3 embroideries, 3 experts, November 16, 2021

Khamak embroidery from Kandahar, Phulkari from Punjab, and Suf from Gujarat. Three experts, Mary Littrell, Cristin McKnight Sethi & Judy Frater will tell us about these embroideries from Afghanistan and northwest India. To the lay person, all three use satin stitch. Is there more to these embroideries than meets the eye? Our guest speakers will discuss similarities and differences, along with images of the embroideries, authentic pieces, the women who embroider and social contexts. Rangina Hamidi and Mary Littrell co-authored the book, Embroidering within Boundaries, Cristin McKnight Sethi is contributing author of Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, and Judy Frater is the author of Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris.

Photos: Mary Littrell, The George Washington University and The Textile Museum # 1985.33.24, Judy Frater

Catharine Ellis, April 20 2021

The Making of The Art and Science of Natural Dyes

The Art and Science of Natural Dyes is the #1 book on natural dyes. Catharine Ellis, textile artist and practitioner will share a unique perspective on how she went about writing the book with textile engineer and chemist, Joy Boutrup

Catharine Ellis has been a weaver and a dyer for over 40 years. After three decades of teaching the Fiber Program at Haywood Community College in NC she is now dedicated to studio work, focusing on natural dye processes. She also does specialized, selected teaching, in the U.S. and internationally.

Dr. Jeffrey C. Splitstoser, January 17, 2021


The Preceramic site of Huaca Prieta on the north coast of present-day Peru has been famous since the late 1940s for producing some of the world's earliest cotton textiles, which were decorated with complex colorful designs. Blue is present among even the earliest fabrics, but its source remained elusive until recently when indigo was detected in a 6,200-years-old striped fabric from the site. This discovery marked the earliest known use of indigo in the world.

In this presentation, Dr. Splitstoser will talk about the site of Huaca Prieta and its textiles, including a discussion about how the fabrics were excavated, how they survived over six-thousand years, their conservation, and how their structures, designs and pigments were analyzed. He is the textile specialist for the Huaca Prieta Archaeological Project (directed by Dr. Tom Dillehay), that led to this discovery.

Dr. Splitstoser is Assistant Research Professor of Anthropology at George Washington University, Washington, D.C ; research associate of the Institute of Andean Studies, Berkeley, and a Cosmos Club scholar. He is also VP of the Boundary End Center, an archaeology research facility and retreat in western North Carolina, and an editor of its two peer-reviewed journals, Ancient America and the Research Reports on Ancient Maya Writing. He has studied Andean textiles for over 20 years. His Ph.D. dissertation is a study of the Paracas textiles (ca. 850‒300 BCE) from Cerrillos, Ica Valley, Peru. An authority on khipus-colored-and-knotted-string devices that allowed Andean people to record information without writing, he co-curated the exhibition, "Written in Knots: Undeciphered Records of Andean Life" April 2019, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, D.C.

Thomas Murray, November 7th 2020

"Repurposed Cloth, Meaning Changes with Context"

Thomas Murray will discuss the onward journey of three varieties of repurposed cloth from Japan. Topics will include Japanese Boro patchwork aesthetics, Ainu use of trade cotton and kimono fragments in their robes, and the creative inspiration that comes from collecting Okinawan bingata sample fragments.
Thomas Murray is an independent researcher, collector, lecturer and private dealer of Asian and Tribal art, with an emphasis on Indonesian sculpture and textiles, as well as animistic art from other varied cultures. He also features Indian Trade Cloths from the 14th-18th Centuries. He has placed objects in more than 30 museums on four continents.
A HALI magazine Contributing Editor for the last 30 years, Tom serves as their "in-house" expert on all tribal sculpture and textiles, with more than 50 publications. He has lectured widely, including "Ottoman Influences on Islamic Calligraphic Batik from Indonesia," "Lampung Imagery, Textile Iconography of South Sumatra," and "Considering a Nias Ancestor Sculpture". His most recent books, "Textiles of Japan and "Rarities - the Himalayas to Hawaii" were met with critical acclaim. Thomas Murray is past President of ATADA, The Antique Tribal Art Dealers Association and served a three-year term as a member of President Obama's Cultural Property Advisory Committee at the State Department. Thomas Murray continues to consult with museums and private clients all over the world.

See: www.tmurrayarts.com to know more about Tom, his books, textiles and more.

Karthika Audinet, Saturday October 17, 2020

PechaKucha on crafting high-end textiles with adults with disabilities

Textile Society of America, Annual Symposium: https://textilesocietyofamerica.org

Future event

Carol James will tell us about the Arizona Openwork 'Tonto' shirt made in the Sprang technique dated to 12th C.

Date and time TBD

See: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1025&context=pct7