The European Textile Forum is a small conference about historical textile techniques, with a strong focus on the crafts aspects and practical work. Our aim is to connect practical and theoretical aspects of textile research: Craftspeople and archaeotechnicians profit by learning about new textile finds and detailed presentations of them, while archaeologists, conservators, historians and other researchers can get valuable input about the craft background of the pieces they work on, how they are made, and the limits and possibilities of the textile techniques employed.


The conference in its current format runs for one week, with Monday for arrival, setup and preparation for tools or experiments that need some preparation time, and Sunday as departure day with the option to stay until Monday. From Tuesday to Saturday, we aim for a conference programme with plenty of time for discussion and in-depth exploration of topics. Our usual format for the programme is a presentation, followed by a demonstration, a workshop, or a round-table discussion that offers the opportunity to discuss and explore technical aspects in detail. This includes the possibility to do tests and reconstruction trials with several pairs of hands and eyes right at the conference venue.

This format is unique and has already proven to be enormously helpful, especially if an object confronts you with a technique that you have no practical experience with yourself. Our venue is the Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology in Mayen, Germany. (Even though our venue is in Germany, we are an international event, and the conference language is English.) The LEA is the experimental archaeology research center of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum (RGZM), which means that there is workshop space and basic laboratory equipment available, enabling us to do dyeing tests or other archaeological experiments.

For the European Textile Forum, we do select a broad focus topic, but talks outside of that focus topic are just as welcome. Due to the format and space restrictions, we are a small event, with only up to about 18 participants. The conference fee covers full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) with food, tea, coffee and water for the whole week. All meals will be served in the Laboratory. Our venue also provides about 12 basic dorm-room accommodations that are also covered by the conference fee, or you can opt to find your own lodgings.

While papers or posters about our focus topic are especially welcome, we are equally happy about papers on a topic outside this focus, so please do submit your proposal. The same applies if you would like to offer a poster presentation or a workshop/demonstration only, or if you have an idea for an archaeological experiment to run during the Forum week.

With the European Textile Forum, we want to give academics and craftspeople working with historical textile techniques a place and opportunity to meet with each other. This is the perfect surrounding and the perfect place to solve technical questions regarding your textile and to get input from others working on similar pieces - both on the academic and on the craft side.

The proceedings of the first and second Textile Forum have been published as "Ancient Textile, Modern Science", edited by Heather Hopkins. The proceedings are available directly from the publisher, Oxbow books, the pallia Online-shop, or via your bookstore of choice.

And of course we are happy if you tell others about the Forum and the Forum proceedings!

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