Saturday, 29 November 2014

Historical research into old yarns

Time for something completely different: historical research into old yarns.  

For some years I have beautiful yarns from the legacy of my grandmother. I was curious how old it was, so I did some historical research on the internet.

The yarn is a very beautiful, shiny, cream-colored "synthetic silk" yarn. Now, the term "synthetic silk" is no longer used. It was later know as rayon and now it's called viscose. Viscose is made of wood cellulose, a technology known since the mid-19th century. So no reference point here. 

Everlasting knitting yarn


Around the skeins were labels from a brand called Everlasting. This brand does not exist anymore, but the Dutch Royal Library has the magazine "Praten en breien" ("Talking and knitting") in her archives. This magazine was the official periodical of the Everlasting Knitting Club and has been published (as far as known) 24 times, from November 1934 to October 1936. Could my yarns be that old?

Label of Everlasting knitting yarn

The label mentions "waschetiket", which is very old Dutch spelling, so my investigation went on. It appears that this spelling was officially replaced in 1947 by a new one. So the yarn must have been made before 1947. I'm getting closer.....

Detail of label of Everlasting knitting yarn

The label also contains the term "RTB". What is RTB? This was the Rijks-Textielbureau (National Textile Bureau), which had all sorts of regulations for the textile industry. And existed between 1939 and 1941!

My conclusion is that these yarns have probably been made between 1939 and 1941, possibly in the second World War. So they are about 75 years old, almost twice my age. 

I have no idea how it ended up with my grandmother. Did she buy it? Or did she get is from someone? Has she made anything from it or not?  
I will never know and that's okay.

What I do like is that I can create something new from something old. And that is exactly what I am going to do..... 

(to be continued)