CTR TexLab: Interdisciplinary hub for the study of past cloth cultures

CTR TexLab is integrated at the Centre for Textile Research (CTR) at SAXO institute, UCPH, and a part of the new research infrastructure E-RIHS.dk. CTR focusses on textile history and archaeology and aims to set new standards for future textile research.

CTR TexLab moves beyond the widespread perception that scientific ‘facts’ are superior to interpretations made in the humanities. Science is broadly perceived as objective, quantifying, falsifiable, empirical, descriptive and factual, aiming at discovery, explanations, and solutions. On the other hand, humanities are typically framed as subjective, interpretative, theorizing, speculative, politicizing, aesthetic, aiming at understanding, intervention and at producing problems. With a strong foundation in both disciplines, the CTR TexLab is an interdisciplinary hub for the study of past cloth cultures. Housed in a textile lab with experimental archaeology and imagery set-ups, TexLab rests on the combined expertise of 18 researchers from UCPH, KaDK, DTU, National Museum Denmark, and Museum of Copenhagen, who develop in collaboration research projects and teaching curriculum.

The hub welcomes researchers and students in need of specialised advice and analytical tools for the study of archaeological textile and skin artefacts. The lab houses a microscope and digital microscopes, as well as necessary software to create databases, process pictures and illustrations, maps, and 3D models. It also houses weaving looms and other reconstructions of spinning and weaving tools, as well as a study collection of archaeological textiles.

Together with our partners, we can provide researchers with diagnoses and consultations to prepare and lead textile- and animal skin-related research projects. Our team can notably help in designing analytical protocols involving experimental archaeology and testing through natural sciences. We can also provide support and training to researchers, especially to early career researchers and archaeologists.

The hub will organize training workshops, seminars and a summer school open to both UCPH students from Humanities and Sciences, as well as external scholars (from museums, conservation, archaeology, etc…). More information will follow.