Supper talk: ‘More than cotton: textile secrets of Kew’s Economic Botany Collection’
With Dr Mark Nesbitt, Curator, Economic Botany Collection Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Thursday July 13th: 6-8.15pm, £17 (incl. a glass of wine and garden entry).
At least 1000 species of plant produce useful fibres, but only a few are in use by the textile industry. Kew’s collections hold many examples of local fibres, often both fascinating and beautiful. In this talk we will explore the indigenous uses of plant fibres worldwide, and look at why some fibres became commercially successful and some not. Are there lessons for sustainable textiles today?
Mark Nesbitt is a botanist and historian with special interests in botany and empire, plant fibres and medicinal plants. He is Research Leader for Economic Botany at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Curator of Kew’s Economic Botany Collection. He is also responsible for co-ordinating the Kew-based module of Kent’s MSc in Ethnobotany.
After a first degree in agricultural botany, Mark studied archaeobotany at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, carrying out fieldwork in Turkey, Iraq, Bahrain and Turkmenistan. His research focused on the evolution of crops and agricultural systems in the Near East, cereal domestication and history (especially wheat), and the origins of agriculture. Mark joined Kew Gardens in 1999. He carries out research into useful plants informed by Kew’s collections, science strategy and heritage. Current topics include plant fibres (barkcloth, textiles, basketry), medicinal plants and the history of useful plants and botanic institutions in the last 200 years.
Ticket price includes a glass of wine and Garden entry.
During the online booking process, you can also make a reservation for buffet supper at the award-winning Tangerine Dream Café before or after the talk (5.45pm or 8.30pm sitting) at an additional cost of £16.50 to be paid on the night of the talk. Buffet includes mixed salads, meat or vegetable dishes and a delicious dessert.
Please note that the talk will begin at 7pm
This event takes place in our lecture room up some stairs with no alternative access. We apologise if this causes any inconvenience.
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