TextielMuseum Tilburg

Since I was working on assignment 4 which is all about weaving, I decided that I had to go to the TextielMuseum in Tilburg (the Netherlands).

Various textile factories have been located in the buildings where the TextielMuseum now stands. In 1982 the buildings were restored and the TextielMuseum relocated to these buildings. The most characteristic factory buildings were erected by the Tilburg woollen fabrics manufacturer and son of a home weaver Christiaan Mommers (1836-1900). These consist of a wide, low factory building (1876-1878) with a wooden shed roof, in which the weaving mill was situated, and a high factory building (1885) for the spinning mill.

The museum has a permanent collection called ‘The woollen blanket factory’ and it recreates the lay-out and atmosphere of a textile factory as it existed in the Netherlands during the period from 1900 till 1940. The machines displayed in this collection can still be used and it is really impressive to see these enormous machines in action. Below is an image of a machine that was used to sort the wool.

Machine to sort the wool

Machine to sort the wool

The TextielMuseum also has a collection about damask weaving. Here you can see several original looms, linen, original patterns and Jacquard cards.

Old loom

Old loom

There is also a TextielLab where you can see the process and the products made there by designers and artist. There are computer-driven loom, knitting and embroidery machines and visitors are allowed to try and work some of the machines (under supervision of employees of the museum of course). I have woven a couple of rows of a cloth by riding a bike, which was a lot of fun.

Cloth on the loom

Cloth on the loom

Finished cloth

Finished cloth

Furthermore, the was an exhibition called ‘Wool Diaries project’. Three young fahion designers were invited to experiment with an old age fibre. The final results are exhibited in three mini-collections. These three young designers are Borre Akkersdijk, Pauline van Dongen and Oda Pausma. In this exhibition you could see how the designers started with the raw materials and turned those materials into clothes. This process was shown through videos of the designers working in their studio, templates and woven samples. The end result was also exhibited.

The TextielMuseum is definitely a fun museum. It is nice to see the machines that have been used in the past to make cloth and to see which machines are now being used. It was a nice surprise that some of the old machines can still be used.

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