This week’s MoW is one of my personal favorites. It’s nerdy, it’s scholarly, and it’s the journal I most aspire to write for. Textile History is one of the oldest peer-reviewed journals that addresses topics related to fashion, textiles, and history. This journal is produced 2 times a year (fall and spring) by the Pasold Research Fund in Great Britain. It was originally printed by a small publisher in Guilford, England, but in the last five years it was picked up by Taylor & Francis, the academic publisher. Shortly thereafter, the publisher made the entire journal available digitally. In addition, the title began to have color images. It is also available full text (although limited years) in Ebsco’s Academic Search Complete, Design and Applied Art Index, and Textile Technology Complete, among others.
The Pasold Research Fund was founded by textile manufacturer Eric Pasold in 1964, with money from his family business, Pasolds Ltd. The Pasold company, which manufactured clothing, was 200 years old, with its main factories in Fleissen (now Plesna) in the Czech Republic. British import laws were favorable enough for the company to establish a branch outside of London. The company did well, particularly with a childrenswear brand called “Ladybird”. However, the entire Czech operation was destroyed in World War II.
The Pasold company thrived throughout the postwar period, making its name with innovative machine knit goods. This led the owner, Eric Pasold, to pursue his interest in the history of knitting by endowing a research fund. In the 1960s, textiles were still considered unimportant as a rigorous academic research topic.
Pasold’s investment helped fund and focus research on their economic and cultural impacts before they were taken seriously in prestigious history departments like Oxford and Harvard. This funding helped the U.K. to take a lead on scholarship focusing on textile-related topics. Textile History made this research available more widely, which helped encourage scholars like me and programs like the Fashion and Textile Studies program here at FIT.
The title contains articles related to clothing and textile production, cultural impact, and history all over the world, with the occasional themed edition. It also includes the usual reviews of new scholarly textile and clothing related titles, as well as exhibition reviews of museum and gallery shows around the world. It’s main focus, however, is the U.K., Europe and the United States. Above are images from the recent “Opus Anglicanum” show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
I especially love that Textile History has published articles featuring historic items, talking about and showing how they were patterned and constructed. Here an article in Pasold’s own favorite subject, knitting history, showing the stitch construction of 16th century stockings from the Swedish royal collections.