Textile Research Centre

Knitting History symposium, 2 November 2019

Join the Textile Research Centre and the Knitting History Forum at the finale of the Texel Stockings Project in the historic centre of Leiden, The Netherlands.

As many as a hundred volunteers were involved in making reconstructions of the 17th century silk stockings from Texel. The symposium on Sat. 2nd November will explore the results of this research. It will offer a wide range of papers on current knitting research and related citizen science projects.

Read more: Knitting History symposium, 2 November 2019


Hand-knitted socks and embroidered footwear from Central Asia, 16 Nov.

Classic, hand-knitted sock from Tajikistan.

Classic, hand-knitted sock from Tajikistan.

On Saturday, November 16, the TRC is organising a special day on textiles from Central Asia. In the morning, from 10.00 - 13.00, Lita Rosing-Show from Denmark will give a workshop on knitting Tajik socks. In her afternoon, between 14.00 and 15.00, she will give a lecture on Central Asian socks, with an emphasis on Tajikistan. And from 15.30 until 16.30, Gillian Vogelsang, director TRC, will give a lecture on Central Asian and Indian embroidered footwear.

The special day is organised as part of the TRC exhibition Socks & Stockings, which can be seen at the TRC from 5 September to 19 December.

The TRC exhibition shows a pair of woollen stockings from Tajikistan, Central Asia. Their huge size stands out. The stockings are 90 cm long from top to toe and 38 cm wide. The stockings are knitted in two parts, with different motifs below and above. They have no heel, but the foot part is pointed. Deep clear colours and rich motifs stand out. Nowhere in the world a stocking is knitted this way.

The Danish Lita Rosing-Schow (1952) did research into these unique stockings. Her book Strik fra Verdens Tag - Knitting in the Pamirs (Danish / English) was published in 2018 and is dedicated to Henriëtte Hauser, granddaughter of botanist Ove Paulsen, who was part of a Danish expedition to Tajikistan in 1898-1899. Henriëtte inherited the three pairs of stockings that Grandfather Paulsen brought back and which were the reason for the investigation by Rosing-Schow.

Read more: Hand-knitted socks and embroidered footwear from Central Asia, 16 Nov.


NewTextileBooks, September 2019

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.


Lectures and workshops programme, Socks&Stockings exhibition

On the occasion of the current Socks&Stockings exhibition, the TRC is organising a series of lectures and workshops. For all activities, please register in advance at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Further information will be added when available.


The textile wealth in the Great Suriname Exhibition

Koto from Surinam, displated at the Great Suriname Exhibition, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.

Koto from Surinam, displated at the Great Suriname Exhibition, Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam.

On Wednesday, 16th October, Shelley Anderson wrote:

Surinam, in South America, has a rich heritage — a heritage also reflected in its textiles. Some of this heritage can be seen in the Great Suriname Exhibition now on at the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam.

The exhibit begins with a collection of objects from some of the country’s indigenous groups. Surinam’s indigenous peoples cultivated their own cotton, and spun and then dyed the resulting textiles with natural dyes. A Lokono woman’s blue cotton skirt and shawl (late 19th-20th century) are on display, along with some cotton Kari’na loincloths (pre-1912) and stunning hair and arm ornaments (late 19th to early 20th century) made from feathers, beads, palm leaves and other materials.

Perhaps Surinam’s most iconic garment is the koto, a wide skirt or dress of printed cotton, worn by Creole-Surinamese women with a short jacket and an angisa, or head wrap. There are hundreds of ways to fold an angisa, which are often used to express the wearer’s emotions or opinions. The official history of the koto dates back to 1879, when the Dutch colonial government ruled that women, when outdoors, must wear a dress or paantje (chest covering) and a jacket or gown. Now worn mostly on festive occasions, there are numerous kotos on display, from different time periods.

Read more: The textile wealth in the Great Suriname Exhibition


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TRC in a nutshell

Hogewoerd 164, 2311 HW Leiden. Tel. +31 (0)71 5134144 / +31 (0)6 28830428   info@trc-leiden.nl

Opening times: Monday to Thursday: 10.00-16.00 hrs, other days by appointment. Holidays: until 11 August

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

Entrance is free, but donations are always welcome !

TRC Gallery exhibition: 5 Sept. -19 Dec. 2019: Socks&Stockings

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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: 

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