CFP: European Textile Forum 2017

Deadline: 31 July 2017

Call for Papers, European Textile Forum 2017

Laboratory for Experimental Archaeology in Mayen,
6-12 November 2017

The European Textile Forum 2017 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 runs for one full week, 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.

The ETF 2017 will take place from November 6-12, and our focus topic this year is “Silk – Subtle and Sumptuous.”  We invite you to submit your proposal for a lecture or presentation (about 20-40 minutes, longer papers may be possible) followed by discussion and the possibility of a practical part regarding the textile techniques or problems presented in the lectures. The practical part can focus on sharing knowledge about a specific technique or about trying to find an answer to a question you have regarding any technical aspects. Unsolved questions about “how can this be made” are a typical subject of these practical parts.

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.

If you would like to join us for just a day or two, day passes will also be available. For any questions,feel free to contact us directly via

The Call for Papers remains open until July 31. You can register and submit your presentation proposal here on our registration form On our website you can also find more information about the conference and our venue.

The Organisers,
Katrin Kania & Sabine Ringenberg


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