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The Textile History of Whitby 1700-1914

The Textile History of Whitby 1700-1914 | A Lively Coastal Town between the North Sea and North York Moors

Whitby, situated on the North Sea coast is foremost associated with its rich history during the period 1700 to 1914; the early alum industry, James Cook, whaling fleets, fishing, tourism and Victorian jet manufacturing. The town was relatively isolated by land until the coming of the railway, though accessible both locally and internationally by sea, and its geographical situation had substantial implications for transport both at home and abroad. Its population ensured a constant local need for textiles, in earlier years with the manufacture of sailcloth and sails as well as trade in expensive fabrics with other British ports and foreign destinations. Then in the later part of the research period, many hundreds of textile workers were needed for tailoring, dressmaking, drapery and other closely related activities, including laundry. These developments reflected the increasing demand nationwide from the growing middle classes to own more clothes, while Whitby's steady development as a holiday resort during the Victorian period strongly influenced the local drapery trade. So Whitby came to have special social and historical textile needs of its own, as well as obvious similarities to many other towns of similar size. However, up to now the town's rich and complex textile history has been rather unknown, therefore this monograph’s collated in depth studies presents a valuable insight into the detailed account of the various trades through numerous archival and visual sources.

SUBJECTS: Alum & Natural dyeing, Archive studies, Art history, Decorative arts, Economic history, Embroidery, Fashion history, Interior design, Laundry, Knitting, Local history - Whitby and Yorkshire, Material Culture, Manufacturing & Trading, Museology, Port History, Printing History (prints, advertisements etc), Sail-making & weaving, Social History, Textile recycling.

This beautiful folio sized monograph (302 x 205 mm, 450 pages) is published in an edition of 350 numbered copies only. The production follows many hundreds of years’ old craft traditions, where exclusively the best materials for paper, print and book-bindery have been used. Among its qualities; the volume is elegantly sewn and cloth bound, additionally including both headband and bookmark of silk. A volume with a long-lasting value over generations.

The Textile historian Viveka Hansen's studies of the material in combination with the writing of the main text and three appendixes, include a large number of primary sources in the form of; clothing, accessories, textile tools, letters, deeds, censuses, parish church registers, maps, paintings etc. Additionally, a large selection of local photographs by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe – connected to the textile trade, clothing and everyday life is included – already a highly esteemed photographic artist in the 1880s. These sources are today to the greatest extent kept at Whitby Museum (Whitby Literary & Philosophical Society); library, archive and museum collections in Pannett Park, Whitby. The research for the monograph has secondarily taken place at other museums and institutions; in Whitby, North Yorkshire, Leeds, London, Oxford and in coastal towns throughout northern Europe.

  • A monograph based on 8 years of textile research.
  • An interdisciplinary study.
  • The importance of a combination of theoretical and practical knowledge – giving textile research a deeper understanding.

THE AUTHOR: Viveka Hansen is an independent scholar and international textile historian; she was one of the costume and textile collection's curators at The Whitby Museum (2006-2012). Since 1990 she works as a Researcher and Editorial Secretary at The IK Foundation in the United Kingdom. For more information about the author's work, projects and biography, please visit "TEXTILIS – Viveka Hansen’s Textile Thoughts". THE TEXTILE HISTORY OF WHITBY 1700-1914 will be the author's third monograph - she has also published other textile history books, numerous articles and during the last two years regularly published scholarly texts on the TEXTILIS website, freely available as Open Access – to inspire about textile history from both a theoretical and practical horizon.

Price:   £80.00  



  • DELIVERY: You will receive a UNIQUE NUMBERED copy of this scholarly publication in folio size, printed in 350 copies only.
  • Total shipping charge is calculated based on the weight of your order and your geographical location.
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