in front of King Solomon, has fired the imagination of artists for hundreds of years. The Biblical land of Sheba, now known as the Republic of Yemen in the extreme southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, has long been described as the source of abundant trade goods, including emeralds and rubies, purple, embroideries, fine linen, coral and incense (Book of Ezekiel 27:16). Dutch traders in the 17th and 18th centuries went to Yemen to acquire silk (stickzijde) and metal threads (goudtraet), silk textiles and much more that came from as far away as Syria, Egypt, Iran, India, China and Indonesia, to bring these goods back to The Netherlands for its wealthy citizens. In the 20th century Yemen was still attracting trade from all over the world. Sadly, in recent days Yemen has become the scene of a bloody civil war and interference from outside.

Read more: TRC gallery exhibition: Dressing Sheba



The TRC is building up a thriving and colourful Facebook community. With by now (July 2015) more than 900 'friends', this medium has become an important tool for disseminating information about the TRC, and about textiles in general. Read brief and up-to-date items about the TRC and other textile and dress related subjects. And all with beautiful photographs! Subscribe with 'like', and automatically receive all the new information. Click on the logo !


TRC Library

Over the last few months considerable time, energy and attention have been paid to the TRC library. We are very happy to announce that the library has now been totally re-numbered and is now open to the public. Currently the TRC library holds some 2000 titles. Shortly we will also put the catalogue on line. All of this work has been done by the TRC library group, which includes Jasmijn Nobelen, Martine de Nijs, and Marieke Roozeboom. Please bear in mind that books can be consulted, but not borrowed.

The next stage is to catalogue the TRC's collections of articles, postcards, and so forth, in order to make the TRC into a well-rounded documentation centre for the study of textiles and clothing!



The Textile Research Centre wants to stimulate people to discover the World of Dress at home. 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 can find all these items in the TRC shop for very reasonable prices. You are very welcome to visit the TRC shop at our premises along the Hogewoerd, but you can also visit the shop at home, via our website. It is very easy to order books or other objects digitally.  Click at "Shop". We hope you will enjoy it.

To see the range of articles that are for sale in the TRC shop, and/or place your order digitally, go the the SHOP heading at the top of this page.


TRC in a nutshell

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

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 !

Exhibitions from 17 August until 17 December 2015: Dressing Sheba; Karen embroiderynnnnnnWorkshop on preparing fibres before the spinning process. WWnnn


TRC Information





  • Textile visions from Egypt, January-August 2015. Click here
  • Weaving the World. Exhibition May - September 2014. Click here.
  • What is embroidery? Exhibition October 2013 - January 2014. Click here
  • Cover Your Head exhibition, September 2012, click here
  • Beyond the Chador exhibition, February 2013,  click here 

Financial gifts

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 0002 9823 59, 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 can also be made via Paypal: