Saturday, April 6, 2019

Tenth Anniversary

A cape made from Madagascar Golden
Orb spider silk exhibited at London's
 Victoria and Albert Museum (June 2012).
(photo:  Cmglee, on Wikimedia Commons)..

Unsurprisingly (given my irregular habits), I missed the actual date, but on March 16, 2019, this blog was exactly 10 years old.

A decade is a long time.  In the 10 years since I started this blog, I've seen many costuming blogs fall by the wayside, lost to family obligations, changes in health, changes in priorities, and the rise of other forms of social media, such as Instagram and Facebook.  Other Internet communities of historical costumers, including the MedCos list and the Norsefolk and Norsefolk_2 mailing lists on Yahoo!, are defunct, and the h-costume list, though still technically active, sees very little activity now. 

On the other hand, Instagram and Facebook bear witness to the fact that there are more historical costumers, and more people interested in historical costuming, than ever.  I ended up as one of the moderators of the Reenactment clothing and textiles group on Facebook because they get so many applicants. In addition, I have become concerned that Google will get rid of Blogger, as they have decommissioned G+ and so many other interesting and useful products, and that I will have to migrate my blog to another platform to keep it alive.  But I still enjoy blogging, and am determined to continue to maintain an Internet presence through my blogs.

The last time I did an anniversary post, it was 2011.  In that post, I included a token link to an actual costume-related article (since an anniversary post is technically a "meta" post).  This link I found courtesy of Susan Baker Farmer on the Historic Tablet Weaving Group on Facebook. The article is about gene-modified bacteria that produce a spider silk so strong that space suits could be made from fabric woven out of it.  The technique used doesn't produce very much silk, and doesn't produce it efficiently, but if it can be modified to produce at industrial levels it will have created something valuable and new indeed.  Enjoy!

P.S.  The cape in the picture is made from spider silk, but not the kind reproduced with genetically-modified bacteria.  I added it for visual interest, and because it's an interesting garment in its own right.

EDIT:  (6/4/2019) Since this post, there has been a concerted effort made by members of h-costume to reactivate the list, so don't hesitate to sign up if you are interested!


  1. Happy blog anniversary! Your blog is a wonderful resource; thank you for taking the time to share all your thoughts and sources and suggestions.
    I much prefer the old-school blog format to Facebook and Insta, because I find those formats don’t really allow for a lot of information sharing. They’re great for pictures, but far less effective as a way to present research.

    1. Thanks so much! I've always tried very hard to make my blog a resource (even when all I managed was to pass on good information from others). My reward is that I can look up information here as well. And when I find dead links I do my best to fix them with the Wayback Machine.

      I agree with you about Facebook. One can share information on FB pages, but finding such information weeks or months after it's been posted is nearly impossible unless the information is in something like a "files" section (most of the costume-related FB pages I follow have such "files", fortunately). The same seems to be true of Instagram. I think Instagram may be a great way to drive traffic to one's blog, and I plan to experiment with using it that way (haven't posted anything there yet) after tax season is over and I get a bit of time.

    2. Aggregating and disseminating good information is a valuable service in and of itself. There are so many things I wouldn't know about if you hadn't featured them here.

      Instagram could be a good way for people to engage with your content and then come to your blog to learn more, and I hope it does work out well for you.

  2. Happy blogiversary! I agree that its a loss that many living history and reconstruction people have moved from real searchable websites to ephemeral, closed platforms. People can find a real website in 20 years after you have changed hobbies or changed periods, but by then the platforms will be long gone after blocking the Wayback Machine and changing URLs. I do what I can with blogrolls and links.

    These days there are many more 'historical textiles and clothing' books and journals than there used to be, I think in the 1980s people had to start out with things aimed at costumers and a handful of hard-to-find academic articles!

    1. You are so right, Sean. Best of all are sites like where current research is often made available for free. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!