Traditional Textile Craft - an Intangible Cultural Heritage?


The absolute last picture from the workshop taken in Istanbul airport, where many of us waited 5 hours to get back home.


The workshop has brought together a number of scholars addressing textile craft from different points of view. It is my hope that we can continue discussions and develop the ideas we got, when we get home. Also, the excursions in the last few days have stressed the question of what is happening to traditional textile craft today. How quickly craft processes change, depending on interest, economy, lost knowledge, lack of water, and so on.
We should think outside the box, find new ways and solutions, but also care for the box. We do not know what will be left for the future. For our understanding of ancient craft we need more than the spindle whorls and loom weights we find and recognise in the archaeological record.
Perhaps we could put up a section on the blog about raw materials, production processes and tools?
Linda Olofsson

It's been a great workshop with different perspectives and interesting discussions. One perspective I have been missing is to see and talk about Bedouin textiles from the last 100-200 years. It's important for putting the Bedouin weaving of today in a context.

Tradition is change! Tools, methods, material, patterns, techniques and skills change, depending on the circumstances. Sometimes small changes, sometimes many small changes that together make a big difference. To understand a weave you have to understand the thinking behind it. I'm looking forward to more discussions so we can understand more about the past and use the knowledge in the future. The tradition will continue to change!

Marie Ekstedt Bjersing 


We woke up to a delicious breakfeast at the incredible Mövenpick Nabatean Castle in Petra, thanks to Hussam Tours who upgraded us from another hotel. After the breakfeast we all met in the lobby at 8.30 am and walked together to the Petra entrance. Petra is a very large archaeological site, and not all of us could walk the long distance to the Treasury (famous from movies). Some took a ride in a wagon that turned out to be very bumby. It was a magical site and we had several hours walking around in the site, guided by our own guide Abu Ibrahim. After a lunch in a restaurant in the last part of the site, the group spilt up and we all saw different parts of Petra. Some walked to the Monestary, some saw the church, and some stayed for coffee in the restaurant. The day was not planned with textiles in mind, but turned out to have some degree of textiles involved, after seeing all the camels and donkeys and their geering. During our time in Petra we heard many stories about the bedouins, and we had many thoughts and discussions about their tents and their dress. For some of us the day ended with a camel ride back to the hotel. At the hotel we could yet again enjoy a lovely dinner and a good nights sleep after a long day.

Linda & Camilla


Most of the day was spent in a bus. The bus left the Mövenpick Nabatean Castle at 9.00 am and took us straight to Umm al-Rasas. In Umm al-Rasas we saw the archaeological site and the famous mosaic in the remains of Sct. Stevens Church. After the tour at the archaeological site, we went to a restaurant in Madaba. After we had settled our hunger with a delicious lunch, we drove toa very strange but different private museum. It shoved the biblical history and the jordanian history with big dolls.

After a long day in bus we went back to Amman, where we will spent our last night at the Toledo Hotel.

A wonderful workshop has ended.  We have many new questions we need to discuss in our future work but we have also made new acquaintances, come up with new ideas and suggestions for interdisciplinary projects within this field.

Day 11 was also the day where we had our bus session, about what we had achieved with the workshop, and what we wanted to achieve in the future.

Here are some of the outcomes from the bus session:

We will expand the existing Website with links to different
textile handicraft projects and collectors, links to different textile experiments, textile techniques + an Online library with articles and bibliographies. Including a Conservation helpline blog - moth first theme.
We will develop a project on "Beduin, living with textiles" together with Susan Jones and the Jordan museum.
As part of this we will apply to UNESCO for founding to record the textile craft. We will contact the two UNESCO's represent-ants and experts on ICH which participated in the workshop.
We will look into the UNESCO training facilities - training program for textile conservation.

All the best to all the participant, and may all have a safe journey home.