recording textiles (with photos)
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Author:  Pamela [ Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:47 pm ]
Post subject:  recording textiles (with photos)

I have to admit to some disappointment at the lack of (initial?) interest in the new photo/documenting section of the forum. I am not alone! In an attempt to get a discussion going Neil Ryan has sent me a couple of pdf files of the data sheet which he and Digna use as they gradually work through recording their (ever growing!) textile collection. As Neil says "This format has evolved over several years with input from a number of other collectors, but I am sure that there is still scope for improvement." I am not sure if this data sheet has a software database behind it - perhaps I can persuade Neil to give us more info on that. I have seen the hard copy sheets in folders which are easily consulted to check an item. I like the way that there is both a whole cloth photo and a detail which picks out clearly the main warp and weft points of interest.

I am going to post images from scans of the data sheet - both blank and with details completed for an item in the collection. I will also post the pdf files so that these can be downloaded to get a clearer view. My thanks to Neil for his contribution.

File comment: blank data sheet
Textile Data Sheet.pdf [12.26 KiB]
Downloaded 910 times
File comment: completed data sheet
Textile_data_sheetC.jpg [ 68.52 KiB | Viewed 16991 times ]
File comment: blank data sheet
Textile_data_sheet.jpg [ 48.79 KiB | Viewed 16991 times ]
File comment: completed data sheet
4008.pdf [128.97 KiB]
Downloaded 875 times

Author:  Pamela [ Thu Feb 14, 2008 3:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

Neil has sent an email whilst in transit in an airport lounge:
The data sheets are on Excel - I have not yet turned it into a fixed template - please see copy attached. I find it a bit tedious inserting the photographs.

I am attaching his Excel file in his spirit of generosity to fellow textile collectors.

I think that this form of data sheet as it stands at the moment is very good for recording weavings such as blankets. I know that Digna and Neil's collection has quite a focus in this direction. For costume, say S W China, some modifications could be thought about to take info on embroidery stitches and designs.

Interesting to see that the form is Excel based. I know that some people use Access (but I have never actually got to grips with Access myself, only Excel).

My own system is an 'off the shelf' (but very flexible) software aimed at collectors (probably based on Access). I will post info on this separately. Neil's sterling efforts are stimulating me to have a go at modifying the printed report which can be generated from the programme which I had not attempted so far. I had a look at it today and it seems a reasonable starting point. I need to 'cold towel' it to work out how to modify the 'standard' form with some additions.

File comment: Excel file of textile data sheet
Textile Data Sheet.xls [19 KiB]
Downloaded 1028 times

Author:  monique [ Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:00 pm ]
Post subject:  registrating a collection

From the first moment I have always tried to registrate all my items in the collection and I must say that I am very, very happy that I did this. By now (after more than 350 pieces) you wouldn’t be able to remember everything. I always have written down:

code number
collection number
bought where and when
cost price

books: (where did I found information on this item)
pictures from the front, back, special details

Beside this I have made an overview in Excell . It takes quite some time to do this but I never have regret doing it.
Don't forget to make a back up from the computer files, I have experienced twice what a virus can do.

Author:  Shelley Muzzy [ Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Documenting textiles

I love this thread! Great information! The data sheet is excellent and I LOVE the slant board idea! I intend to give this idea to my husband and have him make one for me...he just loves projects (ha!). As I move further into the aging process, the idea of documenting my own collection makes so much sense and these are tools that will make it easier for me. Perhaps we can add information on ways members have displayed their textiles and some info on preserving pieces? I know this information is available elsewhere, but it seems like this thread is a good fit, especially for people just beginning to collect.
Thanks for your work!

Author:  Erawan Arts [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:02 am ]
Post subject: 


Author:  Pamela [ Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:24 am ]
Post subject: 

Yes, people do scan their textiles but, of course, this limits the size of the textile to show in the photo and then the file sizes are huge. However, an excellent way to show details and good as a combination of methods to give an idea of a textile. Colour often seems to come out better.

Is quite a 'wow' with weaving and embroidery as the scan really brings up the details and good for helping to decide was the effect produced by weaving, embroidery or a combination.

Have a go....

Author:  john [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

For what it is worth, I can add that I have cataloged my various collections (Borneo textiles, American Indian pots and baskets, etc.,) on Excel spreadsheets. Each collection is on a separate sheet and each item on the sheet has a link to a photo of the piece. Or maybe several links if I think it necessary for details etc. Everything I think is important including where, when and from whom purchased and for how much, is entered into its separate column.

The spreadsheet format is excellent because I can sort (and if desired subsort and subsubsort) on any category(s) (column(s)) I want, such as by type of textile (sorts alphabetically by the various types I have been recording), (and then by width and then by price perhaps). Or however I want to sort. This has been a hugh benefit for quickly studying what I have. I also keep a running summation of the total amounts spent (shocking!).

I can, for example, easily compare the sizes of Iban pua' from the Sarawak region of Borneo with those say from the Kantu' region of Kalimantan. I can also, as an example, easily plot charts of the width and length (or again, whatever I wish) of skirts from the Kantu' people, find their averages and and compare them with a plot of the skirts say from the Ketungau peoples of Kalimantan.

And, for my use, I have entered information about such pieces as are documented elsewhere. I have in this way, built up a fairly exhaustive list of all the recorded pieces (known to me through books and such).

The spreadsheet is very useful also because it is so easy to expand. I continually add to the description of each piece as I find out more about it.

I take my own photos very simply with a 6 MB camera. I tack up a wide grey or black felt cloth over a double wide doorway into one of my rooms. The doorframe is really hard oak and hard to push pushpins into so I screwed a narrow stip of soft wood down over the top ridge of the doorframe. (It cannot be seen unless you get up that high.) I can now easily tack up the felt backing and take it down when finished. With the backing up I can pin a smaller textile to it or tack a large piece at one end to the soft wood over the felt. This serves my purpose of a picture for my records. For publication purposes, I have to hire a pro.

I can't resist "punching up" a photo with any of the simple free photoeditors in case the color was off too much because of the ambient light.

I also have an outboard harddrive on which I backup up everything.

I have a large (but not by today's standards) disk in my PC notebook where I have all this so I have storage space for the photos. But I keep a backup of everything

Hope this is of some help and interest?


Author:  Michelle Pease [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:48 am ]
Post subject:  Textile Inventory

I would like to make a recommendation of a simple program that has an "Inventory" section, it is called "Bento". It has many other sections such as "events", "calendar" etc., I use it mainly for those but I have just started inputing my textile inventory and it works very well. You can drag and drop a photos into it and also create and delete as many fields as you wish.

I am attaching a screen shot


xbento-w.jpg [ 135.55 KiB | Viewed 9851 times ]

Author:  Pamela [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  max image width should be 600 px

Thanks very much for this, Michelle

Please can I remind you and other forum members posting images that the maximum image width for posting on the forum is 600 pixels. I will edit wider images if posted but really don't want to have to do it for every image on the forum. If the images are wider it makes 'reading' threads much more uncomfortable for everyone.

I have edited your image immediately above and others posted recently. This is definitely not meant to discourage you posting as I have been pleased to see your posts and thank you very much for sharing the above and posing your questions on the general section of the forum (and I hope we can get some response on the latter!)


Author:  Michelle Pease [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:51 am ]
Post subject: 

No problem Pamela, I will edit my photos in future, I did read that the size was a maximum of 500kb but unfortunately missed the width item

Author:  Pamela [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:54 am ]
Post subject:  MessLess Collector 8

Prompted by Michelle's helpful post above I am also posting a screenshot of the database that I use for my collection - MessLess Collector 8. This is a fully customisable programme and very flexible. I did have a very scary time with it a couple of years ago when my antivirus programme - ESET - decided that the programme and files were a dangerous virus and deleted everything! I was able to go back to an earlier version of the programme (and file). Now the antivirus programme has decided that version 8 is OK. Finally I have managed to get one file which matches all my back data but there is a huge amount to load up and I was very put off!

At the moment I have four pages for data for each item including one of additional images, one for financial and one for web links as well as the initial record of the item.

It is possible to link different data files together - I have one for dealers and can link from the item to the dealer and then see all from one dealer.

I don't think that any development is now going on with the programme - last entries on the software website seem to be 2009

MessLess8w.jpg [ 155.96 KiB | Viewed 9835 times ]

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