Vorssammuseo 3.0

maanantai 23. tammikuuta 2017

Samples, fabric bags and the life cycle of current clothing - i.e. Wear and Share in Forssa

The museums of Forssa, Södertälje (Sweden) and Struer (Denmark) are carrying out a joint museum project Wear & Share relating to textile heritage. During the project, the twin city museums will inspire, encourage and guide their collections and textile heritage-related activities in general. The aim is to develop the museums as places of participation, to promote the creative use of collections, to strengthen interactions between the generations and to share knowledge between the museum professionals. During the project, the collections of textiles will be digitised, memories will be collected and new will be created from old within the framework of courses and workshops. Each museum carries out activities suitable for its own location and collections.

A detail of work by student of Arts School for children and people. Photo: Teija Lauronen.

The project began in September 2016 at Forssa museum and will end in March 2017. The project involves an assembled Cotton diaries- exhibition in the Vinkkeli exhibition space, as well as a seminar, organised in conjunction, where textile heritage and museums will be considered from the aspect of learning and insight.

The activities relating to the Wear & Share project will branch out in many directions. Tanja Härmä, who has held a central role in the activities, states:

The Textile Heritage Project at Forssa Museum is comprised of two tasks in their entirety, with which I have been assisted by Alina Rämö and Pinja Heinilä. The first task has involved the digitalisation of fabrics donated by Ulla Nummikoski, along with the connected work phases: sorting, measurements, the perceiving of reports, markings, photography and cataloguing.  After the cataloguing, the fabrics will be present in the Piipunjuurella database.


The second task has involved the collection of memories through bags of fabric pieces. The bags of fabric contained fabric write-offs that were sold through the Finlayson factory store and were available at a discount from the store up to the early 1990’s. Anyone was allowed to send bags of fabric pieces to the museum. In the main part, memories have been collected from groups, or taken from people through tips received. The memories collected are available for viewing at the Cotton diaries exhibition 28.2. -24.3.2017 in Vinkkeli, where a number of textiles made from the material in the bags of fabric pieces will also be featured.

Alongside these main activities, there are also sample sheets, also known as pattern cards, for utilisation in creative workshops. The sorting out of pattern cards in those to be preserved in the museum collections and in those to be used in workshops and for making the museum shop products lasted a total of two years. The sorting activities that required great concentration were carried out intermittently, by a great many people. The sample sheets are a unique summary of the Finlayson Forssa textile industry, because the cards have examples of all the fabrics that were manufactured in Forssa between the 1960-80s. Inspired by the colourful samples, the activity began at Forssa Art School and Wahren College.

A detail of work by student of Arts School for children and people. Photo: Teija Lauronen.
Art School for Children and Young People aimed to use the samples to investigate the recent past. Teija Lauronen says: "All of the art students- 4-17-year-olds- have, during the autumn, become familiar with the way of life, fashion and interior design of the 1970's. Then they have prepared their own work from samples obtained from the museum. All in all, about 250 works were completed. Among them are a variety of methods of implementation, from collages to ceramics, jewellery, futuro-houses and new textile prints. The works will be presented later during the spring at the "Discovery expedition" exhibition held at Helsinki Cable Factory, which celebrates the 35 years of operation of The Finnish Association of Art Schools for Children and Young People."

Calligraphy in the making, Photo: Vivian Majevski.
A calligraphy group from Wahren College and led by Vivian Majevski pondered during the autumn how to celebrate Finland's centenary of independence. Vivian says: "When we were planning the theme of the year, our thoughts were directed quickly towards the 170-year-old textile heritage of Forssa, along with its samples. We went through the museum fabric patterns looking for such shapes and patterns, from which letters could be formed. Lines, arcs, roundness, angularity, thinness, thickness – features linked to letters- were sought from the models. Our group has ten people, each of which will make their own book from samples that tells the whole process and the ideas behind it. In addition, we will save our work as a common result."

In addition, students from the Textiles and Clothing department of Forssa Vocational Institute were involved in the project, in connection with their studies. Karita Stenfors-Selkälä says:
"Tanja Härmä was present at the beginning of the textile heritage project. We pondered, in groups of ten students, general dress codes and fashion. We considered that we could buy fashion garments aimed at young people from some international clothing chain stores. We will then try, in cooperation with clothing chains, to investigate the origin of the products; where the product has been made, what materials have been used, what kind of dyeing process has been used and how has the product been transported to Finland. We also try to clarify the life cycle of the products, as well as the aspects relating to the journey of the product after its use in Finland. We try to present a vivid picture report of all of this."

And what will happen in the multicultural Södertälje and the domestic location of Bang & Olufsen in Struer? We’ll return to this later!

The project received a Capacity Development 
grant from the Nordic Culture Point. 

Translation in English: Darin Nolan.

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