I’ve been holding my class at the Design Center of Philadelphia University this semester. This is the fashion and textile schools study collection for their students and scholars. Recently I found a box of textiles (while looking for something else entirely) that was simply labeled 15th century. Upon inspection Sarah and I found (Sarah is the head of the Design Center) a box with approximately a dozen or so samples of textiles from the 15th and 16th century (there are a few 17th century in there too). Most were brocades, some were silk velvets and they ranged in scale from clothing use to full on wall hangings.
In any case some are in need of a lot of care, which costs money the Center does not have. So here is the deal, as a fund raiser they have agreed to host a small hands on exhibition of these textiles. This means that those who go can examine them up close, in detail for a long duration (maybe two hours total for the tour). The whole box will be pulled (I think). And yes, photos, sketches, magnifying glasses are all welcome. Go ahead and count the threads per inch, its fine.
The tour will be approximately 10-20 folks and since its a fund raiser it will be somewhere between $50-100 a person. The money will go directly to helping these textiles get better housing in larger boxes and for some flat preservation. They are not in a position to pay for or do restoration of them at this time.
So here is how this will work for now: I will get the assession sheets and publish them to the website so you can tell if you want to join us. I will post tiny thumb nails to go with them where I can.
We will work out a time and date (I hope for a weekend) to do the tour. Once we have that I will accept on a first-come-first-served-basis names for the list. I will provide an opening date and time for this list so everyone gets a chance. I will post when it is closed. If there is more demand than space there will be a waiting list and maybe a second tour. When you come you will need to bring a check for the design center. The details will be posted soon.
I am willing to provide some crash space for out of towners who might like to join us as well.
UPDATE: Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Thank you so much for your overwhelming interest in this project. I am working with Sarah, head of the Design Center, and the University to set up a date for a tour, to establish a way to donate to this project with or without the tour and determine what needs to be done with the textiles so you/we know how the money will be used.
I have received the information sheets for the box but while the box has about a dozen samples the Center has only 4 sheets. These textiles are from the earliest part of the collection, that is the 1970’s, and so the standards for the Center were not established at that time. I’m going to make an inventory of the box tomorrow to see what is there (and a few more boxes). I will post this list and the information sheets I have on Friday. No, I’m not trying to tease but I have sewing project and class to do first.
I’ve seen that there is also some confusion on how this will work:
- step one: set a date for the tour and a cost. It will be on a weekend but I don’t know anything else.
- step two: sigh up for the tour. Given the response I may have to do a lottery. But in any case we will have on a specific day and time, a sign up for the tour or a lottery. I am NOT taking names now though I do appreciate the interest.
- step three: If there is a lottery, inform those who will go on the tour of the final details
- step four: go on the tour
- step five: a stitch-and-gossip post-revel. Details also tbd.
Thanks again for all your interest. More soon I promise.
UPDATE : AS OF APRIL 12th 2011
Photos have been posted (though they are small) and there is more news:
As it turns out we/I will be able to sell CDs of high resolution photographs (including detail shots and closeups -500+ in all) of the finds at the Design Center. They will be on sale at East Kingdom Crown Tournament (SCA Event) and later by mail order. They will be $20 and have what research we have been able to do so far. All proceeds will go to the Design Center for the conservation and preservation of these textiles. CASH ONLY for this sale. The date is May 7th, 2011 and the event information is located here: http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.html?eid=2132
I will also have forms to fill out for the lottery slots for the tour. I will also be accepting them via email and this is NOT the only opportunity to sign up for it. I should have a sign up sheet posted before May 7th for those who will sign up via email.
I hope to see you there.