Textile Expert Meeting

Cities and Historic Textile Complexes: Typology, Good Practice, and Global Perspectives for Conservation
24 April, Berlin, Germany
Information (PDF Download)

Dr. Heike Oevermann (Georg Simmel Center, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany) in cooperation with TICCH Textile Section, Mark Watson (Historic Environment Scotland), and Prof. Bartosz M. Walczak (Łódź University of

April 24, 2020. A Zoom virtual meeting by Zoom arranged by Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Germany
Please contact Heike Oevermann – heike.oevermann (at) gsz.hu-berlin.de -before Friday 24 April if you would like to watch the presentations live, and interact by Zoom.

The textile sector led industrialisation and urbanisation in Europe. Textile entrepreneurs introduced big mill complexes to urban contexts, applied steam power to spinning and weaving, and established a global trade network of transport, skills, knowledge, and power. Textile industries consequently changed urban spatial structures of many European cities. Mill complexes and their infrastructure (canals for power and transport, railways, warehouses etc) form local parts of a historic urban landscape representing global chains of production. This textile heritage comprises tangible buildings, artefacts with transcultural dimensions, and aspects of intangible living heritage.

Three questions arise for research:

1) How to identify, and value the historic urban landscape of the textile industry; does the TICCIH typology properly cover industrial types as urban spatial structures? What are the historic urban spatial and built forms of textile mills in cities?

2) What constitutes good practice in conservation and enhancement when transforming mill complexes, cityscapes and these urban spatial structures? How are the conservation and enhancement of these historic urban spatial structures handled in practice?

3) Global, transcultural, and living heritage: What are the relationships between textile heritage sites in Europe and the world; and among the people involved in textile production? How might we critically reflect, conserve, and use the various meanings, knowledge, and global networks embedded in local heritage sites? Might we gain insight into other meanings and values—besides technological and architectural values—of this shared heritage? What do we share when conserving textile heritage sites?

The expert meeting in Berlin will discuss historic mill complexes in towns and cities, aiming to identify an urban industrial typology to describe and value these complexes, and good practice criteria for orientation in conversion processes. A typology is understood as an instrument of analysis used in thematic studies by TICCIH and in other classification systems, in inventories and heritage conservation. It focuses on the scales of mill complexes, their spatial composition, the configuration of different building types connected to communities in urban settings.

Call for participation for the meeting with 25-30 persons

Pre-announcement: TICCIH scientific conference, April 2021, in Łódź, Poland.

Researchers and experts may join the last of the TICCIH Textile Section meetings in April 2021, in Łódź, Poland. This will seek to finalise publication of the TICCIH comparative study, incorporating much of the knowledge gained at earlier meetings of the Textile special interest group in TICCIH. This is proposed to then be presented at the TICCIH Congress in Montreal in September 2021.

Please contact bartosz.walczak (at) p.lodz.pl to discuss topics for the meeting in Lodz, Poland in April 2021, and mark.watson (at) hes.scot if interested in joining a textile mill prototype session in Montreal during the TICCIH Congress in September 2021 -three minutes and six slides- or a roundtable. Each presenter will focus on one important issue in “the quintessence of textile heritage conservation”.