Balkan Socks in the Edith Durham collection of the Bankfield Museum (slide show & lecture)



Unlimited participants
No materials needed
All skill levels welcome


Edith Durham was an anthropologist and collector of Balkan textiles who donated her collection to the Bankfield Museum in Halifax, England, in 1935. The collection includes several pairs of hand-spun, hand-knitted socks and gloves that are made with exquisite detail. I was privileged to be able to visit an exhibition of the Edith Durham collection at the museum in 2009, and to examine the entire collection of knitted items more closely during a return research trip in 2010. In this lecture, we will talk about Edith Durham’s experiences traveling around the Balkans in the early 20th century, and look at slides of the knitted items in the collection, as well as historical photographs from her travels, and detailed drawings of several pairs of Balkan hand-knit socks. We will also discuss the knitting techniques used in making the elaborately decorated Albanian slipper socks and the two-layer lace and colorwork socks in the Bankfield Museum.

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