Textile History Forum Planned For Hyde Hall


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Hyde HallHyde Hall, the 1817 Regency Mansion of George Clarke in Springfield, will host this year’s Textile History Forum April 29 through  and May 1, 2016.

This year’s Forum will be a hands-on working project to identify, date, and catalog the surviving drapery fabrics and trims from the Dining Room and Drawing Room of the Great House.

The forum will start with sessions to teach and train participants the techniques for fiber and weave structure identification including microscopic analysis of fiber, yarn construction, fabric density, and proper cataloging.

Sessions will include “George Clarke, the builder, and his surviving receipts,” “What window treatments should look like for the Dining Room and the Drawing Room,” “Trims and ornaments in the early 19th century,” and the actual identifying and cataloging of the collection.

This is an opportunity to do hands on curatorial work in a collection of surviving drapery fabrics. There are receipts for many of the textiles, and many of the fabrics have survived at least in part. The mission will be to identify the surviving pieces and try to reconstruct how the fabrics were used while recording the information for Hyde Hall’s records.

Many of the pieces have never been fully documented with fiber content, density, repeat size, and sewing techniques. The forum participants will have a chance to contribute to as well as learn from this experience. The Forum will be limited to 30 participants. The three-day event will include lunches and one reception and dinner at Hyde Hall. Cost for the Forum is $225 for three days. Single day registration is available.

The Textile History Forum, begun in the 1990s, is a biennial meeting to share research on historic textiles topics for scholars and textile enthusiasts. Papers are published the day of the Forum in the Proceedings. This year, the Forum has taken a different direction and will be acting as a training and practicum for anyone interested in learning to identify and date historic textiles and act as adjunct to the curatorial staff at Hyde Hall by cataloging the vast and unique textile and trim collection from the 1830s.

No prior experience is necessary to join in this year’s Forum, just a desire to learn and help catalog textiles for Hyde Hall. Contact Rabbit Goody at Thistle Hill Weavers, (518) 284-2729 or Jonathan Maney, executive director at Hyde Hall, (518) 547-5098 x3 for more details.

Photo of Hyde Hall provided.

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