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Textile History Forum

Call for Papers and Presentations for the 2018 Textile History Forum

July 27, 28 and 29, 2018, at the Marshfield School of Weaving, Marshfield VT

The Textile History Forum is an open forum for anyone doing research on any aspect of the study of textiles from prehistory to present day. For 2018, we are meeting at the Marshfield School of Weaving and will be especially interested in papers and presentations that relate to textile tools, textile process and textile availability. The Marshfield School has acquired many spinning wheels, looms and small tools from the dissolution of the American Museum of Textile History. Demonstration and research related to these tools will be part of the Forum, as well.

The Textile History Forum, which began in 1990’s is an informal but intense weekend of papers, demonstrations and works-in-progress open to any one interested in and enthusiastic about textiles, textile tools and material culture.

Written papers are published in our Proceedings at the time of the Forum, and are given to all participants as part of the Forum’s philosophy that discussion and active participation with others is the best way to explore our interests and further our research. Authors retain copyright of their papers and are free to publish elsewhere. Works-in-Progress and non-paper presentations are also included in the Proceedings.

Presenters from all areas of textile interests are encouraged to share their research; no formal academic credentials are necessary. We encourage anyone to submit a short one page abstract for review by January 15, 2018. Selected papers and details of presentations are due May 15, 2018.

In the past, the Forum has included papers about prehistoric footwear, contemporary fashion designers, historic dye analysis, ingrain carpet factories, coverlet weavers of Ohio, rose blankets, glove making, knitting traditions, weaving in Ecuador on traditional card looms, quilts, reed making, corsets and undergarments, white work, textile tools, labor in early mills, textile production in Lowell and much more.

S. Rabbit Goody began the Textile History Forum in response to the Dublin Seminar on New England Culture in the late 1990’s. It has met every few years since and published papers in the Proceedings, which is available to participants, libraries and by purchase to the public. The intent of the Forum is to encourage new voices to share their research in a scholarly but non-academic setting. At this upcoming Forum, we especially encourage those who have been doing research in traditional hand process to share what they know so that traditions are not lost. We learn more from each other and we learn the most over a good lunch!

Please think about presenting a paper or works-in-progress at the Textile History Forum at the Marshfield School of Weaving July 27 – 29, 2018.

Schedule for Textile History Forum, April 29 – May 1, 2016

Friday April 29

9:30am: Introduction to Hyde Hall by Jonathan Maney

10am: How do we know what we know? Basic textile identification with Rabbit Goody

12:30pm: Lunch

2pm George Clarke, The Builder – Receipts That Tell Us So Much by Jill Maney

3:15pm: Break

3:30-5pm: Hands-on identification…practical experience in fiber analysis and technical recording of textile information.

Dinner on your own.

Saturday April 30

9:30am: What should the windows look like? with Bruno Lopez Poulin

10:30am: The special textile collections at Hyde Hall – identifying and dating the red worsted damask and cataloging textiles for Hyde Hall

12:30pm: Lunch

2pm: More special textile collections at Hyde Hall – Identifying, dating and cataloging textiles for Hyde Hall

5:30pm: Wine and cheese reception for the Board of Trustees and donors at Hyde Hall and dinner with Hyde Hall Staff

Sunday May 1st

10am: The Textile Roadshow – identification of participants’ textiles

12:30pm Lunch

2pm: Trims and their importance: The Collection at Hyde Hall and Tassel and Trim Making in the 19th Century.

Hyde Hall has an extraordinary collection of curtains and gilt valances from the Great House Dining Room and Drawing Room. Together we will piece together the physical evidence and work with experts to understand and reassemble the parts of the surviving drapery so that we can reconstruct the magnificent window treatments as they once were. This is a unique experience for anyone who is interested in textile history. Together we will “remake” history at Hyde Hall.

Register for the Textile History Forum 2016


When: Friday April 29 through Sunday May 1, 2016
Where: Hyde Hall in Glimmerglass State Park, Springfield, NY 13333
Click here for driving directions.

Please join us for a very special Textile History Forum on Friday, April 29 – Sunday, May 1, 2016. This year we are planning a hands-on forum to identify and date the surviving drapery fabrics at Hyde Hall. This is an unprecedented opportunity for anyone interested in historic fabrics to work with experts and help catalog this amazing collection of early 19th century fabrics and trims.

Hyde Hall has an extensive collection of curtains and gilt valances from the Great House Dining Room and Drawing Room. As a group, we will piece together the physical evidence and, with the help of experts, reassemble the parts so that we can reconstruct the magnificent window treatments as they once were.

Lunches and one dinner are included in the registration fee of $225.00. Single day participation is $100.00

Please contact us if you have questions. We look forward to a great experience at this wonderful historic mansion. Click here to register.

Register for the Textile History Forum 2012


You can register two ways: click here to pay through our online store or give us a call us (518) 284-2729

Please click here to view or download the schedule for the 2012 Textile History Forum in PDF format.

About The Textile History Forum:

Historic Hyde Hall will be the setting for this year’s Textile History Forum, which will take place June 8-10. Anyone with a serious interest in textiles is encouraged to attend. The Forum is an eclectic gathering of textile enthusiasts: collectors, curators, scholars, weavers, spinners, knitters, quilters -amateurs and professionals – who get together to share current research, exchange information, tour area museums, and participate in workshops. They also enjoy networking opportunities and a banquet on Saturday evening, a tradition established by the Forum’s founder and director, Rabbit Goody. Goody is a textile historian and owner of Thistle Hill Weavers, a commercial mill producing accurate historic reproductions of interior furnishing textiles for museums, the film industry, designers, and
home owners.

This year’s Textile History Forum will feature presentations on Hand Loom weaving in Scotland, 1750-1825; Quilt Making during WWII; Textiles in the New Netherlands; Early Calico Production in New York State; Paisleys in Portsmouth, NH; Textile Production by African American Women on Plantations from 1750-1830; Decorated Hetchels; an original film on Cotton Fiber Art in Ecuador; a comparison of Architecture and Textile Technology; investigations of historic Mitten Patterns in New York and New England; early Spinning Mills in New York, and more.

Friday, June 8th and Saturday, June 9th are devoted to paper presentations, discussions of works in progress, textile collection tours, and workshops. Participants are encouraged to bring textiles to share and discuss. On Sunday the Forum will host an "Antiques Roadshow" style Textile I.D. day at Hyde Hall, which is open to the public and helps raise funds for the restoration of Hyde Hall. Bring your textile treasure to Hyde Hall, and for $7 the Forum’s textile experts will identify and date it.

Hyde Hall, a 50-plus room stone mansion at the north end of Otsego Lake, is an outstanding representation of romantic classicism in America, one of the "two or three greatest houses in America," according to Brendan Gill, architecture critic for the New Yorker. Designed by Philip Hooker and built by George Hyde Clarke between 1817 and 1835, Hyde Hall is a National Historic Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a New York State Historic Site. The mansion sits inside Glimmerglass State Park, a lake front park with 42 campsites, beach, showers, boating, and picnicking facilities on Otsego Lake.

Registration is $150 and includes lunch both days. There is an optional banquet on Saturday evening as well. For registration information and questions, please contact us.

2007 Textile History Forum Proceedings

The 2007 Textile History Forum Proceedings is available for $25.00 plus $2.50 shipping and handling.  We accept checks, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Please contact us to order or for more information.

Contents, with a foreword by Rabbit Goody:

  • Adams, Anne. "Done Without Spectacles: Three Generations of a Quaker Family and Their Textiles."
  • Baldia, Christel. "The Use of Colorants in Hopewell Textiles from the Seip Mound Group in Southern Ohio."
  • Dean, Phyllis. "The Rocker Beater Loom: An Early Form of Standing Beater Loom."
  • Heffernan, Sandy. "Peasant? The Transformation of an Aesthetic."
  • Koch-Esterline, Caryn Elizabeth. "Mary Alexander: Fashioning Colonial New York."
  • Laube, Gary. "The New England Pine Tree Flag."
  • Lovett, John. "Research and Restoration of a 19th-century Textile Machinery Collection."
  • McClintock, Deb. "The Lao Khao Tam Huuk–One of the Foundations of Lao Pattern Weaving."
  • Robare, Mary. "Quaker Networks Revealed in Quilts."
  • Sider, Sandra. "Origins of American Art Quilts: Politics and Technology."
  • Sweeney, Melodie. "The Flowering of the Rose Blanket."
  • Walter, Ron. "Decorated Hetchels." 
  • With Works in Progress by Stan Gorski and Martha Graham.

2003 Textile History Forum Proceedings

Contents, with a foreword by Rabbit Goody:

  • "Knitted Handwear: Preserving Cultural Identity in Hand-Stitches" by Jay Ruckel
  • "Advertising and Knitting: Cranking Out Socks on Contract at Home, 1900-1926" by Richard Candee
  • "Whose Corset Is It?" by Nancy Boulin
  • "Exploring the Textures of Prehistoric Textiles: The Replication of Footwear and Bags" by Jenna Tedrick Kuttruff
  • "To Market To Market: The Trials and Tribulations of Textile Adaptation–Highland Guatemalan Maya Women Through the Centuries" by Amber H. J. Judge
  • "Homespun Myths: Middleclass Values Meet the Marketplace" by Judith Rygiel
  • "The Ithaca Carpet Factory: Fancy Weaving, Home Production, and Superior Design" by Jill Maney and Jonathan Maney
  • "Regional Preferences in Fancy Coverlet Designs: An Ohio Study" by Viginia Gunn
  • "The Nineteenth-Century Diaries of Samantha and Zeloda Barrett, Weavers and Spinners in Nineteenth-Century Hartford, Connecticut" by Sharon Usba Steinberg
  • "Airplanes, Balloons, and Cartridge Bags: A Few Fabrics of World War I" by Katharine Dirks
  • "The Value of Staying in Touch: A Researcher’s Use of Public History" by Michael J.Smith