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Multi-Lingual Textile Terminology Resource!

Textile terminology, as many of you will probably know, can be a never-ending headache. Especially when you are looking at texts in a foreign language. Consequently, there have been a few attempts at making glossaries or catalogues; sometimes, there is a small multi-language glossary or dictionary in the appendix to a book or article. Burnham’s “Warp and Weft” also states the terms for different weaves in several languages.

However, there’s a whole book with textile terminology that I had never heard about before: “Nordisk textilteknisk terminologi- Förindustriell vävnadsproduktion”, written by  Elisabeth Strömberg, Agnes Geijer, Margrethe Hald and Martha Hoffman and published in 1967. The title of the book translates to “Nordic textile technical terminology – pre-industrial fabric  production”. The book consists of Swedish term definitions, with synonyms in Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Finnish, English, French and German. The edition was revised by Geijer and Hoffmann in 1979. The Icelandic and Finnish terms were compiled by Elsa E. Guðjónsson.

So there’s a whole book out there – and it gets even better. Amica and Maria from historicaltextiles.org have brought together KulturNav, a website where museums and other organisations can have shared lists of things hosted; the Textile Museum in Borås, who agreed to manage the dataset from the book, and friendly help from fellow nerds to convert the whole book into a database.

And now it’s done – the Terminology is online and available, for free, via KulturNav. You can find the whole back story, and some instructions on how to use the database, on the Historical Textiles blog, including instructions on how to contribute should you find something is missing, or would like to suggest a change.

This is a wonderful thing – and my thanks to everybody involved who made this possible!

This entry was posted in books (work), Internet resources, textile techniques and tools, things that I don't want to be without. Bookmark the permalink.

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