September 27, 2016

Fiber history

In this past week, I have been sewing but none of it is really blog-worthy (yet). I've made a rough sample of a new-to-me corset pattern, which is very likely much too extreme in shape for me (even the hip spring, that a first!). And I have re-sized some t-shirts for myself and my boyfriend. Useful work, and it is appreciated but not very interesting to share here.

So, instead, I thought I would share another old object. I came across this one at work. I have started teach a subject I can only translate as "knowledge of textiles" at a local fashion school. This subject is about understanding fabric, from the raw fiber to its place in the world of fashion and it is aimed at future buyers for stores, stylist/designers as well as made-to-measure tailors. 

Last week, I was looking through one of the cupboards which contains samples when I found this:

It is fun to find samples of fibers which are not often used for clothing. Most of the contents of this box seem to be made from coconut fiber. But look at that label! It looks old doesn't it?
For those of you who don't read Dutch I'll translate:

Royal United Carpet Factories

Superior weaving.
Softly spun coconut yarn for weft purposes.
Spun by hand in British India

British India! So that means that this sample pre-dates 1947 (or 1950 if we presume extreme conservatism and mistrust of the ability of former colonial nations to organize their own governments on the part of the label makers at the Rotterdam factory).
I wonder how it ended up here. It certainly pre-dates this institute in its current form. I didn't have time to search the other boxes in this cupboard but I'm really curious about what I am going to find there!