Calendar of Events

Knitting History Symposium

Organised by
Textile Research Centre Leiden (NL)
Kniting History Forum (UK)
the Netherlands

Join the Textile Research Centre and the Knitting History Forum at the finale of the Texel Stockings Project in the historic centre of Leiden, The Netherlands.

As many as a hundred volunteers were involved in making reconstructions of the 17th century silk stockings from Texel. The symposium on Sat. 2nd November will explore the results of this research. It will offer a wide range of papers on current knitting research and related citizen science projects.

Location: De Tuinzaal (The Garden Room) at the Grand Café de Burcht, Burgsteeg 14, Leiden, The Netherlands. 

The programme includes a survey of the evidence for Early Modern knitters (Lesley O’Connell Edwards), a comparison with other silk stockings from the era to the Texel evidence (Sylvie Odstrčilová), and charting the introduction of knitting instructions (Hanna Bäckström).

Other contributions will look at dyeing knitted fabric (Art Ness Proaño Gaibor), the experience of wearing 17th century silk stockings (Geeske Kruseman), and how the Texel evidence can contribute to reconstructions for the ready-to-wear re-enactment market today (Sally Pointer).

Susan North will talk about her experiences of reconstructing silk stockings for Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the process of documenting Early Modern knitting. Chrystel Brandenburgh will report on what the Texel reconstruction team has learnt through their knitting experiences and Jane Malcolm-Davies will consider ways of gathering experimental and experiential data from participatory dress reconstruction projects.

A panel discussion about the challenges and benefits of citizen science will conclude the formal programme. The day’s events will end with a drinks reception. 


09.30-10.00: Welcome and registration

10.00-11.00: Keynote lecture
Chrystel Brandenburgh: The Texel stocking finds. Knitting for science. The reconstruction of the 17th century Texel Stockings by a citizen science community.

11.00-11.30: Coffee break

11.30-12.45: Stocking production in Europe. Current research in knittting history
1. Lesley O'Connell Edwards: A hidden workforce: hand knitters in 17th century England
2. Sylvie Odstrčilová: Early modern stockings from the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries. The story continues
3. Hannah Bäckström: The earliest printed knitting patterns

12.45-13.45: Lunch (BYO at venue or in city centre)

13.45-15.00: Dyeing, reconstructing and wearing. Spin-offs in knitting research
1. Art Ness Proaño Gaibor: Dye-experiments on the Texel Stockings
2. Geeske Kruseman: Wearing 17th century knitted silk stockings
3. Sally Pointer: Clues from the deep: Reconstructing for the reenactment-market - silk stockings based on the Texel projectv

15.00-15.30: Tea break

15.30-16.45: Citizen science projects
1. Susan North: How not to Knit: Sourcing silk, research and reconstructions reviewed
2. Jane Malcolm-Davies: Modern Slavery and the early modern work ethic: Lessons learned from volunteer participation in knitting in early modern Europe
3. Panel discussion with Katrin Kania, Heleen van Londen and Roeland Paardekooper: Knitting leads the way! The perils and potential of citizen science in textile research

16.45-17.00: Wrapping up (by Chrissi Carnie)

17.00-18.30: Drinks (at own cost)