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Hand knitted dress, by Eva Radu, Romania, c. 1970s (TRC 2020.0336a).Hand knitted dress, by Eva Radu, Romania, c. 1970s (TRC 2020.0336a).What can you do if you want to be fashionable, but cannot afford the prices or even see the garments in the first place?

One solution has just been donated to the TRC Leiden! The lady in question was Eva Radu (1932-2019) from Romania, who was a professional hand knitter. She was brought up in a poor family during the Communist period when Western fashion items were not widely available.

Since she was twelve Eva Radu had been knitting and selling the garments she had produced. Later in life she made a range of garments copying and adapting Western fashions. Some of these garments she sold, other items she wore. Ideas for these garments came from East German and Hungarian fashion magazines. Sadly, Mrs. Radu died in 2019 leaving various items, including pieces from her wardrobe such as dresses, skirts, jumpers, cardigans, etc., to various family members.

Radu Eva's granddaughter now lives in Amsterdam and is a follower of the TRC Facebook pages. She thought that some of her grandmother’s garments, with their intriguing story, would be of interest to the TRC in Leiden.

And they are! I have never seen knitted dresses before! Knitted jumpers and cardigans, yes, dresses no. They are of various different shapes and models. In addition there are several outfits including a hand knitted copy of a Chanel suit.

Lies van de Wege, the curator of the hand knitted socks exhibition (TRC 2019) has become fascinated by the garments and the history of a 20th century professional knitter. So the TRC decided that the Romanian garments will be used for a small, pop-up exhibition in the near future. The Romanian garments have now been made available online in the digital TRC catalogue (TRC 2020.0325 until TRC 2020.0390). If you can add more details to this story, please let us know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gillian Vogelsang, 25th February 2020

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

Open on Mondays - Thursdays
from 10.00 - 16.00.

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

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome!

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -25 June 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: