The idea of the Forum, in a single word? Networking. We want to give everyone connected to historical textiles the chance to meet others working in the same area. Most importantly, we want to make it possible for academics with no craft background to meet crafters with no academic background. We have seen again and again how much helpful input this generates for both sides, the academic side and the crafting side.
Research about old textiles - archaeological finds, relics and museum pieces - is a wonderful way to learn from the ancient workers. The quality, detail and knowledge that went into making many of the surviving historical textiles is stunning, and it's not always possible to see at first glance how it was made. In these cases, the crafts perspective and craft knowledge can be the key to reconstruct processes or to explain odd details. This is when thorough research and applied skills can work together at their best.
Craft skills are also an invaluable asset when designing and running an archaeological experiment that includes craft elements. The Forum with its large number of skilled textile workers is the ideal opportunity to run a large-scale archaeological experiment concerning textile works, like the Spinning Experiment in the Forum 2009. It is also very well suited to getting input and brainstorming help from different perspectives, and to consult crafters with different backgrounds.
The Forum finally features an information table where leaflets, books and other helpful information about supplies, techniques and sources can be exchanged between the participants.
The Textile Forum is a friendly, open place to meet new people and get in contact with both craft practice and scientific research - for the benefit of all.
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