Social Networking and the ETN.

The European Textile Association’s 15th biannual Conference: “Revival of Old Textile Centres: a new future for training” 2009  where held at Textile Centre Haslac, July 22 until Friday July 24, 2009. After this gathering during which much informal discussion about Facebook, social networking and ways by which the internet could better serve this community/ organization two specific things occurred.

etn 2009 meeting
European Textile Network(ETN) group at the entrance of the Textile Centre Haslach, the former Vonwiler Weaving Mill in Haslach/Austria.

A facebook presence was established for the ETN and Textile Forum magazine has gone digital. Textile Forum is a German based magazine which started publishing in 1984 and began to promote and present the interest of the then newly formed European Textile Network with an English language version in 1994. It is available by subscription and now in the new digital format hosted on line through the EXACT EDITIONS company it can be had at a reduced yearly rate.  

textile form screen shot

In the recent issue editor Beatrijs Sterk in an article about the new format informs  readers that:

- each page can be printed either in PDF format or as a draft version for a quick read  

- sections of text and images can be zoomed to the desired size and transferred to blogs. 

 This is an interesting decision on the part of the ETN, while membership comes with members list that enables contact and they in turn being able to share fully accredited information from the magazine with non-subscribers is a smart suggested use of this new format. As advertising it is free and a negligible point. For me it is the sharing of information. images and stories that may not otherwise make it out beyond the pages/ community of the ETN. Below you will find a portion of Dietmar Laue's story "WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR DISCARDED TEXTILES" atypical of what the magazine usually publishes it is however in keeping with the theme of this particular issue which looks at the many ways in which recycled textiles are being used by artist, designers, crafts people and DIY people. In past issues the 'themes" examined have been Lace tf 3/2010 September, Tapestry tf 3/2010 June, and Smart Textiles tf 3/2009 September.

16th ETN Conference, including the General Assembly Kaunas/LITHUANIA, from 22nd to 24th of September

 FYI you can "Share" this story on tweet, facebook, and what ever social network you are involved with.

Textile Forum facebook page

ETN facebook group  

textile forum 1/2011 march ETN Textile Forum 1/2011 March

recycling textiles at Whitehouse and Schapiro in Baltimore/ USA, in trade with used Textiles over 100 years

Recycling textiles at Whitehouse and Schapiro in Baltimore/ USA, in trade with used textiles over 100 years http://www.webuyrags.com/


 Dietmar Laue

The EU Commission classifies used textiles as waste. However, an amendment to the directive on waste currently in force has been under discussion since 2008 to establish new conditions in all the EU countries by 2020. Its premise is the fact that urban waste increased by 19% in the EU between 1995 and 2003. Currently 49% of this waste is deposited in landfill sites, 18% is incinerated and 33% is recycled or composted. In some countries the landfill rate is 90%, in others it is 65%. Unless new measures are put in place, the absolute amount of waste deposited in landfill sites will not go down. The European Parliament has ensured that the new directive contains clear objectives for waste management:

I) Prevention and reduction of waste generation;

2) Reuse or multi-way use for the same purpose;

3) Recycling

4) Other recovery operations, including incineration; and

5) Disposal.

Incineration processes must produce a certain amount of usable electricity or district heating.

Taking textiles alone, the current situation appears somewhat better. Some 35% of all used textiles were recycled in EU countries 1) in 2006. However, we need to take into account that conclusive statistical data for the waste industry is not available on a European level. All information on textile recycling is based on estimates!

The organisations affiliated to the Brussels Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), Textiles Commodity Division 2), assume that the lifetime of clothing and household textiles is three years. They note that although there is a steady increase in the quantity of textiles purchased and later discarded, these show an equally steady decrease in quality. Next to the North Americans, Swiss and Irish, the Germans are among the largest consumers of textiles, using some 25kg per capita per annum (worldwide average:

—7kg), and the second largest exporters of used clothes each year.


In 2008, Germany was one of the very few countries for which an analysis of domestic textile recycling was compiled; interestingly enough, it was produced by a Chinese student, Yinan Gu. On behalf of two associations 3) and 10 years after publication of a comparable analysis of similar quality, she completed a student research project entitled “Textile recycling in Deutschland (Textile Recycling in Germany)” at the Department of Processing and Recycling, RWTH Aachen University, led by Professor Thomas Pretz and supervised by Indra Weranek. According to her findings, on the reference date in 2007 (three-year lifetime assumed) German private households owned more than 1.126 million tonnes of used textiles, consisting of 13% house- hold textiles and 87% clothing. In comparison, the proportion of domestically produced clothing decreased by 84% between 1993 and 2006 (13 years)! In 2006, just 3% of our everyday clothing was still produced in the country! Correspondingly, clothing expenditure in the basket of commodities decreased from 6.9% (1995) to 4.9% (2008). Clothing produced in low wage countries is considerably cheaper (and of lower quality) than clothing manufactured at home.

Of the 1.126 million tonnes of used textiles, some 075 million tonnes of used textiles — 66% of the population’s annual textile consumption — was recovered by commercial companies, local authorities and charities, either through street collections or used textile banks. According to the above-mentioned research project, ca. 43% of this recovered material was re used, for instance in charity clothes stores and second—hand shops; ca. 16 % was re claimed to produce wiping cloths or secondary raw materials, such as shredded textiles or rags for cardboard production; and 31% was used for thermal conversion. This equals a recovery rate of 90% of the material collected. The remaining 10% of unusable waste recovered in collections, and the 34% of used textiles not collected, which probably end up in domestic waste, account for some 44% of landfill. This means that improved collection methods offer a great deal of recycling potential. Prognos AG, a German company estimates that, in favourable conditions, we can expect a recovery rate of nearly three quarters of used textiles generated each year by 2020!

to read full story on line or in print by subscribing to Textile Forum.



Second Hand –Second Life by Annette Hülsenbeck p 28 - 31 TF 1/2011. Veiw in the direction of the dome with the Christian Boltanski installation photos by Didier Plowy, Monumenta 2010, Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, Paris


Second Hand –Second Life by Annette Hülsenbeck p 28 - 31 TF 1/2011. Veiw in the direction of the dome with the Christian Boltanski installation
photos by Didier Plowy, Monumenta 2010, Ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, Paris

Gary Harvey Denim Dress
 Gary Harvey, “Denim Dress made of 42 Levi 501 Jeans “ECO” Fashion by Beatrijs Sterk p 26-27 TF 1/2011

More about the European Textile Network:
The Network is a child of the political changes that took place in Europe in 1989/90. They wanted to bridge the gap between East- and West-Europe after the fall of the wall in Berlin. At that time, there was also a sharp increase in cultural challenges. The textile sector along with all cultural sectors were required to reappraise their content, historic sources and future forms of cultural production and exchange. 

The Network was initiated by our current Secretary General, Beatrijs Sterk, in February 1990. Attracting 42 participants from 23 countries, our first conference was held in the East German town of Erfurt in June 1991. At that working meeting, the Network's tasks, still applicable today, were outlined and published in a Pfeil rechtsbrochure available in English, French, Russian and German language.

Our second conference, held in Lausanne in 1992, discussed and decided the future structure of the Network. Our intention was to establish a democratically organized, International Association as well as a Cultural Foundation committed to ETN's goals.

The Association was brought into being in April 1993, based in Strasbourg and under Council of Europe patronage. In the same year, ETN became the carrier network for textiles in the Council of Europe's Cultural Itineraries programme. In June 1997 ETN came under the umbrella of the Assembly of European Regions (AER).

Since 1997 the Network's tasks are carried by ETN and supported by a documentation, information and coordination service (ETN/TFS Services) of Textile Forum Service.

click here to view a Sample issue of Textile Forum at EXACT EDITIONS  
FYI: Selvedge and Hali are two other textile magazines available through  EXACT EDITIONS
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