TRC Blog: Textile Moments

Textiel Museum, Tilburg

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Textiel Museum Tilburg. Exhibition '1920s Jazz Age - Fashion & Photographs'.

Textiel Museum Tilburg. Exhibition '1920s Jazz Age - Fashion & Photographs'.

Yesterday, Gillian and I travelled to Tilburg, in the south of the Netherlands. Gillian had been asked by the British journal Selvedge to write a brief review of a new exhibition mounted at the Textiel Museum. I happily plodded along. I had never been to this museum before, and was very curious. I love visiting museums and exhibitions, but to be honest, I find some of them more interesting for their exit than their entrance. What was the Textiel Museum going to be like?

Tilburg is a former centre of the Dutch textile, and in particular wool industry. I had read before that the museum was housed in the premises of the former textile firm of Mommers. I was therefore wondering whether the Textiel Museum would be yet another place that was trying to keep alive, in a somewhat nostalgic manner, the former glories of an industry that had long disappeared. But I was very pleasantly surprised to find a very lively and active textile centre with some excellent exhibitions, with working machinery, and with craftsmen/women and artists actively doing their work. Perhaps the word ‘Museum’ for this place is a bit of a misnomer. It is far more than a series of rooms and corridors with objects being displayed. It is fascinating to see how wool was carded, reeled, and in the end worked into cloth on looms, many of which are shown in the museum and many of which are actually in active service. There was also a display of all the machinery used to make damask linen cloth; absolutely fascinating.

Textiel Museum Tilburg. Exhibition 'Colour & Abstraction - Generations in Dialogue'.

Textiel Museum Tilburg. Exhibition 'Colour & Abstraction - Generations in Dialogue'.

But it was not only the machinery that intrigued me. Also many of the objects on display as well were well worth seeing. One of the temporary exhibitions was about the so-called ‘flappers’, the young girls of the Charleston age in their relatively short dresses. It showed the mainly American fashion of the 1920s. I know, the clothes on display were for the well-to-do, but it does produce a happy smile.

Textiel Museum Tilburg. Exhibition 'Colour & Abstraction - Generations in Dialogue'.

Textiel Museum Tilburg. Exhibition 'Colour & Abstraction - Generations in Dialogue'.

But what we really came for was a new, temporary exhibition called ‘Colour and Abstraction. Generations in Dialogue,’ which can be seen until 3rd March 2019. We were shown around by one of the museum’s curators, Suzan Russeler, who guided us with great enthusiasm along the objects. Since the exhibition only opened yesterday afternoon, I think we were the first visitors. But it was certainly busy when we left.

The exhibition includes art works made during the last sixty years by a number of design artists, and using textile as their main medium. The exhibition includes works by Rafaël Rozendaal, who uses images from the internet and social media to create a mesmerizing array of geometric shapes and colours. There is also a beautiful wall hanging designed by Peter Struycken, with a mishmash of subtle colour combinations. There are also art works that are three-dimensional and thus make ample use of the flexible nature of the medium by providing spectacular changes with the use of light and movement.

Some of the objects on display were actually designed and made at the Textiel Museum itself, in its so-called TextielLab, which is a space that provides the facilities for artists to experiment with designs, colours, techniques, but also with types of yarns, dyes, etc. And what is great, is that visitors to the museum can have a good glimpse of what is being done in the Lab. It was bitterly cold, but the museum cafe served excellent coffee, and while drinking that, you can admire the textile decor. No regrets. Well worth a visit. The website of the Textiel Museum is https://www.textielmuseum.nl/en. The photographs were made by Gillian.

Willem Vogelsang, Sunday 18th March 2018

   

A Manchester flavour

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Two Manchester students at the TRC Intensive Textile Course, March 2018.

Two Manchester students at the TRC Intensive Textile Course, March 2018.

This last few weeks have had a Manchester flavour! And I am not talking about football teams. On the 6th-7th March, I was in Manchester, UK, to discuss the various ways the TRC Leiden and the Manchester School of Art (part of the Manchester Metropolitan University) could work together. The School is geared towards the training of textile designers who specialise in a variety of subjects, such as embroidery, knitting, printing and weaving. These subjects include both hand and machine forms. There is also a large fashion department training the students to design future fashions.

Lees meer: A Manchester flavour

   

A child's history

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Outfit for an orphan girl, early 20th century, Foundling Museum, London.

Outfit for an orphan girl, early 20th century, Foundling Museum, London.

The Foundling Museum in London is a fascinating piece of social history. This compact museum records the history of orphans and of those who tried to help them. The story begins in 1741, when the Foundling Hospital (think ‘hospital’ in terms of ‘hospitality’, not medical treatment) was established in Blooomsbury, London, to care for abandoned and neglected children. The orphanage was in operation until 1924, and the building was demolished in 1926. The orphans were rehoused outside of London. The Museum is housed in another building, not far from the original premises, at Brunswick Square.

The displays include oral histories, paintings (William Hogarth was a supporter of the Hospital) and other art works. The latter includes a moving piece made in 2012 by Emma Middleton, and deals with responses from teachers to the orphans’ uniforms. Called “Labelled”, it features a row of pegs on which hang identical white cotton school shirts, each with a red stitched label. The labels record sentences the orphans were told in school: “I hate you”, “If you can’t bring a pencil with you, don’t come”, “You are stupid”. Nearby are two brown serge childrens’ uniforms: a dress and white apron and bonnet for girls; a black necktie, white shirt, red wool waistcoat, trousers and cap for boys. The example on display dates to the twentieth century.

Lees meer: A child's history

   

Bolivian and Peruvian hats for women

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Bolivian woman’s hat with sequins and beads from the Tarabucco region of Bolivia (TRC 2018.0600; v/d Bijl collection).

Bolivian woman’s hat with sequins and beads from the Tarabucco region of Bolivia (TRC 2018.0600; v/d Bijl collection).

During the 1990’s Yvonne van der Bijl was travelling through Bolivia and Peru as part of her work as a travel guide author. During her visits she started to make a small collection of Bolivian and Peruvian hats for women. She used these in her books and articles, as well also as part of a gallery exhibition about South American headwear held at the LAC Gallery, Amsterdam in 1998.

Woman’s hat with sequins and beads for an Aymara woman, Tarabuco region of Bolivia (TRC 2018.0602; v/d Bijl collection).

Woman’s hat with sequins and beads for an Aymara woman, Tarabuco region of Bolivia (TRC 2018.0602; v/d Bijl collection).

Yvonne van der Bijl is now downsizing and tidying up and as a result a few days ago twenty Bolivian and Peruvian hats for women arrived at the TRC ! Over the next few weeks the TRC will be sorting out, cataloguing and photographing the hats, but if you know of any books and articles in which there is detailed information about the different types of Bolivian and Peruvian hat styles for women can you please get in contact with us at: Dit e-mailadres is beschermd tegen spambots. U heeft Javascript nodig om het te kunnen zien.  

Peruvian woman’s hat with deep red fringe from the Checaspampa region (TRC 2018.0593; v/d Bijl collection).

Peruvian woman’s hat with deep red fringe from the Checaspampa region (TRC 2018.0593; v/d Bijl collection).

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Sunday 11th March 2018

Peruvian woman’s embroidered hat from the Cabanacone region, Colca Canyon region (TRc 2018.0603; v/d Bijl collection).

Peruvian woman’s embroidered hat from the Cabanacone region, Colca Canyon region (TRc 2018.0603; v/d Bijl collection).

   

Texel Silk Stockings Project and workshops at the TRC

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Workshop on the reconstruction of 17th century hand knitted silk stockings, TRC, February 2018.

Workshop on the reconstruction of 17th century hand knitted silk stockings, TRC, February 2018.

As part of the Texel Silk Stockings Project, and following an initial workshop on the island of Texel some weeks ago, the TRC Leiden recently hosted three further workshops, namely on Sunday 18th February (twice) and Friday 23rd February. Each of the three workshops was attended by some 25 volunteers. The Project has the aim of reconstructing the silk stockings that were discovered at a shipwreck that dates to the 1640’s. The ship was found off the coast of the Dutch island of Texel a few years ago.

The TRC is involved in writing a detailed publication about the stockings, how they were made, who made them and indeed who might have worn them. The Project is led by Leiden city archaeologist Chrystel Brandenburgh and helped by TRC volunteer, Lies van de Wege, and a large group of dedicated knitters who come from all over the world – literally. The vast majority of knitters come from the Netherlands and Belgium, but there are people involved in the Project from Hungary, Portugal, Germany, England, as well as America and Canada.

Lees meer: Texel Silk Stockings Project and workshops at the TRC

   

Georg Stark at the TRC on indigo-dyeing

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George Stark at the TRC, 14th February 2018

George Stark at the TRC, 14th February 2018

Georg Stark is one of a handful of traditional indigo printers and dyers left in Germany. He has also been researching the history of this craft for some 35 years. All of this experience made for a fascinating lecture recently at the TRC on the 14th of February.

Over 150 years ago indigo printing with wooden blocks was practiced all over Europe, from Spain to Russia. One of the first recorded workshops for printing cotton opened in 1672 in Amersfoort. An even earlier workshop to print and dye cotton, run by Armenians, was opened in Marseille, France. In 1681 the first workshop opened in southern Germany. By the 1730s there was a Dutch poem that boasted that “we on the Amstel can do the same quality of work as the cotton printers of Java.” The Dutch East India Company (VOC) had an important role in the transfer of this skill to Europe, as it regularly brought ready-made garments from India to Europe and beyond.

Lees meer: Georg Stark at the TRC on indigo-dyeing

   

String piecing

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Annelien van Kempen was one of the participants to the TRC workshop on string piecing on 31st January, as given by Linzee McCray. She proudly sends us a series of photographs of her 'Spring Sack', sized 66 x 45 cm, which she finished after a week's hard work on the basis of what she learnt at the workshop.

Annelien van Kempen Atelier: Trix Terwindtstraat 2, Leiden Postadres: Buitenruststraat 32, NL - 2271 HB Voorburg T 06 15626367 E  Dit e-mailadres is beschermd tegen spambots. U heeft Javascript nodig om het te kunnen zien.  W http://www.annelienvankempen.nl  Luchthollers: https://www.pixum.nl/mijn-fotos/album/5833342 

   

Feedsack and quilting week

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Andrew Thompson interviewing Linzee McCray, 1st February 2018. Photograph by Shelley Anderson.

Andrew Thompson interviewing Linzee McCray, 1st February 2018. Photograph by Shelley Anderson.

We have just had a very busy, noisy and instructive week at the TRC. From the 30th January to the 3rd February it was feedsack and quilting week at the TRC. It was organised as part of the TRC’s current exhibition about American feedsacks, their social and economic context and how they helped clothe and warm (literally) thousands of Americans between the 1920’s and 1960’s. The week was made possible by Linzee McCray, author of the book Feed Sacks: The Colourful History of a Frugal Fabric (2017). The week was originally organized so that Linzee would give the lectures and workshops, while I would give the guided tours. However, it quickly became apparent that Linzee felt very much at home with the Dutch and so she offered to give all the guided tours as well.

Tuesday (30th January): Linzee gave a lecture on the history and use of feed sacks to a full audience (this lecture was the first of the activities to fill up very quickly). The participants heard the multi-faceted and at times complex story of feedsacks.

Wednesday (31st January): There was a workshop on string piecing, the use of strips of cloth to produce enough blocks to create a quilt. Again the workshop was full so the group was divided into those with sewing machines and those who wanted to hand sew. The TRC workshop is a large room and flexible, so it was easy to accommodate the 16 people who had signed up for this fascinating event. Cloth, thread, people quietly chatting, as well as the hum of sewing machines filled the TRC. During the Wednesday afternoon, Andrew Thompson came to the TRC to make a film about the feedsack exhibition and to talk with Linzee about the history of feedsacks. This film can be seen on YouTube.

Participants to the feedsack and quilt week, inspecting the items on display. Photograph by Shelley Anderson.

Participants to the feedsack and quilt week, inspecting the items on display. Photograph by Shelley Anderson.

Thursday (1st February): This day saw Linzee giving a talk about Art quilts of the Midwest. This was based on her experience with making various art quilt exhibitions, with the central question: ‘what is quilting’ (the American definition of three layers of cloth stitched or fastened together in some manner was used), followed by ‘what is an art quilt’? It was clear that some people were in agreement with the term art quilt, while others were not. What everyone agreed with is that this type of quilting takes the technique of quilting towards a new direction.

Friday (2nd February): Friday included the second workshop on Stitch-and-Flip, a quilting technique for using every single last scrap of cloth in various colourful manners. Again the workshop was filled by enthusiastic quilters, some of whom came to every single event on each day of the quilting week.

Saturday (3rd February): Today was a question-and-answer day about American feedsacks and quilts and various people came with suitcases filled with both! There was a lively discussion concerning the history and nature of the objects brought for discussion. And in between the quilt questions, Linzee was able to give two guided tours. Before we knew it, it was half past three and nearly time to stop.

During some of the discussions that took place during the feedsack and quilting week, there was a call made for creating an International Quilting Centre that could act as a source of inspiration and knowledge about quilting – the mainstay would be American quilts, but the whole world (literally) of quilting would be included, ranging from European, Middle Eastern, Indian to other Asian items. The TRC is ready to accept this challenge! However, it would require considerable funding and space to make this idea into a reality. On the other hand we have already been offered, as donations, several quilt collections from the US and the Netherlands to ‘kickstart’ such a centre. Linzee and Sherry Cook in the US have also offered to talk with friends and collectors to help make this International Centre a reality.

The feedsack and quilt week was a great success thanks to all the TRC colleagues, Linzee McCray in particular, and the financial support of the American Embassy, The Hague. The exhibition can be seen until 28th June.

Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, Sunday 11th February 2018

   

Ancient Siberian bling

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Golden vase from Kul Oba in the Crimea, 4th century BCE, with a relief showing group of Scythians.

Golden vase from Kul Oba in the Crimea, 4th century BCE, with a relief showing group of Scythians.

“Scythians: Warriors of ancient Siberia” was a recent exhibition at the British Museum (London). The Scythians were a nomadic people who, during the period of 900 to 200 BCE, dominated the grasslands from southern Siberia to the Black Sea. They were fierce fighters, a fact written about by the Assyrians, the Persians and the ancient Greeks (the latter also admired the Scythians’ drinking prowess). The Scythians were also master craftspeople.

The exhibition showcased stunning examples of Scythian gold work, including elaborate gold belt buckles, earrings, and plaques to decorate clothes, quivers and bow cases, and gear for horses. The larger gold buckles and plaques often have textile impressions on their backs, which is evidence of a specific way of casting.

Detail of the golden vase illustrated above (not the same scene as above). The two Scythians depicted have the characteristic long hair and beard. One of them has a high pointed cap. They both wear trousers and a tunic.

Detail of the golden vase illustrated above (not the same scene as above). The two Scythians depicted have the characteristic long hair and beard. One of them has a high pointed cap. They both wear trousers and a tunic.

There were many examples of beautifully preserved textiles. The Scythians buried high-status individuals in kurgans, or burial chambers built of wood and stone. The organic remains were often frozen, and so preserved for over two thousand years. There were coats of squirrel fur (the fur on the inside) finely sewn with sinew. On one woman’s coat, the stitches were less than 1 mm long. This same coat was trimmed with fur that had been dyed with indigo and madder, and decorated on the outside with intricate, differently coloured, leather appliqués. The appliqués were further decorated with small bronze plaques that had been covered with gold foil. Interestingly, the cuffs of the narrow sleeves had been sewn shut, a feature seen on other such coats.

Both men and women wore woollen trousers (additionally, women wore long woollen skirts). There were several expertly woven wool fragments on display—some dyed with five colours (blue, green, red, orange and yellow). People were also buried with unique, high head gear, made from leather and felt; some burial mounds also contained decorated felt stockings; and woollen rugs or coverlets.

There were two objects on display that I will remember for a long time. One was a beautiful felt swan figure, which dates to the third century BCE. It was found with three other similar swans and may have been sewn to decorate a cart. Stuffed with straw, with a black bill and yellowish-red tail feathers, it is charming. The other object was a red leather woman’s shoe. This dates from the late fourth to the early third centuries BCE. The toe is decorated with thick sinew wrapped with tin foil, to imitate silver. But it’s the sole of the show which shows real bling: edged with dark beads, small cubed pyrite crystals were stitched to form three diamond-shaped patterns. Even sitting on the floor, showing the soles of her shoes, the woman who wore this wanted to be fashionable.

The exhibition is now closed. Hopefully it will be on tour to other museums before it returns to its home in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. If it is, don’t miss it.

Shelley Anderson, Sunday 28th January 2018

   

Gingham Girl, Hajj clothing and bark cloth from Indonesia: New acquisitions for the TRC collection

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Bark cloth garment from Sulawesi, Indonesia, c. 1945/1950 (TRC 2018.0042).

Bark cloth garment from Sulawesi, Indonesia, c. 1945/1950 (TRC 2018.0042).

It is only the third week of January, but we are already including some new and very diverse objects into the TRC Collection. The first few items include an original Gingham Girl cloth and notebook, both from c. 1925 and acquired in the context of the current exhibition at the TRC about feedsacks. The  acquisition of these items means that we have an almost complete range of objects on display that really represent the fascinating history of the American feedsack.

We are also welcoming groups of quilters coming to the exhibition. They are especially attracted by the many quilts made from feedsacks, and their intriguing and colourful designs. So far, the 'Flying Geese' quilt seems to be the most popular. The exhibition can be seen until the end of June 2018. One the groups that we welcomed was actually a birthday party. Perhaps an idea for others?

Woman's cloth for a Turkish woman, used for the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca (TRC 2018.0038a).

Woman's cloth for a Turkish woman, used for the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca (TRC 2018.0038a).

Another range of new acquisitons is equally fascinating. Mrs. E. Güney, a long-standing friend of the TRC who is very active within the Turkish community in Leiden, came to the TRC with various items relating to Turkish Muslim life, namely, Hajj and Umrah clothing for men and women, worn when on pilgrimage to Mecca. This set included two prayer cloths, prayer beads and books explaining how to perform the Hajj and Umrah, in both Arabic and Turkish. In 2017 she gave the TRC a range of cloths, soaps, perfumes, etc, relating to the burial of a Muslim. Over the next few years she wants to build up the Turkish collection at the TRC in order to represent this aspect of Turkish life in The Netherlands. The objects are donated in the name of the Stichting Güney, Leiden.

On Friday last (26th January) we were given five bark cloth garments that date from about 1945/1950. These come from eastern Sulawesi (Indonesia) and were given by the Van Strien family. They had initially been given to Mr. P.T. van Strien, who was appointed as a Dutch colonial administratior to the region in 1945. The garments include two sarongs, a blouse and a large roundel. All of these have been painted with stylised foliage, birds and geometric shapes, mainly in brown and black. Because of the Japanese occupation of the islands during the Second World War (1939-1945), there was an acute shortage of cotton material for clothing and many people were forced to wear bark cloth garments.

Gillian Vogelsang, Saturday 27th January 2018

   

Happy Saint Distaff Day

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Saint Distaff

Saint Distaff

Today, 7th January, is Saint Distaff Day. You may never have heard of her, and to be honest, she never existed. But she has been adopted as the patron saint of the TRC, so - Happy Saint Distaff Day to you all.

St. Distaff is a medieval English joke. We discovered her when preparing an exhibition on handspinning in 2011.  The 7th of January was an unofficial medieval celebration. It  observed the day that women went back to household work after twelve days of celebrating Christmas. It was the day that women could make jokes at the expense of men. The men themselves returned to work on the Monday (sometimes called Plough Monday) immediately following St. Distaff day.

A distaff is an ancient tool used by spinners to support extra fibres (usually flax or wool) while at work. So it is an appropriate 'female' tool for a 'saint' to be named after. 

Shelley Anderson, Sunday 7th January 2018.

   

TRC Zijden Kousen Project: De eerste proeflapjes

Vier ervaren breisters van het TRC Zijden Kousen Project, 29 december 2017.

Vier ervaren breisters van het TRC Zijden Kousen Project, 29 december 2017.

Sinds de aankondiging van het TRC Zijden Kousen project zijn we overladen met enthousiaste reacties. Momenteel zijn er meer dan honderd deelnemers voor de workshops waarin we de zijden kousen van het Texelse zeventiende-eeuwse scheepswrak gaan reconstrueren. Er zijn zelfs mensen die vanuit de Verenigde Staten en Canada mee willen doen.

Ter voorbereiding op de workshops die begin 2018 plaats gaan vinden, zijn enkele ervaren breisters alvast aan de slag gegaan om ons te helpen de juiste breipennen en zijden garens te selecteren. Op vrijdag 29 december kwamen ze bijeen en begonnen aan de eerste proeflapjes. Op pen 0.7 en 1, want dikker gaat het helaas niet worden.

Lees meer: TRC Zijden Kousen Project: De eerste proeflapjes

   

Genius at work: Paul Poiret (1879-1944)

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‘Chez Poiret’, cover of Les Modes, with designs by Paul Poiret, drawn by Georges Barbier, April 1912. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

‘Chez Poiret’, cover of Les Modes, with designs by Paul Poiret, drawn by Georges Barbier, April 1912. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Paul Poiret was an influential fashion designer in Paris. Nicknamed ‘Le Magnifique’, he produced innovative fabrics and clothing for both women and men that incorporated bright colours, Japanese-style kimono sleeves and graceful drapery. His dresses for women were all designed—shockingly for the time—to be worn without a corset. The Gemeentemuseum in the Hague has designed the exhibition ‘Art Deco’ as a fitting tribute to him, and to the many other creators of this iconic, early 20th century style.

‘Art Deco’ features furniture, stunning jewellery by Cartier and paintings by Kees van Dongen, Sonia Delaunay, Picasso, Dufy and Iribe. But the exhibition’s highlight are the dozens of garments by Poiret. There is ‘Toujours’, a velvet, ankle-length dress with grosgrain ribbon, created in 1911, and a stunning 1912 silk dress in deep blue. My favourite is a Poiret from 1923 called ‘Braque’, after the painter. It is a white silk dress with large black geometric patterns.

Poiret incorporated avant-garde art styles like Cubism and Constructivism in his designs and hired painters like Picasso, Modigliani, Raoul Dufy and Paul Iribe to work for him. Garments by other designers are also on display, most notably the cream-coloured pleated silk ‘Peplos’, designed by Mariano Fortuny in 1914.

Part of Poiret’s genius lay in his comprehensive vision. When he opened his house Maison Martine in 1905, he concentrated on interior décor and fabrics. In addition to his corset-free clothing and shoes, he introduced new features such as the home bar and sunken baths. His bright fabrics with large floral patterns, and the use of luxury materials such as fur, velvet, silk and satin, caused a sensation, as did his perfume line. He also pioneered ways to sell his creations by inventing the cat walk, and toured with his models around the country. He designed costumes for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and for the new medium of films.

But it was his ambitious vision that also led to his downfall. At the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (from whence comes the term ‘art deco’), Poiret showcased his work by outfitting three barges on the Seine. The first promoted his perfumes, the second was a restaurant, while in the third, with the tapestries of Dufy as back drops, daily fashion shows where held. This, plus the new styles of designers such as Coco Chanel, led to bankruptcy in the late 1920s. It is said that when Poiret first saw Chanel’s iconic little black dress, he said to her, “But who are you in mourning for?” Chanel fired back, “For you.”

‘Art Deco’ is on at the Gemeentemuseum in the Hague until 4th March 2018.

Shelley Anderson, 9th December 2017

   

Hoe herken je kant?

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Kanten kraagje voor een japon, begin 20ste eeuw. TRC 2017.3324.

Kanten kraagje voor een japon, begin 20ste eeuw. TRC 2017.3324.

In het weekeinde van 4 op 5 november werd in het atelier van het TRC de boeiende workshop van Olga Ieronima over het uitgebreide onderwerp “hoe herken je kant” gehouden. Hoewel het buiten goot en de regen op de lichtkoepel van het atelier van het TRC kletterde, luisterden binnen zeven zeer geïnteresseerde en in textielkennis al ervaren deelnemers naar Olga’s heldere uitleg van de verschillen tussen bijvoorbeeld naaldkant en kloskant, geborduurd tule en gehaakt kant, filetwerk en tamboereerwerk en bijvoorbeeld hoe machinaal kant eruit ziet.

De zeer ervaren Olga had haar eigen grote ronde kloskant-kussen meegenomen en gaf daar een korte demonstratie van. Er was ook een kloskant-kussen in the TRC collectie met alle variaties die er te vinden zijn in soorten kantklosjes. Waarschijnlijk is die indertijd klaargemaakt toen het TRC in 2014 een expositie “Over kant Gesproken” had opgezet, waarover toen een alleraardigst informatieboekje is geschreven.

Bovendien had Olga voor elk van ons een uitgebreide en uitgeprinte beschrijving van de geschiedenis van de kanthistorie, uitgewerkte fotovoorbeelden en tekeningen gemaakt dat we als naslagwerk voor later konden gebruiken. De voorraad én de kwaliteit van de enorme variatie aan voorbeelden van kant van het TRC zijn immens! Ze lagen allemaal keurig gesorteerd klaar om niet alleen bekeken, maar ook aangeraakt en gevoeld te worden. Dit is een bijzondere specialiteit van het TRC, die door de deelnemers erg gewaardeerd werd.

Na afloop van dit weekeinde wisten we veel meer over kant én kregen we ongelooflijk veel bewondering voor de makers van kant én konden we zelfs (weliswaar met enige moeite) de verschillende soorten kant van elkaar onderscheiden! Helaas regende het nog steeds flink toen we tevreden naar huis gingen……

Esmeralda Zee, donderdag 16 november 2017

   

TRC weekend workshop on lace

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TRC weekend lace workshop, 4-5 November 2017

TRC weekend lace workshop, 4-5 November 2017

There were eight participants (from four different countries) at the TRC’s recent weekend workshop on “Identification of Lace”. The workshop was expertly led by Olga Ieromina, a TRC volunteer and an enthusiastic lace maker herself. Olga began by giving a working definition of lace as a decorative openwork fabric, in which the pattern, and any ground that links the pattern parts, are gradually built up by the interworking of free threads.

She explained four different markers that can be used to identify lace: how is it made (for example, handmade or machine made, the type of stitches used in construction, etc); what type of lace (needle lace, bobbin lace, hairpin lace, etc.); what kind of thread is used (examples included linen, silk, cotton, synthetic, wool or metal); and the lace’s country of origin and date.

A brief history of lace followed, from its 15th century origins in southern European embroidery and cut work, through the 17th century’s stunning needle lace (much of which originated in Venice), to the rise of Flemish bobbin lace in the 18th century and on to the 19th century’s machine lace.

TRC weekend lace workshop, 4-5 November 2017

TRC weekend lace workshop, 4-5 November 2017

We then began the most enjoyable part of a very enjoyable weekend—identifying, examining and handling many different and beautiful examples of lace in the TRC collection, from continuous to guipure, looped or appliqued; made by hand and by a variety of machines (including Puschers, Barmen and chemical). Our learning was enhanced by a series of short video clips, which showed how different laces were made and by the experiences of the participants themselves, whether we were curators, collectors, craftswomen, conservators or in the vintage business. Olga also produced a very useful handout on lace identification for each participant. I came away from the workshop with more knowledge and even more admiration for the creators of such complex and beautiful textiles.

Shelley Anderson.

Friday, 10th November 2017

   

Syriac Orthodox display opened

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Display of clothing and objects associated with Bishop Mor Julius Yeshù Çiçek. 5th Nov. 2017. Photograph by Gewargis Acis.

Display of clothing and objects associated with Bishop Mor Julius Yeshù Çiçek. 5th Nov. 2017. Photograph by Gewargis Acis.

Sunday 5th November: The last few days have seen some interesting events and developments at the TRC. As seen from a previous blog, we had a donation of a christening gown dating from 1947. It is embroidered with the names of 17 babies who had been christened in the gown. An item about it was also put on the TRC’s facebook page and many people have seen the item and reacted to it.

Saturday and Sunday saw a new development at the TRC, namely a two-day course on the identification of lace and its many different forms and types. The course was given by Olga Ieromina, one of the TRC volunteers and a dedicated lace maker and responsible for the TRC’s collection of lace. More details about the course will come online shortly.

In the meantime Willem and I have been hard at work at the Syriac Monastery in Glane, in the east of the Netherlands. We have been helping the community to prepare a display about the previous Syriac bishop, called Mor Julius Yeshù Çiçek, who died in 2007 and who had a strong influence then, and indeed now, on the monastery and the people associated with it. Saturday was spent getting the final details of the exhibition in order, text boards hung, podiums and stands covered, objects in order (especially three outfits worn by the bishop) and finally getting the object descriptions written and translated into Dutch and English. Two showcases for the display were provided by the Volkenkunde Museum, Leiden.

Lees meer: Syriac Orthodox display opened

   

Doopjurk met een rijke geschiedenis

Doopjurk uit 1947 gemaakt van parachutezijde, met geborduurd de namen van 17 dopelingen, tussen 1947 en 2013.

Doopjurk uit 1947 gemaakt van parachutezijde, met geborduurd de namen van 17 dopelingen, tussen 1947 en 2013.

Het TRC ontving vandaag wel een heel speciale nieuwe aanwinst voor de collectie: het is een doopjurk die in 1947 werd gemaakt van parachutezijde dat de grootvader van de baby tijdens de oorlog ergens had gevonden of gekocht. Hij had drie dochters, en die kregen elk een stuk van de zijde. Twee zusjes maakten er een blouse van; de derde een doopjurk voor haar eerste kind. Geen gemakkelijke klus, want de jurk moest worden gemaakt van een schuine baan stof met een schuine naad in het midden aan de voorkant. Om die naad een beetje te verbergen, borduurde de jonge moeder langs de naad de naam, geboortedatum en geboorteplaats van haar dochtertje. Later voegde zij daar nog aan toe de datum van de doop, de naam en plaats van de kerk, de naam van de dominee en de bijbeltekst van de doop. 

De doopjurk werd daarna in de familie nog heel veel gebruikt, en elke keer werden alle gegevens weer op de jurk geborduurd, en na zeventien dopelingen is de jurk bijna helemaal vol. De laatst geborduurde tekst is die van een baby die in Harderwijk werd gedoopt op 12 maart 2013.

 

Lees meer: Doopjurk met een rijke geschiedenis

   

Strengthening the TRC archives and research facilities

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Girl with child from Walcheren in Zeeland, in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, in local costume. Photograph was taken in 1929.

Girl with child from Walcheren in Zeeland, in the southwestern part of the Netherlands, in local costume. Photograph was taken in 1929.

The TRC Leiden has just been given a small photo album that dates from 1929. It depicts daily life in Zeeland just before the Second World War. A way of life, including many of the garment types that have now vanished. The album includes 39 photographs taken during the holiday of Mr and Mrs N.G.J Schouwenburg from Amsterdam. They and their young daughter, Gera, then aged one, were in Zutphen in Overijssel, in the East of the Netherlands, and in Oostkapelle in Zeeland (in the south) for a holiday. It would appear that they were part of the vicars and elders associated with the Dutch Reformed Church (Nederlands Hervormde Kerk), as they stayed with Mr. van Paassen (Zutphen) and Mr. Gijsman (Oostkapelle), both of whom were vicars of that particular Protestant denomination. The album contains both family images of the Schouwenburgs and Gera (she regularly appears in the photographs).

With respect to the TRC interest in dress and identity, the images in this album present a fascinating glimpse of life for a middle class urban family (the ladies are wearing some wonderful cloche hats), who were clearly interested in the regional dress still worn on a daily basis by men, women and children in Zeeland.  We are now working hard on identifying all of the regional dress forms represented in the photographs.

These photographs can be found at the TRC Digital Collection under the numbers 2017.3322 (a-z, and za-zo), or by typing in Schouwenburg. One of the aims of the TRC is to present online a range of photographs and other images relating to textile and dress history from around the world. If you have any photographs that you know the date, place and perhaps even the people depicted, and you would be willing to donate to them TRC can you please let us know at Dit e-mailadres is beschermd tegen spambots. U heeft Javascript nodig om het te kunnen zien. . Many thanks!

Gillian Vogelsang, 31st October 2017

   

National Silk Art Museum, Weston, Missouri, USA

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Stevengraph showing Queen Victoria, woven in Coventry (England) in 1841.

Stevengraph showing Queen Victoria, woven in Coventry (England) in 1841.

I first became interested in Stevengraphs after the TRC acquired several examples (see TRC 2013.0419 and 2013.0462 via the TRC’s digital collection). Stevengraphs are pictures woven from silk. Originally in shimmering white, silver and black threads, designers later used coloured silks to create pictures. Stevengraphs are named after the English weaver, Thomas Stevens, who developed the process.

Stevens began producing silk bookmarks and greeting cards in the 1860s, using mechanical looms and punch cards. These affordable silk pictures became very popular in Victorian England, and gradually became larger and more detailed. It was a delight, then, to discover a museum dedicated to Stevengraphs.

The National Silk Art Museum in Weston, Missouri (USA) has some 300 silk pictures on display, ranging from small souvenirs of various World Fairs, to portraits of celebrities and royalty, to large reproductions of paintings by Rembrandt, Goya and Raphael. There is also a special display of embroidered post cards of World War I, similar to those in the TRC collection. The majority of the pictures, especially ones depicting religious or sporting scenes, are from France, not England, produced by firms such as Neyret Freres.

The exhibition opens with a display (post cards, photographs and stereoscope slides) on the history of silk production, with an emphasis on 19th century American involvement in silk. In 1603, silk worm eggs and mulberry seeds were sent to the British colony of Virginia, by order of the English king, in the hope of establishing a silk industry that could compete with French and Italian silk production. Crops like tobacco and indigo, however, proved more commercially successful. There were many silk mills, mostly in the eastern USA, during the latter half of the 19th century and early 20th.

Stevengraph showing Joan of Arc.

Stevengraph showing Joan of Arc.

In the 1830s there was a get-rich-quick craze (similar to the 17th century ‘tulip mania’ in the Netherlands), which involved planting hectares of mulberry trees in order to raise silk worms. The craze ended in failure, and most American mills imported raw silk from elsewhere.

The collection of the National Silk Art Museum began as a sort of craze, too, according to the curator John Pottie, who has put together the collection. “I collected sports memorabilia. In 1980 I bought a small engraving of French billiard players. When I got it home I realized it was silk, not an engraving.” Pottie fell in love with the way silk pictures change in light. “It’s almost as if they are breathing,” he said. Everything about Stevengraphs, from the way they look to the way they are produced, fascinates him. It is easy to see why after seeing the collection on display.

Shelley Anderson, 25th October 2017

   

Modest clothing

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Mormon modest clothing for a temple visit, Utah (US).

Mormon modest clothing for a temple visit, Utah (US).

Earlier this year, the British BBC reported on an unexpected but growing fashion trend: modest clothing. While reporters found many different ideas about what constituted modest clothing, there was agreement that the trend is being fueled by younger Muslim women who do not want to compromise either their faith or their sense of self-expression through what they wear.

But modest fashion, with dress hemlines below the knee and higher necklines, is also important to many other people. Among these are members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS or Mormons), a Christian religious group that began in the USA in the 19th century. There are approximately 15 million Mormons around the world today, with over half living in the US. “Our bodies are sacred, so we need to clothe it appropriately,” one American Mormon told me. “We dress modestly in order to not call attention to ourselves. This means not exposing our bodies, so no see-through or sheer clothing, but also not wearing loud colours. I think it boils down to showing respect for myself and my body.”

Both Mormon men and women should dress modestly, she said. “In an everyday situation you probably won’t be able to spot an LDS member. Maybe at the beach, because men would wear longer swim trunks, and women would be in a one piece bathing suits—no bikinis.” Clothing worn to Sunday church services is mostly a personal “matter of taste,” she continued. “I have a long red dress. It’s modest, but I don’t wear it to church because it’s loud.”

Mormons who are initiated and make additional spiritual commitments also go to a temple. The clothing worn to temple must be all white, which symbolizes purity. Women wear white dresses with long sleeves, which are either mid-calf or ankle length, and white shoes. Men wear white suits and ties and white shoes. Larger temples may rent out this clothing, which is considered sacred, or believers can buy the clothes at LDS clothing centres.

Other clothing that is considered sacred is special underwear. Called ‘garments’, these are available at LDS clothing centres only for Mormons who have made certain personal commitments. “Garments remind us of the spiritual promises we have made. They’re sacred. The only time you don’t wear them is in the shower, or swimming, or when you are being intimate.” Garments are always white—except in the case of Mormon military personnel. The LDS and the US military have agreed that Mormon service members can wear camouflage garments.

While I was allowed to photograph the modest clothing for sale at a LDS clothing centre in Utah, I was not allowed to photograph the sacred garments.

Shelley Anderson, 8th October 2017

   

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Donations

 
Financial donations to the TRC can be made via Paypal; Donaties aan de TRC kunnen worden overgemaakt via Paypal:
 
 

TRC in een notendop

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

Openingstijden: Maandag tot/met donderdag, van 10.00 tot 16.00 uur. Andere dagen alleen volgens afspraak.

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TRC Gallery tentoonstelling, 22 jan. - 27 juni 2019: Fijn fluweel!

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Financiële giften

The TRC is afhankelijk van project-financiering en privé-donaties. Al ons werk wordt verricht door vrijwilligers. Ter ondersteuning van de vele activiteiten van het TRC vragen wij U daarom om financiële steunGiften kunt U overmaken op bankrekeningnummer NL39 INGB 000 298 2359, t.n.v. Stichting Textile Research Centre. Omdat het TRC officieel is erkend als een Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (ANBI), en daarbij ook nog als een Culturele Instelling, zijn particuliere giften voor 125% aftrekbaar van de belasting, en voor bedrijven zelfs voor 150%. Voor meer informatie, klik hierVoor het overmaken van giften, kunt U ook gebruik maken van Paypal: