The European Textile Network (ETN) is bringing together cultural producers (artists, designers, craft people, authors etc.), carriers of cultural heritage and education (museums, archives, libraries, universities etc.), lecturers, researchers and textile enthusiasts in order to promote the exchange of information and experiences, to encourage the cooperation in projects and to arrange meetings. All institutions, groups, non-corporate entities and individuals worldwide who have an interest in textiles are welcome as members.

ETN is organising documentation, information and coordination services.
ETN is a non-profit organisation and was informally set up in 1991 in Erfurt and founded as an International Association after Alsacian law in 1993 under the auspices of the Council of Europe as the Carrier Network for the European Textile Routes in the frame of the Council of Europe´s Cultural Itineraries programme. Since 2020 the network has its seat at the Textile Centre Haslach in Austria and is operated under Austrian law.

participants of the ETN conference in Haslach/Austria, July 2019

The aims

  • The purpose of the association is to promote the development of European cooperation and common interest in the field of textile and to intensify cultural textile exchanges,
  • to contribute to the accentuation and general appreciation of regional textile identities and -culture and to the strengthening of European coexistence.
  • to promote the development of common interest, cooperation and collaboration in the field of textile between partners and parties from all over the world.
  • to further the networking of textile artists, designers, artisans, educators, companies and researchers, both individuals and institutions.
  • to encourage internationality and integration in all areas of the association’s activities.

The means

  • The use of synergies of pre-existing regional activities at local and interregional level
  • The regular (co-) organization and holding of international textile conferences
  • The call for, (co-) organization and holding of national, international and regional textile art and design exhibitions as well as other public events
  • Specialist publications
  • Operating a website and entries in other virtual media
  • The creation and maintenance of a database of members and, if relevant to textiles, beyond (public collections etc.)
  • The targeted promotion of individual textile artists and designers, for example through residencies, study and continuing education, etc.

The financing

The daily activities of the association by the Board members and group leaders are done on a honorary basis. Costs of materials, administration and mobility at the ETN main office are mainly covered by membership fees.
The costs of the ETN conferences are covered by their hosts, local sponsors and by the participants.
For special projects ETN will seek to find funding from national or European institutions and/or own resources of the ETN members.