Newsletter February 2016
The TRC Newsletter for February 2016 can be downloaded here. It has been sent separately to all friends and contacts of TRC.
New film about TRC exhibition "Decorated with gold and silver"
Andrew Thompson has just made a beautiful film about the new TRC Gallery exhibition: Decorated with Gold and Silver. Please click here to watch it.
Bethlehem embroidery workshop, repeated on Saturday 27th February
Open Afternoon, Saturday 5th March
On Saturday, 5th March, the TRC will open its doors in the afternoon to give people the opportunity to admire the new exhibition on gold and silver decorated garments and textiles. Some of the pieces on display are actually illustrated in a new book (Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World, London: Bloomsbury Academic Press), edited by Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director TRC, which will officially be launched during a meeting at the Petrie Museum in London on 3 March. The Open Day at the TRC in Leiden (Hogewoerd 164) on the 5th of March is therefore both the moment, for those who are busy during the week, to see the new exhibition, and also to see the new book and listen to an introduction to this monumental work given by the editor and principal author herself. Entrance is free. TRC will be open from 14.00 until 17.00 hours. There will be coffee and tea.
Wednesday Morning Workshop 30 March 2016: Japanese Kimonos
This Wednesday morning we will look at various aspects of an iconic garment from Japan, namely the kimono. We start with a general introduction to the kimono, worn by men, women and children in Japan for many centuries. Then we will use some of the kimonos from the TRC collection to have a close look and to understand how they are worn and how the various elements (a kimono is not only one specific piece of attire, it is also a set of some ten different elements) are being brought together. Participants are welcome to bring their own kimonos for us to discuss!
Ancient Egyptian Sewing Bee, 9th April
In April 2016 the TRC is organising a one-day workshop on sewing (hems and seams), mending, as well as beading and embroidering techniques from ancient Egypt. This meeting follows on a similar and very successful sewing bee, organised in London's Petrie Museum, on 11 December 2015. The examples used for the meeting are all based on actual techniques identified on linen textiles and garments from various excavations in Egypt, including that of the famous Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun, as well as objects in museums throughout the world.
Following the example of the very successful TRC Wednesday morning workshops, this full day will be filled with brief talks, PowerPoint presentation(s) and actively trying out various forms of ancient Egyptian needlework. The workshop is given by Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, a specialist in ancient Egyptian textiles and clothing. No experience in sewing required. Materials, threads, beads, etc., will be provided.
Thursday morning workshop, 28 April: Nålbindning
The participants of this workshop are being introduced to Nålbindning, an ancient technique that is used to produce textiles with a thread and a needle. The technique is thousands of years old. The oldest examples are known from the Middle East (mid-seventh millennium BC). Examples are known from Scandinavia that date to the mid-fifth millennium BC. It is still widely practised in Scandinavia, especially in Sweden. During the workshop we look at (pre-) historic and ethnographic examples of Nålbindning, before trying out the technique ourselves, practising the basic stitches and variations. The workshop is given by Dorothee Olthof, one of the founders of PRAE, the Prehistorisch Re-enactment, Archaeologie en Educatie group (info@prae-biz).
TRC Gallery exhibition, 2016: Decorated with gold and silver
The new and spectacular TRC exhibition, which opens on 1 February, focuses on the use of gold and silver threads, sheet gold and paints, to decorate textiles and garments. On display will be a wide range of textiles, garments and headgear from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The exhibition includes Egyptian textiles from the 13th century AD as well as some rare velvet and silk European textiles from the 17th and 18th centuries woven with metal threads (gold, gilt and silver forms). The majority of items date from the 20th century and reflect a wide range of uses and decorative techniques.
The exhibition explores the use of gold and silver (actual and artificial) in textiles, and includes several elaborate and early pieces from Indonesia, as well as applied and embroidered textiles and garments, such as 19th century church embroidery, a bridal outfit from India and a festive outfit from Oman. There is even a section about garments made of metal, such as an elaborate Miao woman's headpiece from China and a dancing girdle from Malaysia made of silver coins. There is much more to see and use as a source of inspiration.
For a beautiful film about the exhibition, made by Andrew Thompson, click here.
The exibition runs from 1 February until 30 June 2016. Venue: TRC, Hogewoerd 164, Leiden. Entrance is free, but voluntary donations are welcome
An exciting donation to the TRC's textile archaeology collection
For some time, the TRC has been studying a collection of textile tools housed at the TRC in Leiden. This collection is associated with the famous British textile archaeologist, Grace Crowfoot (1877-1957). This morning, Thursday 29th of January, thanks to the kindness of John (a grandson of Grace Crowfoot) and Tanya Crowfoot, the TRC was given more items for the Crowfoot collection. The items arrived in six large boxes, filled with smaller boxes and books. The textiles in the boxes included ancient Egyptian mummy wrappings (one associated with the famous British archaeologist, Sir Flinders Petrie), Coptic fragments, as well as ‘modern’ examples and samples from Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Yugoslavia, etc., which were acquired by Grace Crowfoot in the 1920s. There is, for example, a range of raw cotton from Sudan and silk samples from Aleppo, Syria.
Grace (Molly) Crowfoot was passionate about making replicas, an early form of experimental archaeology, in order to understand how some things were made and in this new addition to the TRC/Crowfoot collection there are numerous examples of trial pieces for Egyptian (Tutankhamun), Viking, and other medieval textiles from various excavations (for instance from the tomb of St Cuthbert in Durham, England). In addition, we have also been given a collection of books about textiles and weaving from the early 1900s, and shortly more reprints of Grace and her daughter Elisabeth’s (another famous British textile archaeologist) works will be coming to Leiden.
Textile postage stamps
Over the next twelve months the TRC is going to have a series of mini-exhibitions dedicated to postage stamps with depictions of textiles and garments in their many diverse forms, or stamps actually made of textile. These exhibitions will include actual examples of the stamps. The aim is to put all of the mini-exhibitions together at the end of 2017 and create a much larger, digital exhibition about the links between textiles and stamps.
The planned mini-exhibitions follow up on a small display in November 2015, which was set up to commemorate the end of the First World War (1914-1918) in November 1918. The display consisted of a series of silk embroidered postcards that were sent by the allied troops in Belgium and France to people at home. It was originally intended to be a one-off exhibition, but it soon became clear that there was also a fascinating world of postage stamps to be explored for their textile and garment contents.
TRC Intensive Textile Courses in 2016. March course fully booked, but still some places available in May and October.
In 2016, the TRC is again running its successful five-day intensive course on textiles. The course will be given three times, 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.
Cross stitch sewing bee, 18 June
During this Saturday sewing bee, we will explore the amazing world of the apparently so simple cross stitch. Everyone working with embroidery (and many who do not) KNOWS what a cross stitch is, but do they really? There are a number of stitches that are called cross stitches (diagonal, horizontal, square, etc), as well as different ways of working them. This workshop is about exploring and trying out the cross stitch from various cultures and groups (including European and Middle Eastern forms) and coming up with some different ideas about what is a cross stitch. In addition, attention will focus on the Liechtenstein artist and embroiderer, Ferdinand Nigg (1865-1949), who used various forms of cross stitch to explore the nature of graphic art.
Wednesday morning workshop, 29 June: Chilean arpilleras
The June Wednesday morning workshop takes us to Chile. Arpilleras reflect a South American folk art that uses appliqué, embroidery and patchwork to depict scenes of everyday life. The Spanish word arpillera derives from an old Spanish word for burlap. They are sometimes called cuadros (squares). Most arpilleras are used as pictures and hung on walls. The most famous arpilleras and arpilleristas (the women who make them) are from Chile. During the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), poor women in and around Santiago began making arpilleras as an income-generating project organized by the Roman Catholic Church’s Vicaría de la Solidaridad. Church workers donated clothes, paid for the finished arpilleras and organised their sale. Many of the women were members of an association (Agrupación de los Familiares de los Detenidos Desaparecidos—AFDD) for families of those who were detained by the regime and 'disappeared'.
TRC exhibitions 2009-2015: Information texts to be downloaded
The TRC is putting together a number of booklets that include the (English) text boards of the TRC gallery exhibitions mounted between October 2009 and December 2015. The brochures, beautifully illustrated, can be downloaded free of charge. The booklets discuss the thematic background of each of the exhibitions and the various themes and elements that are being discussed and illustrated, mainly with objects from the TRC collection. The booklets contain a wealth of information for all who are interested.
Recent updates and new items
- Newsletter February 2016
- New film about TRC exhibition "Decorated with gold and silver"
- Hakama from Japan: An intriguing new acquisition for the TRC collection
- Bethlehem embroidery workshop, repeated on Saturday 27th February
- Afghan football-star, a real one
- Wednesday Morning Workshop 30 March 2016: Japanese Kimonos
- Open Afternoon, Saturday 5th March
- Ancient Egyptian Sewing Bee, 9th April
- Thursday morning workshop, 28 April: Nålbindning
- TRC Gallery exhibition, 2016: Decorated with gold and silver
TRC in a nutshell
Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428 email@example.com
Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment.
Bank account number: NL39 INGB 0002 9823 59
Current exhibition: Decorated with gold and silver
Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !
- 24 Feb.: Workshop: Palestinian Bethlehem embroidery
- 27 Feb.: Repeat workshop Palestinian Bethlehem embroidery
- 3 March: Book launch Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab world (London, Petrie Museum)
- 5 March: TRC Open Afternoon
- 21-25 March: Intensive Textile Course
- 30 March: Workshop Japanese kimonos
- 9 April: Ancient Egyptian sewing bee
- 28 April: Workshop Nålbinding
- 16-20 May: Intensive Textile Course
- 25 May: Workshop Sampels and samplers
- 18 June: Cross-stich sewing bee
- 29 June: Workshop Chilean
- 14-19 Oct.: Intensive Textile Course
- Newsletter February 2016
- Newsletter Winter 2015/2016
- Newsletter August 2015
- Newsletter June 2015
- Newsletter May 2015
- Newsletter February 2015
- Newsletter January 2015
- Newsletter Winter 2014/2015
- Decorated with gold and silver, Feb-June 2016. Click here
- 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