TRC Blog: Textile Moments

A bright orange burqa from Afghanistan for the TRC. Football is everywhere

Football is everywhere. A bright orange burqa from Afghanistan in the TRC window

Football is everywhere. A bright orange burqa from Afghanistan in the TRC window

We could not resist the temptation. With the world championship football in Brazil having just started and the Dutch team playing unexpectedly well, and the streets in Holland turning orange with flags, banners and whatever people can find, we at the TRC remembered the gift of an orange burqa from Afghanistan, in 2006. At that time, early in the year, I had joined a Dutch military task force in northern Afghanistan. I talked with some of the soldiers, who had just ordered three bright orange burqas from the local tailor, not exactly a colour very popular with Afghan women. Why did you order them? "Well...., we will wear them when we are back in Holland this summer and when we watch the world championship football in Germany." I asked them to order one for me as well, which they apparently did, since a month later, back at the Museum in Leiden where I was then working, I received a parcel from the Dutch Ministry of Defence with three headachy-orange coloured burqas. You will understand, when the Dutch team beat the Spanish in the opening match last Friday, the orange burqa of the TRC simply had to be brought forward again. You can see it right now in the shop window of the TRC. I do not know for how long; that depends on the next match of the Dutch team, against the Australians and then Chili. Life is full of surprises, and the ball is round, as my fellow-cloggie footballplayer/philosopher Johan Cruijff used to say.

Willem Vogelsang, 15 June 2014


The Silk Road

A brief account of the spread of a compound weave technique along the so-called Silk Road from China to the West, some two thousand years ago, was recently published in the summer issue of the Newsletter of the International Institute for Asian Studies (Leiden). It was written by Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, director TRC, on the occasion of a beautiful exhibition about the Silk Road in the Hermitage of Amsterdam, between 1 March and 5 September 2014. If you want to read the article, please click here.

14 June 2014


An intriguing christening veil, an historic gift from Princess Anna Paulowna

Early 19th century christening veil. TRC collection

Early 19th century christening veil. TRC collection

An intriguing donation came into the TRC on Thursday (29th May 2014), consisting of a very large christening veil made from a white, embroidered net lace.

The veil is unusual for several reasons, but most notably because it was given by Anne Paulowna (1795-1865), daughter of Tsar Paul I of Russia, and the wife of the later King Willem II, to Maria Petronella s’Jacob-Rochussen (1792-1848). The veil was probably given to the s‘Jacob family following the birth of her daughter, Jeanne Josein Antoinette s’Jacob (1821-1910) in Brussels. At the time, Maria Petronella’s husband, Frederik s’Jacob (1775-1831), was the Secretaris van de Raad van State and closely related to the Royal court.

The veil was given to the TRC by Mrs. V.P. Loeliger-Salomonson, a descendant of the s’Jacob family. Mrs. Loeliger-Salomonson wore the veil, as a bridal veil, at her own wedding to Emil Loeliger in 1954.

More details to come!

Gillian Vogelsang, 29 May 2014


A visit to Maastricht

Christopher Ng's Textile Moment was in the Treasury of the Basilica of Saint Servatius: The medieval textiles collection of this Basilica in Maastricht, the Netherlands, is counted among the most important of its kind. These textiles were carefully restored and documented by specialists from the Abegg-Stiftung in Riggisberg, Switzerland, in the late 1980s.

Statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in Maastricht, The Netherlands

Statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in Maastricht, The Netherlands

Among the best pieces in the collection are the so-called alb of Saint Servatius and the robe of Monulph. There is also an extensive collection of Oriental silks, some dating back to the 4th century, from Constantinople, Egypt and Central Asia. Some medieval-woven silks and embroideries from Europe, particularly from the Meuse-Rhine area, Spain and Italy are on display. All textiles can be found in a small upper room accessible via a spiral staircase.

Also in Maastricht, at the Basilica of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, the 15th-century wooden statue was recently given a new cloak. This cloak was made entirely by ordinary people, supported by companies and institutions in Limburg, from its design phase to its final composition. The outside of the cloak is made of two layers of fabric by 20-year old Marie-Claire Buffet, a French exchange student from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. The designs were laser-created to cut voids on the upper fabric thus exposing the fabric underneath. The lining, designed by Rob Simons, was printed with four hundred names submitted by the sponsors. The clasp was designed by Elwy Schutten from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design; and the cloak was assembled locally in Maastricht. Unfortunately, the treasury was closed so I didn't get to feast my eyes on more textiles.

See (in Dutch and in English) and for more information.

18 May 2014


Garments from Uzbekistan

Uzbek chapan with gold work embroidery. TRC collection.

Uzbek chapan with gold work embroidery. TRC collection.

Last week I attended an international conference in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, at the kind invitation of the Uzbekistan Embassy in Brussels/The Hague. I told someone about the work of the TRC and at the end of the conference I was given a beautiful collection of local clothing by my host, Mr. Mahmoud Husanovich Babajanov (deputy chairman of the association “Uzpahtasanoat”).

The collection that I was so gracefully presented with includes three women’s dresses of ‘atlas’ (ikat) weave, which will feature well in the planned exhibition on worldwide ikat textiles that the TRC is planning for next year; a gold embroidered cap for a woman (doppe); a hand embroidered and sleeveless chapan for a woman; a hand embroidered chapan for a man (with long sleeves); a pointed cap (doppe) for a man; and a hand embroidered kamarband (bel karz) for a man. The garments are locally produced and some are embellished with goldwork embroidery. They form a great addition to the TRC collection and to the material currently being collected by the TRC for future exhibitions.

Willem Vogelsang, 18 May 2014



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

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
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