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About the history of the Network

The Network is a child of the political changes that took place in Europe in 1989/90. At that time, there was also a sharp increase in cultural challenges. All cultural sectors were required to reappraise their content, historic sources and future forms of cultural production. The textile sector was no exception.

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 organised, 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.

The ETN/TFS Services

The documentation, information and coordination service has grown from Beatrijs Sterk's work in publishing. She has produced the German 'Textilforum' magazine since 1982, and has also published an English edition under the name of Textile Forum since 1995.