Newsletter No. 7-10 (December 2010)   Page 3 of 3 / Sidan 3 av 3. [back to page 1]
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Arcive/Arkiv 2008: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]
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Arcive/Arkiv 2010: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


This newsletter is written in order to spread experiences within the topic of historic textiles and reconstructions. Our ambition is to amuse you and stimulate interest in the 18th Century. Durán Textiles, who is mainly working with museum collections and Royal Castles, was founded in 2002 by CEO and production manager Laila Durán, with co-worker artist Torkel Henriksson who is doing the artworks and preparing the designs for production. Our production is done mostly in India supervised by Duran Textiles inspectors. 
- The articles are mainly written by Laila Durán but we also have help from colleagues and specialists from several museums and universities.  In the future this newsletter will be distributed four times a year and is free of charge. We hope you will enjoy our stories and offers and help us to spread the letter to friends and colleagues. Contact:

Detta nyhetsbrev skrivs för att sprida erfarenheter inom ämnet rekonstruktioner av historiska textiler och 1700-talet. Ambitionen är att roa och stimulera intresset. Durán Textiles har varit verksamt sedan 2002 och arbetar med projekt för Kungliga Slott och museisamlingar i hela Skandinavien. Laila Durán är VD och projektledare, Torkel Henriksson arbetar med originalen och alla förlagor för tryck och väv. På plats i Indien, där de flesta av tygerna produceras, finns Durán Textiles egna inspektörer.
- Artiklarna skrivs huvudsakligen av Laila Durán men vi får även hjälp av kollegor och specialister från olika muséer och universitet.  Nyhetsbrevet kommer i fortsättningen att komma ut fyra gånger per år och är helt kostnadsfritt. Vi hoppas ni ska uppskatta våra artiklar och erbjudanden och även sprida informationen vidare till Era vänner. Kontakt:



French silk in Stockholm and Vienna. 
Text Martin Ciszuk.

When I was in Vienna in November at a textile study trip, I passed a small antique store. My eyes were caught by a small picture, made as a collage of scraps of silk, painted paper and gilded metal thread. To my great surprise I recognized one of the silks. It had the same design and color as the original of one of the silks in Durán Textiles historic collection: CELADON.

The picture is only 20 centimeters high and depicts the Holy Family. Against a background of blue taffeta, Virgin Mary is sitting with the child Jesus on a cushion in her lap. To the left stands Joseph holding a lily, behind him is Joachim – Mary’s father. To the right stands Anna – her mother, passing a rose to the child. In the midst of a flaming cloud the Holy Spirit is descending over the group in the shape of a white dove. The faces and hands of the figures, as well as the flowers and the dove, are cut out of a printed sheet of paper, wash colored in blue and brown, with details in red and black oil paint. The clothing of the saints are made from small pieces of silk glued to the background. Different types of metal threads decorate the garments and halos of the figures. At the top, the scene is framed by curtains of a pink silk with cannel stripes, decorated with sequins, silk chenille and a tiny bobbin lace.

The work is meticulously made. In total more than 20 different silk fabrics and 15 variants of metal thread have been used in the picture. To give some examples: The head coverings of Anna and Mary are made from silk gauze, an open see-through fabric where the warp threads are twisted around the weft, which was used for veils and decorations in the 18th century. Mary´s dress is in white taffeta brocaded in colored silk and metal threads, decorated with sequins and with cuffs and collar in golden fabric. Her mantle is made from blue damask and lined with pale pink damask with moiré ground.

Most interesting, however, is the silk in Anna’s mantle - a pale green tabby with a floating pattern warp, showing a design of horizontal stripes and small zigzag lines (one piece also shows the reverse of the fabric). A silk with the same color and design was used in the costume which was worn by the Swedish king Gustavus III when he, incognito as the count of Gotland, visited his cousin Katherine the Great of Russia in 1777. The silk form this costume, which is named after the color of a pale green semi-precious stone, has been reproduced by Durán Textiles as the woven silk CELADON. From records in the royal archive it is clear that the suit was ordered in Paris for the king by the Swedish ambassador Gustav Philip Creutz. Gustavus III exhorted his subjects to dress in Swedish fabrics to support the local textile industry and at his visit in Russia presented his idea about a national Swedish costume. Despite this, the king himself mostly wore costumes of imported French fabrics. The silks in the picture appear to be clothing fabrics. Probably the workshop, which made the picture of the Holy Family, got scraps of silk from the atelier of a tailor with wealthy clients. Austria had its own silk production, but silk was also imported and it is feasible that the green silk is French. Another possibility might of course be that the silk was copied from the fashion metropolis in a local silk manufactory.

The small picture is an example of what is called Klösterarbeit. It was probably made in a convent in the Vienna region in the end of the 18th century. In the Austrian museums and church treasuries there are three dimensional votive scenes and decorations for reliquaries made in similar techniques. The craft of making these devotional pictures in silk and metal thread is still practiced by nuns and pious Austrian women.

Every small piece of fabric has a story to tell. Thus the little picture of the Holy Family in an amazing way connects devout nuns in Vienna with a vain Swedish king with grandiose ambitions.

Ulla Cyrus-Zetterström: Royal silks
Lena Ragnström: Kläder för tid och evighet



The Holy Family, collage of silk and painted paper, Vienna late 18th century.

Close-up of the breeches of the Celadon suit of 1777 (from Ragnström).

King Gustavus III of Sweden

Katherine the Great of Russia

Durán Textiles’ reproduced silk CELADON

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