The Textile Commission organizes textile symposia (formerly 'textile days') twice a year. The symposia have an interdisciplinary approach in which conservators, (art) historians, artists, scientists and technicians contribute in the form of an illustrated talk. Each symposium treats a theme on which specialists shine their light. Besides the talks, symposiums provide the perfect opportunity to meet professional colleagues, share experiences and to make and maintain contacts. Usually the symposia are held at the Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed in Amersfoort.

Here you can find the Photo report of the symposium Ready-to-wear.
Underneath the subjects and dates of next symposia.
See the illustrated report of the symposium HAAR! on the archive page.

Spring symposium
Thursday 18 mei 2017
De Rijswijkse Schouwburg, Rijswijk

Art and Textile

Textiles have featured as an art in several big international exhibitions in the past few years and have been immensely popular. The visual Arts and textile art have long been separate realms, just like the separation between art and craft. Although an emancipation of textiles as a full-fledged artistic medium took place in the 1960s, artists who worked in the textile fiber arts remained in the margins. Does the new interest in the importance of textiles in Art of the 20th and 21st century, imply that the tide is turning? Is the renewed attention of the artist’s craft techniques, that has become apparent in the last 15 years, signaling a change in perception?

During this symposium the following speakers will feature:

Suzan Rüsseler, curator of the Textile Museum in Tilburg will speak about the relationship between fine art and textile art;
Wilma Kuil, active as (textile) artist for over 30 years;
Susanne Titz, director of Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach talks about the international exhibition ‘Textiles: Open Letter’ organized by the museum in 2013;
Joost Post and Desirée Hammen, lecturers respectively at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam and the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, about the changing trends in textile departments of the Dutch academies;
Dr. Lydia Beerkens Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg discusses the considerations in the conservation of textile materials in modern art;
Artist Tanja Smeets was commissioned by the TextielMuseum to create a fascinating Art installation in their Textiellab.
There are flash presentations of the artists Lulu Cuyvers and Alya Hessy, textile conservation students at the UVA Marijke de Bruijne and Sjoukje Telleman and a video screening of works by designer Bart Hess.

The symposium concludes with a visit to Rijswijk Textile Biennale 2017.

You may view and download the leaflet containing detailed information by clicking the above link/illustration.

Registration via the banster member administration opens on March 15th 2017, non-members from April 1st, 2017.
The invitation and final programme will be available for download well in advance.

Fee for participation in one symposium in 2016:
€ 45,- supporters
€ 15,- supporters up to 30 years
€ 60,- non-supporters (free yearbook not included)
€ 22,50 non-supporters up to 30 years (free yearbook not included)

Ready to wear

Report of the eponymous symposium on November 10th, RCE Amersfoort

The second symposium of 2016 centered on ready-to-wear fashion, a subject with which almost everyone comes into contact. Off-the-rack clothing is handy, but brings with it environmental pollution and exploitation of workers. With an historical overview of the emergence and success of ready-to-wear fashion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the subject was covered thoroughly. New solutions were discussed for sustainable production combining craft and technology. It was an uplifting day that filled all attendees with inspiration. With 136 participating, the symposium was nearly sold out.

Ria     Annemarie
Ria van Els-Dubelaar (left), chair of the, started off the day in style by showing a hanger of C & A.
Annemarie den Dekker (right) was an enthusiastic and knowledgeable chair of the event.

The lectures

Historian Klaas Kornaat kicked off with a lecture about the history of the origin of ‘ready-to-wear’ clothing in the Netherlands, which at the time of the industrial revolution was established primarily by German merchants traveling through the Netherlands. Some of those merchants ultimately settled here and opened department stores such as C & A, Peek & Cloppenburg, and V & D. The invention of the sewing machine in the nineteenth century let to massive increases in dressmaking speed and production.

Kornaat Boek Kornaat
Left: Klaas Kornaat; right: his book on 150 years of production and sales of clothing in the Netherlands.

kleermakersattributen Affiche
Left: old tailor’s attributes; right: A poster with a call to join the clothing industry union.

Annemarie den Dekker talked about Maison Hirsch & Cie, the fashion house that only moved away from fully bespoke to offering semi-custom in 1930: standard patterns were adjusted to the size of the customer. Renee van der Hoek discussed the current hot topic of the copying industry, which has actually played a role since the start of the Haute Couture era.

Hirsch Kopie industrie
Left: fashion house Hirsch & Cie; right: ALL the same!

Left: a design by Victor & Rolf; right: Designer Junya Watanabe

Ykje Wildenborg explained the meaning of several terms from the nineteenth century ready-to-wear industry, which must be taken into account that the Dutch term ‘confectie’, describing ready-to-wear clothing as a whole, had a broader meaning during that period than it does today. Sjouk Hoitsma of the Museum Rotterdam discussed the choices made by the museum in collecting of everyday fashion.

Ykje   Sjouk
Left: Ykje Wildenborg; right: Sjouk Hoitsma

Dorien Duivenvoorde gave an example of 'fast fashion.' The London based BIBA brand was one of the first to produce 'fast fashion’ in the 1960s and 1970s, which was very fashionable, eye-catching and affordable. It was made locally in the United Kingdom. Despite smart marketing insights, it ultimately proved financially unsustainable: BIBA closed its doors in 1975.

Dorien   BIBA
Dorien Duivenvoorde and BIBA

Catering      Astrid-Marijke
Left: delicious sandwiches! Right: Astrid Hage divides felt made from human hair to share with other participants. Marijke was one of the lucky ones to receive a piece.

Karlijn Anne van Kesteren spoke about her research thesis on Mac & Maggie, following a large donation of Cora Kemperman pieces (designer of Mac & Maggie) to the Centraal Museum in Utrecht.
Kim Verkens, conservator at the Fashion Museum in Antwerp, zoomed in on plastics to find out what problems might arise in the preservation of the MuMU fashion collection. The degradation process varies depending on the type of plastic, but typically takes 5-10 years. Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) was used to identify all the materials.

Anne-Karlijn      Kim
Left: Anne van Kesteren Karlijn; right: Kim Verkens

Eve Demoen used the exhibition ‘Haute-à-Porter’ in Fashion Museum Hasselt to explain how designers experienced the blurring borders between haute couture, couture, and prêt-à-porter.
The last two presentations looked with hope toward the future. Ista Boszhard of the Waag Society reported on the project Textile and Clothing Business Labs, where people from different industries come together to drive innovation within the textile industry in Europe.

Eve   Ista
Left: Eve Demoen; right: Ista Boszhard

Designer Daisy van Groningen explained how I-DID slow fashion uses textile waste products, turning them into new modern products.

Daisy    I-DID
Left: Daisy van Groningen; right: bag made in the workshops of I-DID

Text: Leonie Sterenborg
Photos: Piet Noordermeer


    (to be confirmed)
  • Thursday 9 November 2017: Natural colours, Amersfoort
  • Thursday 12 april 2018: Silk, Amersfoort (date and place to be confirmed)


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