Here is a collection of links to other websites which we hope you will find useful. Many of the museum sites have searchable online catalogues of their collections. Please note - the items mentioned in this list are part of the collections but are not necessarily on display.
Please let us know of any other websites with which we should connect, or if any of the links are broken. email@example.com
We also have a comprehensive page of references for researchers and anyone interested in finding out more about textiles. Visit the References page.
Norfolk Museums Service
Latest exhibitions, opening times, collections for all of Norfolk's museums, plus updates on the major Castle Museum keep project.
Norfolk Museums Service Collections
A direct link to the searchable collections database which includes costume and textiles (and lots of shoes).
Norwich Castle Study Centre
Norwich Castle Study Centre is home for a wealth of the county’s collections of costume and textiles, fine, decorative and contemporary art, archaeology, natural history and the Royal Norfolk Regiment.
Friends of Norfolk Museums
The Friends of the Norwich Museums was set up in 1921 to acquire artefacts for the Norwich Museums. The Friends raise money not just for acquisitions, but for conservation and displays and vital funding for larger projects within the museums.
Norfolk and Suffolk Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers
The guild exists to promote and develop skills in the traditional crafts of hand weaving, spinning and dyeing.
Respecting traditional lace-making, learning from each other, passing on ancient skills, adapting techniques to produce contemporary lace.
Norfolk Contemporary Craft Society
Founded in 1972, NCCS is the leading Norfolk association of designer-makers. Members encompass traditional to cutting-edge designer crafts.
Norfolk Quilters was born in 1980, the brainchild of a few women who wanted to encourage patchwork and quilting in Norfolk and who wished to provide more social quilting activity to the small patchwork groups forming around the county and within Norwich.
Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers
There are now 1890 members and 130 groups around the county knitting and stitching for charity. The group supports many charities from orphanages and families abroad to small projects at home.
Embroiderers' Guild Eastern Region
Details of the Eastern Region's branches in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, with workshops and regional days.
The Norwich Society
Celebrating Norwich's unique character and beauty, preserving its heritage and shaping its future.
Norwich City Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers
Affiliated to The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
The Arts Society Norwich
The Arts Society is a leading arts education charity with a global network of 385 local societies, including that in Norwich.
Norfolk Makers' Festival
Annual event at the Forum in Norwich, usually February. Your chance to have a go at embroidery, weaving, printing, painting, lace-making, spinning and much more. Plus workshops and talks.
East Anglia Art Fund
The East Anglia Art Fund (EAAF) is dedicated to enriching cultural life in our region by supporting the best in exhibitions and art education.
Contains a collection of fishermens' ganseys - traditionally the gansey or Guernsey is a hand-knitted (or later machine-knitted and hand-finished) garment made for fishermen who required warm and hard-wearing clothing which would resist the sea spray.
MAJOR MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
Fashion and Textile Museums website
A directory of museums in the UK and around the world
Victoria and Albert Museum
The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity.
The Fashion Museum, Bath
There are almost 100,000 objects in the Fashion Museum collection, ranging from decorated gloves from the time of Shakespeare to fashions by today’s leading designers in the Dress of the Year collection.
Fashion and Textile Museum, London
The Fashion and Textile Museum is a cutting edge centre for contemporary fashion and textiles in London. Founded by iconic British designer Zandra Rhodes, the centre showcases a programme of changing exhibitions exploring elements of fashion and textiles.
Museum of London - direct link to textile collection
The focus of this collection is clothes and textiles made, sold, bought and worn in London from the 16th century to the present. The collection ranges from garments made at home to those produced in the studios of London couturiers, from gowns worn at grand occasions to clothes worn every day.
OTHER MUSEUM COLLECTIONS
Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Much more of the extensive dress and textile collection is now housed in a new, permanent Fashion & Textile Gallery. Combining historic collections with contemporary design, the gallery provides temporary exhibition space, a permanent chronological display of dress and textiles and a central ‘Glass Cube’, which is a textile study centre.
Macclesfield Silk Museum
The Silk Museum tells a story of the relationship between the people and communities of Macclesfield and its famous silk industry. Highlights include remarkable surviving Jacquard loomsand stunning Pattern Books that capture the creative ideas and processes of many of the town’s major silk firms.
Museum of East Anglian Life
Stowmarket: includes clothing, textiles
Quarry Bank Mill
The cotton mill was the heart of working life at Quarry Bank. Visit the mill to discover how Samuel Greg founded his cotton empire and the story of the cotton trade. (National Trust)
Rossendale: Helmshore Mills Textile Museum
Two original Lancashire textile mills, Higher Mill and Whitaker’s Mill, in Rossendale. Witness original machinery at work and follow a journey to discover how raw wool and cotton were transformed into yarn, ready to be woven into cloth.
Stockport: The Hat Works
A journey through the history of Stockport’s once thriving hatting industry. The museum is home to a recreated hat factory with some 20 fully restored working Victorian-style machines and a collection of more than 400 hats from around the world.
Liverpool Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool - fashion collection
National Museums Liverpool has a large collection of Western European costume, numbering some 10,000 items and dating from about 1700 to the present day. All aspects of male and female fashionable dress are represented, including indoor and outdoor clothing, underwear, shoes, hats and accessories.Current exhibition (until Spring 2020) Dressed to Impress - 18th century fashion.
Merseyside: Lady Lever Gallery
Collection of tapestries at the Lady Lever Gallery in Merseyside - includes French and English from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Garments made for men, women and children; accessories, such as fans, gloves and hats; and tools of the trade like paper patterns and miniature garments made by tailors to show their wares. The textile collection includes lengths of cloth intended, but never used, for dressmaking, as well as objects embellished with beadwork and embroidery.
Totnes Fashion and Textile Museum, Devon
Houses the Devonshire Collection of Period Costume, with clothing for men, women and children from the 18th to the 21st century.
York Museum costume and textiles
A searchable database of costume and textiles.
Northampton footwear collection
Highlights of the footwear collection at Northampton Museums.
Paisley Museum textile collection, Scotland
Mentions shawls, but very little information online.
Halifax - Bankfield Museum
A new fashion gallery opens in May 1019, showcasing Calderdale Museums’ fashion and textile collections from ancient Egypt to modern day. Calderdale Museums claims to have one of the best but little-known textile collections in the country. There are 17,000 objects, collected from all over the world.
Stoke on Trent - The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
The collections include the Bagot Collection of clothes, accessories and jewellery worn by Lord and Lady Bagot including the Bagot family ceremonial and court dress from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries and the Rawlence Collection of European textiles and lace, dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Southend Museums https://www.southendmuseums.co.uk
Beecroft Art Gallery https://www.southendmuseums.co.uk/beecroft-art-gallery Collection of costume for social history
Luton Culture Wardown House Museum and Gallery https://www.lutonculture.com/wardown-house/
Collection of Costumes
Textile Museum, Washington
Its collections of more than 20,000 textiles and related objects represent five millennia and five continents, including cultures from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Textile Museum of Canada
Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the museum’s permanent collection spans nearly 2,000 years and consists of more than 13,000 artifacts.
Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
Where else could you find French chestnut-crushing boots under the same roof as delicately-embroidered Chinese silk shoes, bear fur shoes made for Japanese samurai warriors and footwear made from human hair? 13,000 items in the collection - 1000 usually on show - spanning 4,500 years.
British Association of Friends of Museums (BAfM)
Helps, encourages, informs and advises friends, supporters and volunteers of museums, galleries, and other cultural organisations in all sections of our UK heritage. Also provides a regular newsletter.
The Embroiderers' Guild exists to build awareness of stitch and textile art. It aims to educate, encourage, inspire, and promote the achievement of excellence. Courses, lectures information.
The Textile Society
The society promotes the study of textile disciplines and celebrates the history and culture of textiles, both traditional and contemporary. Established in 1982 as an educational charity, the society gives support to students, designers, historians and practitioners.
They also provide bursaries - direct link here
The Costume Society
Promoting the study of all aspects of clothing and textiles, the Society aims to encourage access to costume history, including contemporary dress.
Dress and Textile Specialists
The network provides support for professionals working with collections of fashion, dress and textiles.
**** This site has a Resources section with downloadable pdfs on a range of subjects, including 'Identifying Textile Types and Weaves', Identifying Handmade and Machine Lace', 'Mounting Historic Dress', and 'Identifying Printed Textiles in Dress 1740-1890'. Direct link here - www.dressandtextilespecialists.org.uk/dats-toolkits/
Royal School of Needlework
"The International Centre of Excellence for the Art of Hand Embroidery since 1872." Education programmes for all levels.
Early Modern Dress and Textiles
The Arts and Humanities Research Council funded a two-year investigation into Early Modern European Dress and Textiles. The Early Modern Dress and Textiles Network finished its work in 2009, but its website continues to be updated. Lots of info, further links and a bibliography.
Medieval Royal Wardrobe accounts
Research project which offers a way for school-children, students and interested members of the public to engage with a number of facets of Britain’s medieval past, its language, manuscripts, and the clothing worn by the royal family.
History of Clothing
Website with lots of articles and information about clothing, textiles etc, although no indication of who owns or maintains the site.
The School of Historical Dress
The School encourages new research into historical dress and introduces students to the tools needed for this, such as how to study an object, to identify its materials, cut, construction and historical context.
Pasold Research Fund
The Fund promotes and supports research on textile history, embracing the economic, social and cultural history of textiles, their technological development, design and conservation, as well as the history of dress, and other uses of textiles from prehistory to the present. Includes academic publications of studies in textiles, dress and fashion.
Warner Textile Archive, Braintree
The Historical Fashion Resource
This is a page created as part of a commercial perfume site, but was suggested to us by Girl Scouts in Wyoming, USA, who had found our links page useful for their own badges. We are happy to pass it on, and thank them for their suggestion.