Photos by Beatrix Nutz, 2016

Telltale Mistakes. Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology in Mayen, Germany, 7-13 November 2016.

Mistakes are a part of work - and though they are usually nothing to be happy about, they can be immensely helpful for research. Mistakes, for instance, are often the only possibility to tell whether a braid was made with single ends or in a loop manipulation technique, or whether a piece is knitting or nalebinding. Other mistakes may point to the use of specific tools or work procedures. In some cases, what we perceive as mistakes might not have been seen as such, but accepted as a side product of a (possibly more efficient) technique.

Mistakes that happen when trying to reproduce or reconstruct a textile, garment, or textile tool can also yield valuable insights. Sometimes, a mistake leads to a fresh view of something and helps to evaluate a historical piece differently, leading to new questions and new approaches to a topic.

For the European Textile Forum in 2016, we explored aspects of mistakes - whether old or new - under our focus topic.

Programme of the Forum 2016

Experiment Data: Dye Penetration Experiment