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“Ivanovo – the ‘Russian Manchester’, and the Story of Printed Textiles in Russia”, a talk by Pamela Smith – Thursday, 24 June at 19:00 (BST)

Thursday 24 June, 2021, 19:00 - 20:30

Before the 1917 Revolution Russia had a thriving textile industry, exporting vast quantities of printed cotton throughout the Russian empire and beyond. In the city of Ivanovo alone nearly 30,000 textile workers were employed. Distinctive red prints became an important element of folk dress, and in the 1920s and ’30s designs promoted the philosophy of the new Soviet state. This talk explores the colourful and sometimes dramatic history of the industry, including its links with Britain.

WHEN: Thursday, 24 June 2021, 19:00 (BST)

FEE: Voluntary donation*

Please REGISTER in advance (with your name and email address). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with a Zoom joining link.


About the speaker

Pamela Smith (2021)

Pamela Smith is a textile and dress historian. She trained as an embroiderer before spending six months in Moscow in 1987, where she was able to develop her life-long interest in Russian art and culture. Her MA dissertation concentrated on Russian Arts & Crafts embroideries of the late 19th – early 20th centuries, while her current research concerns British workers in the Russian cotton textile industry before 1917.

For more information, please see Pamela Smith’s website.

Bibliography: The History of Cotton Textile Printing in Russia and the USSR

 Arsen’eva, E V. Ивановские Ситцы (Ivanovskie Sittsy / Ivanovo Calico). Khudozhnik RSFSR. Leningrad, 1983

Efimova, L. Русский Народный Костюм (Russkiye Narodnii Kostyum / Folk Russian Costume. From the collection of the State History Museum, Moscow). Sovetskaya Rossiya. Moscow, 1989

Fitzpatrick, Anne Lincoln. The Great Russian Fair. St Martin’s Press. New York, 1990 (about the Nizhnii Novgorod Fair)

Gordeyeva, Olga et al. Русские Узорные Ткани (Russkiye Uzorniye Tkani / Russian Patterned Fabrics, XVII – beg. XX century). State History Museum. Moscow, 2004

Gordeyeva, Olga (intro). Russian Kerchiefs and Shawls. Aurora. Leningrad, 1985

Jacqué, Jacqueline et al. Andrinople Le Rouge Magnifique. Editions de La Martinière. Paris, 1995

Meller, Susan. Russian Textiles: Printed Cloth for the Bazaars of Central Asia. Abrams. New York, 2007

Meller, Susan. Silk and Cotton – textiles from the Central Asia that was. Abrams. New York, 2013

Museum of Modern Art, Oxford/Crafts Council/ Ministry of Culture, USSR. Art into Production – Soviet Textiles, Fashion and Ceramics 1917-1935. (in conjunction with exhibition in Oxford & London – 1984-5)

Sandberg, Gösta. The Red Dyes: Cochineal, Madder and Murex Purple. Lark Books. Asheville, 1997

Strizhenova, Tatiana. Soviet Costume and Textiles, 1917-1945. Flammarion. Paris, 1991

Ward, Chris. Russia’s cotton workers and the New Economic Policy. (Shop-floor culture and state policy 1921-1929). Cambridge University Press, 1990

Yasinskaya, I. Soviet Textile Design of the Revolutionary Period. Thames and Hudson. London, 1983



Pamela Smith, www.drawnground.co.uk

* While there is no charge for our online events, CamRuSS would welcome any donations towards the support of our volunteers’ efforts in bringing more speakers and online events during the social distancing time.
Suggested donation £5-£10. 
All the money that CamRuSS raise from membership fees & donations goes towards organising events, supporting community projects, and essential technical and administrative costs.

You can send your donations by:
– a direct bank transfer (BACS) to the following account:
The Cambridge Russian-Speaking Society
NATWEST Bank, Sort code: 60-11-30 Account: 25395637

– PayPal with CamRuSS’ email address: camruss@camruss.com


Thursday 24 June, 2021
19:00 - 20:30
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