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A length of modern velvet from Italy with a classic flower design (TRC 2018.2510).A length of modern velvet from Italy with a classic flower design (TRC 2018.2510).

Velvet is a rich, varied and versatile type of cloth that can be used in many different and at times surprising ways. Velvet is used for garments, covering the body literally from head to foot, and worn by men, women and children. Houses are also decorated with velvets and the material has been used for soft-furnishings as well as upholstery.

The TRC exhibition Velvet!, which was on display at the TRC from January to June 2019, included examples of velvet dating from the late fifteenth century to the present day. There were over 100 garments and textiles, ranging from samples of cotton, linen, mohair, silk and wool velvet (some of which visitors can touch), velveteens, kuba velvets, to children’s velvet garments, wedding dresses, not to mention a wide range of velvet hats! A real feast for the senses.


Postcard and stamp of a 19th century painting depicting a lady in a velvet jacket, Hungary (TRC 2018.2544).Postcard and stamp of a 19th century painting depicting a lady in a velvet jacket, Hungary (TRC 2018.2544).


The luxurious character of velvet was made clear by a length of so-called Utrecht velvet (made from mohair), and also by an example of a pressed velvet that is used in the Tweede Kamer, The Hague, for a wall hanging. There was even a sample of the velvet used to decorate the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Madrid, Spain.

The TRC exhibition VELVET! was officially opened on the 22nd January 2019 by the Wethouder for Cultural Affairs (Leiden), Ms. Yvonne van Delft.

For a brief introduction to the subject of velvet, please click here. For the complete list of objects that were being displayed, with direct references to the TRC online catalogue, click here.

The exhibition was made possible with the help of Lunsingh Meubelstoffering en Zitmeubelrestauratie, Leiden.



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

The TRC is open again from Tuesday, 2nd June, but by appointment only.

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

TRC Gallery exhibition:
5 Febr. -27 August 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
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