Calendar of Events

European Textile Forum

Organised by
Katrin Kania

European Textile Forum 2019 - Shared Warps, Shared Wefts.

The European Textile Forum is a small conference about historical textile techniques, with a strong focus on the crafts aspects and practical work. Our aim is to connect practical and theoretical aspects of textile research: Craftspeople and archaeotechnicians profit by learning about new textile finds and detailed
presentations of them, while archaeologists, conservators, historians and other researchers can get valuable input about the craft background of the pieces they work on, how they are made, and the limits and possibilities of the textile techniques employed.

The conference in its current format runs for one week, with Monday for arrival, setup and preparation for tools or experiments that need some preparation time, and Sunday as departure day. From Tuesday to Saturday, we aim for a conference programme with plenty of time for discussion and in-depth exploration of topics. Our usual format for the programme is a presentation, followed by a demonstration, a workshop, or a round-table discussion that offers the opportunity to discuss and explore technical aspects in detail. This includes the possibility to do tests and reconstruction trials with several pairs of hands and eyes right at the conference venue.

The conference fee includes full board during the conference week as well as a possibility of very simple on-site lodging. With this setup, you are guaranteed to have plenty of time to get to know and work with your fellow textile researchers, conservators, and craftspeople on various textile puzzles or questions presented via the papers, or brought in addition to them. If you have a question that might be solved by several pairs of hands and several minds working on it together, this is the perfect venue for it.

This format is unique and has already proven to be enormously helpful, for instance if an object confronts you with a technique that you have no practical experience with yourself. There is a focus topic for each conference, but this does not mean that sessions with a different topic aren't very welcome as well.

The European Textile Forum 2019 will take place from November 4 to November 10, at the Visitor's Information Centre of the Lauresham Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology in Lorsch, Germany. The Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology is researching Carolingian life through various approaches, using an ideal type Carolingian manor with reconstructed houses, gardens, and fields for the basis of their research and as their logistical infrastructure. The concept of a Carolingian manor also includes pastures and a number of working animals as well as barns, stables, a weaving house and a space for dyeing. The Lauresham Laboratory is graciously offering us to use their museum buildings as well as the Visitor's Information Centre for our conference.

Our focus topic this year will be "Shared Warps, Shared Wefts". We are going to further explore weaving as it merges together with related and unrelated techniques. Shared warps or shared wefts can happen when a combination of weave patterns is taking place; a shared warp is the basis for decorative techniques such as colourful tapestry inserts in linen ground weaves, or decoration worked in flying needle technique. Combinations of weaving techniques  such as bandweaving or tablet-weaving to make starting or ending borders for use on a loom, or side borders, would also fall under this focus topic, as would braiding techniques for finishing off fabrics, as well as other combinations of techniques using one shared thread system for part of their construction.

For this year's Forum, we invite you to join us and discuss this sharing of threads between methods or techniques as our focus. All aspects and angles are welcome, and for the practical sessions, our venue is graciously supporting us with all their available infrastructure, which includes warp-weighted looms.

We invite you to submit your proposal for a lecture or presentation (about 20-50 minutes), followed by a discussion and, if possible, also followed by a practical session regarding the textile techniques or problems presented in the lectures. This combination of theoretical background and practice has proven very fruitful in the previous years and might include practical instructions in pattern drafting, exploration of "primitive" weaving tools, or tests for finishing fabrics. The practical part can be in form of a workshop, a demonstration, or something like a "hands-on round table". If you have trouble bringing tools or materials for your presentation, please get in touch, and we will try our best to make things possible. We will have working spaces both outside in the houses of the Open Air Laboratory as well as in the Information Centre, so if you are planning on bringing larger tools, we will find space to work with them.

As always, while papers or posters about our focus topic are especially welcome, if you have another topic outside this focus that you would like to present, please do submit your proposal. The same applies if you would like to offer a poster presentation or a workshop/demonstration only. We also have the opportunity to use the available facilities for archaeological experiments. If you have an experiment you would like to run, please let us know about this. The duration of the conference and the expertise and support of the other conference participants have proven to be a wonderful basis for experiments.

For any questions, feel free to contact us directly via

The Call for Papers is open until July 20. Registration for the conference will be possible through our website, from May 27. You can register for the conference with or without a paper and/or practical session; as our space is very limited, though, registrations with a paper proposal may be given preference over those without.

To keep updated, you can subscribe to our newsletter, which will make sure you receive the information about registration opening, or just check our website if you prefer.

Please help spread the word, too - do pass this information onwards to your own contacts who might be interested. We are looking forward to a wonderful conference with you!

for the Organisers

Katrin Kania