Archives for the month of: July, 2012

Front part of red velvet chasuble with pomegranate pattern (close-up detail). Italy: 15th century. 65 x 46 cm. Silk. [SST 129]

The Stuff that Matters
Textiles collected by Seth Siegelaub for the Centre for Social Research on Old Textiles. Raven Row (1 March to 6 May 2012).

The picture and descriptive text above are taken from the ‘The Stuff that Matters’ catalogue. The fabric is velvet not taffeta, but the following description of taffeta, also from the exhibition, is intriguing.

Etymology of the word taffeta.


What remains to be discussed is the etymology of the word taffeta. Without recommencing here the investigation of which the results are consigned in Ménage’s Eytmological Dictionary, we hasten to declare that we share the opinion of Samuel Bochart and Sébastien de Corarruvias, who see in this word an onomatopoeia. Indeed the syllables of taf taf reproduce rather accurately the sound of taffeta when ruffled. In the middle of the 17th century, when one wanted to say informally that a man was very afraid, that he was trembling with fear, one said that his heart went taf taf. Whence, undoubtedly, the argotic word taffeta, synonymous with fear, or fright.

Michel, F. (1852-1854) Recherches sur le Commerce, la Fabrication et l’Usage des Étoffes de Soie, d’Or et d’Argent et Autres Tissus Précieux en Occident, Principalement en France Pendant le Moyen Âge. Paris.

Luddite Drawings (#4,5,6,7)

A1 newsprint, pencil, carbon copy, folding and cutting.

The Handweavers Studio & Gallery

Just spent two intensive weekends doing the Handweavers studio ‘Introduction to Weaving’ short course in London, N7.

Films on Paper

Images of Peter Kubelka’s FILMS ON PAPER, 1958-1960, exhibited in the Drawing Room’s recent Graphology show (10 May – 30 June 2012)