TRC exhibition: The Silhouette of Africa. Colours and patterns of textiles and garments from sub-Saharan Africa. Until 15 May 2014
The vast continent of Africa is home to a wide range of cultural and ethnic groups, many of whom have their own styles of traditional textiles and garments. For thousands of years these have been used as an important means to show, not only of the group's identity, but also a person's social and economic status, and his or her role within the group. And above that, the textiles also reflect ideas about colour, patterns and iconography, as well as religion and spirituality.
The aim of this exhibition at the TRC Gallery, which runs until 15 May 2014, is to give a feel for this diversity by focusing on various types of garments and textiles from different parts of sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, emphasis is placed on types of fibres used for special garments; on some specific dyeing techniques, and on some of the silhouettes created by the garments and outfits worn by both men and women. Overall, many developments in the use of local and imported textiles have taken place in the 20th and early 21st centuries, and these are reflected in the garments. As a result, there have been some dramatic changes in the fibres used, the dyeing techniques, and the silhouette of Africa and Africans. For a photographic impression of the exhibition, click here.
The exhibition is co-produced with Paul Spijker (Toguna Art), a specialist in African
textiles and artifacts.
Five-Day Intensive Textile Courses, 17-21 March, 12-16 May and 13-17 October 2014
Between Monday 17 and Friday 21 of March, 2014, the TRC organises, for the eighth time, its very popular five-day intensive course about textiles and all that goes with them. The course, which is being given in English, looks at the processes of making a piece of cloth, from the raw fibres to the end product. The participants will learn about the theory and practice of fibre identification, spinning, dyeing, weaving, and decorative techniques including printing and embroidery. The course is practically orientated and the students are encouraged to try out the wide range of techniques that are being discussed. This means that they will use microscopes and staining techniques for fibre identification. They are introduced, and asked to use, a wide variety of hand spindles and spinning wheels. They also apply natural dye stuffs and mordants to produce dozens of different colours. Students may bring pieces of textiles that they would like to discuss during the course. An extensive report on the course was written by Dr. Paula Hohti (University of Copenhagen), who attended the course in May 2013. Another report is by Alice Dolan, University of Hertfortshire, who attended the course in May 2012 together with Professor John Styles. For more information about the Intensive Course, with the course programme, click here.
This five-day course has in the past already attracted students from around the world. The course is given by Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (PhD Manchester, UK), director TRC. The fees for a full week of tuition are 500 euros. The group of students is always limited to eight people, in order to ensure the greatest benefits to the participants. For the March 2014 course there are two places left. The course will be repeated from 12 to 16 May 2014 (three places left available) and from 13-17 October 2014. Please let us know as soon as possible whether you want to join.
Three-day TRC course: Basic Middle Eastern and Central Asian embroidery techniques and identification. 20-22 June 2014
Most people have heard of embroidery, especially cross stitch samplers. However, the history of embroidery is much longer and more complex than the cross stitch. For the purpose of this course embroidery is defined as the art of decorating a piece of cloth, whereby a needle and thread are an essential, but not necessarily the only elements used to create a design or pattern. This means that stitching and other techniques, such as appliqué and patchwork, also come under the umbrella term of embroidery.
The course, given in English by Ms dr Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director TRC, will look at the general history of embroidery and embroidery techniques with an emphasis on Middle Eastern and Central Asian forms. The TRC’s extensive collection of embroidery will be used to illustrate the various forms discussed. Stereoscopic microscopes will be available for the participants to use for the identification of embroidery techniques during the period of the course. Each day will include practical elements to illustrate the various points discussed.
Participants are encouraged to bring examples of embroidery with them for identification and discussion purposes. Fees for the full three day course are 350 euros. Maximum number of participants is eight, and to date five places have already been reserved.
Workshop: Gold thread embroidery from the Middle East and Central Asia, 23 June 2014
TRC Newsletter February 2014
The February 2014 TRC Newsletter has just been published, and distributed among all friends, supporters and others who are interested in the work of the TRC. The Newsletter can also be downloaded here as a PDF-file.
TRC new acquisitions and recommended books, February 2014
The last few months have again seen a large number of books about textiles and dress (in the broadest sense of these words) being accessioned into the TRC library. Some of these accessioned books are listed separately below, with a general description and a recommendation as to whom the book is most suitable for. The TRC now has a team of readers who are preparing entries and every two months this list will be updated. The reviewers for this month include Shelley Anderson, Christopher Ng, and Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood. For the list of December 2013, please click here.
TRC welcomes groups of visitors who want to visit the current exhibition, listen to a lecture, or attend a tailor-made workshop on spinning, weaving, dying, or trying on ancient Egyptian clothing replicas, and so forth. Or simply would you like to come together in a congenial environment? Please contact the TRC. We will be happy to organise a wonderful programme, during the week, in the evenings, or even during the weekend, set up especially for your group or company. In this way you can give any excursion or festivity some extra cachet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 !
Exhibition from 5 February until 15 May 2014: Silhouette of Africa
nnnnnnnnWorkshop on preparing fibres before the spinning process. WWnnn
JanuaryFebruaryEvery WedEvery Wednesday and Thursday, from 14.00-15.30 hrs: guided tour of the current exhibition. Fees: 7.50 euros. Advance registration not necessary.
- 17-21 March: Intensive Textile Course
- 12-16 May: Intensive Textile Course
- 20-22 June: Workshop Middle Eastern and Central Asian embroidery
- 23 June: Workshop Middle Eastern and Central Asian gold thread embroidery
- 13-17 October: Intensive Textile Course
- Newsletter February 2014
- Newsletter Winter 2013-2014
- Newsletter Autumn 2013
- Newsletter Summer 2013
- Newsletter Spring 2013
- TRC Update winter 2013
- Annual Report 2012
- Newsletter Summer 2012
- Newsletter Spring 2012
- Annual Report 2011
- Special Newsletter November 2011
- Newsletter August-December 2011
- Annual Report 2010
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