An English translation

Hanna Zimmerman’sTextiel in Context

The Tudor Tailor's online shop has now sold the very last copies of the late Hanna Zimmerman’s book Textiel in Context. It reports the discoveries made when the city of Groningen began excavations for two new underground car parks on the site of ‘Alva’s moat’. An unexpected treasure trove of 16th century waste material, including textiles, dated 1577 to 1600 was revealed. It is written in Dutch with only a short English summary. But copies have made their way to TT customers around the world because of the many photographs and diagrams of dress details. It was published as two short print runs of Hanna’s doctoral thesis from 2007. Sadly, there will be no more available when these are gone.

The good news is that The TT has been working with Dorothée Wortelboer on the feasibility of an English translation. It would feature high quality photographs of excavated items which have never been published before (see below).

The information below showcases the sort of detail the English translation will make easily accessible and shows the better quality photographs which will also be included in the book.

A fringed glove from Groningen

The fringed glove (54T7) as it appeared in Textiel in context published in 2007 and a better quality image destined for the new proposed translation (Images: Jaap Buist)

There are three single knitted gloves among the Groningen finds documented by Hanna Zimmerman. Here – for the first time in official translation – are details about one of them with an interesting fringe at the cuff:

Glove 54T7, trimmed with an edging of little loops at the wrist, is knitted from coarse, single-thread, unplied wool mixed with goat hair (fig. 4.117). There are 8 wales and 11 courses per inch (2.5cm). This is a right-hand glove with holes worn through the fingers and a missing thumb. It measures 8in long and 4¾in wide (20cm x 12cm). The glove is cast on with 54 stitches at the wrist followed by irregular increases of six stitches in the next round. Then, irregular increases using the lifted bar method make 70 stitches where the divisions for the fingers begin. Stitches have been added between the fingers to improve their shape. At the fingertips, decreases were made by knitting stitches together. The little decorative loops at the wrist are made with a needle and thread (not knitted) just above the cast-on round.

The new edition ofTextiel in Contextwill focus on section four of Zimmerman’s book which summarises hundreds of textile finds from Groningen. There will be more high quality photographs than in the original too.

Several of the finds feature in The Typical Tudor, where they provide evidence for interesting constructional details and the materials used for clothing in the late 16th century.

The proposed English translation and new edition of the book was very well supported in our recent online poll. Thanks to everyone who participated. More than 465 votes were cast: 464 for the project and just one against. Watch this space for further news on the project’s progress.