Textile news

On Saturday 15 October OATG member Louise Shelley will give a webinar hosted by the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California. Her subject is The Dark Side of the Textile Trade: From the Silk Road to Today.

“Throughout history, textiles have always been one of the most valued components of international trade. Therefore, both individuals and states have sought to profit from this trade in both illegal and immoral ways.  The problem of counterfeit products is not new, but was already an issue centuries ago, when British traders flooded the Venetian market with their products labelled “Made in Venice.”  When cochineal was the most valuable product out of the New World, many pirates and traders sought to acquire cochineal and break the Spanish monopoly.  Dr. Shelley will reveal a largely unknown story of crime and often state-sponsored criminal trade.  Her survey of illicit trade will discuss the abuses of the textile trade for both commercial and political objectives.”

The webinar starts at 10:00 PDT, which is 18:00 BST, and you can sign up for it here.


I recently enjoyed an article, written by Kosuke Ide, with photos by Keisuke Fukamizu, which appeared in Subsequence online magazine. It focusses on the Iwatate Folk Textile Museum in Tokyo, and its owner Hiroko Iwatate, who has been collecting textiles for over fifty years and holds three exhibitions each year.

A display at the Iwatate Folk Museum

You can read this beautifully illustrated article here – but be aware it takes a little while to load.


OATG members Chris Buckley ,Sandra Sardjono and Sarah Fee have all been involved in the production of a new UNESCO book entitled Textiles and Clothing along the Silk Roads. Chris has written a chapter on drawlooms, Sandra on the maritime circulation of textiles in southeast Asia and Sarah on sub-Saharan Africa and global textile exchanges.

This book looks like required reading for all textile enthusiasts and can be viewed and downloaded free of charge through this link.


The team who run the very successful World Textile Day events around the UK had planned a World Textiles Market last month, but had to postpone it due to the death of Queen Elizabeth. It will now take place on Saturday 29 October at Chipping Norton Town Hall in Oxfordshire. Full details can be found here.