In cooperation with the Department of Monuments and Archaeology, Leiden, and with the financial support of the Fonds 1818, the TRC has set up an interactive exhibition about hand spinning from all over the world, past and present. The exhibition is open to the public from Monday 22 August until Wednesday, 21 December 2011, at the TRC Gallery, Hogewoerd 164, Leiden. Visitors to the exhibition will be introduced to the many diverse techniques and materials that are used to prepare fibres and then given the chance to hand spin them into threads.
From fibres to thread
The exhibition includes modern utensils, ethnological spindle whorls and various forms of spinning wheels. These and other tools show the complete process of spinning, from preparing the raw fibres to the many techniques that are used to spin the fibres into a thread, by hand.
The exhibition includes finds from pre-Columbian South America, Roman and medieval European remains, as well as Bronze Age Middle Eastern whorls. Together they provide a broad image of the worldwide history of hand spinning. Finds from the archaeological depot of the Leiden municipality tell about the close relationship between Leiden and the textile industry before the start of the industrial-scale production of broadcloth of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There are also loans from the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden, including spindle whorls from the famous excavations at Troy.
Visitors will be given the opportunity to personally experience the technique of hand spinning , with a spindle, spindle wheel or a spinning wheel. They can use cotton, flax, silk or wool, but why not try some more exotic fibres, as for instance, from a camel, a yak or an alpaca, or even banana?