Photos by Katrin Kania, 2010

What makes a textile? ArcheoParc Schnals, South Tyrol/Italy, 6-12 September 2010.

Our second European Textile Forum took us to beautiful South Tyrol, where the ArchaeoParc offered to host our conference. The programme did not include a large-scale experiment, but instead had a strong focus on individual workshops to learn or improve craft skills. The general programme thus followed the scheme of free time to work, try out things and talk about textile techniques in the mornings; the possibility to attend workshops about historical techniques in the afternoon; and a series of short paper sessions in the evening hours.

ArcheoParc Senales is a museum which has also open air spaces spread over 4,000 square metres and presents the Iceman's ambient, or being more accurate, how we believed his world to be. It's not sure that the Iceman lived in Val Senales, however, we are sure that he crossed part of the valley, entering in Val Tisa and died on the Tisa Ridge.

The ArcheoParc museum has a unique concept, blending information about vegetation and life in the alpine region where Ötzi was found together with information about his equipment. The museum's open architectural design, the information given in the museum and the open-air area with reconstructed houses blend together, encouraging the visitor to think about life in the late Neolithic and Copper age and to question some of the clichés about life in that time.

The ArcheoParc is very close to the place where Ötzi was found, in a valley in the South Tyrolean Alps. With this quite early background for the Forum week, we set a focus on the question of what makes a textile. Is it the material? The production technique? The use? The properties of the piece? What is the difference between a mat woven from grass and a mat woven from stiff threads? What concept does every single one of us have in mind when the word "textile" falls?

Programme of the Textile Forum 2010

Pictures from Textile Forum 2010, Harma P's Flickr photostream