As the country mourned H M Elizabeth II the C&TA were able to celebrate her great ancestor Queen Elizabeth I's progress to Norwich in 1578 with a workshop recreating some of the Virgin Queen's elaborate costumes. There will be more workshops later in the year creating luminous mannequins to be displayed in the City's illuminated window trails during the winter.
The textiles of the sixteenth century and the 'Strangers' - religious refugees who fled to Norwich in their thousands bringing their skills as weavers and textile workers - were remembered through a hidden treasure, a rare tapestry in St Peter Mancroft Church dating back to 1573 which was researched for a C&TA/Heritage Open Days talk. Look out for it in this year's Miscellany.
September's meeting paid tribute to C&TA founder, textile expert and conservationist Pamela Clabburn. It was a chance to open our store and get some vintage clothing onto the catwalk once again with reminiscences of Pamela as a tour de force in the textile world.
As someone who did more than most to conserve and promote the immensely important 19th Century Norwich Shawl industry, the Paisley pattern must have been one of Pamela's favourites - It is a design motif which many have laid claim to, but which dates back into the depths of history and across the globe. This was demonstrated by our online talk from Dr Dan Coughlan, Curator of Textiles for the Paisley Museum. He gave us a fascinating insight into its universal appeal transcending all cultural divides and dating back into antiquity, with examples from the seventh century BC to the present day and across all continents and religions. A favourite of the celts it can be seen on greco roman tunics, ancient Chinese, Persian, Zoroastrian designs, Afghan jewellery, Mesopotamian, Byzantine, Sicilian, Scottish - The pattern is ubiquitous and timeless. Become a Paisley Spotter!
Caroline Whiting is a trustee of C&TA, an art historian and guide at Norwich's Norman Cathedral who is passionate about textiles as an art form, from medieval to modern.