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Museum of International Folk Art
Collections: Textiles & Costumes
Dress, Chuvasia c. 1900
Chuvasia, Central Russia
c. 1900
International Folk Art Foundation
The museum holds approximately 20,000 textiles and costumes which cross many cultures and curatorial disciplines. It is viewed as one collection because of the special requirements for storage and care and includes clothing, domestic, hats, shoes, jewelry and related items. Primarily made by the people who use them, the pieces date mainly to the 19th and 20th centuries. Household items, ceremonial pieces, everyday and special occasion dress, animal trappings, and sacred and ritual textiles are all represented.

Textiles and dress and their production and use often represent cultural norms and expectations, especially when they are made at home. But these norms and expectations change over time with education, economic change, and influence from the international media, among others. These changes are then reflected in the objects used and made by people. Changes can be as small as the substitution of buttons for coins as trim or can be as significant as buying machine woven cloth instead of spinning the fiber and weaving it at home. The collection encompasses these changes in culture and material to illustrate how people cope with their changing world and transform their daily lives with things of beauty.

The museum holds one of the best collections of Palestinian dress, including jewelry, in the world. Other significant holdings include the largest sampler collection west of the Mississippi, closets of Mexican and Guatemalan dress and textiles, weaving and embroidery of Northern New Mexico, Swedish hand-woven textiles, Czech village dress, and a wealth of embellished textiles and clothing from South Asia.

More about textiles on-line :

Currently on Display | Textile Web Resources|

Men's hats
Men's hats
Bamenda Peoples, Cameroon
20th century
Gift of Lloyd Cotsen
and Neutrogena Corp.
Tausug People, Philippines
c. 1920
Gift of Mrs. Ward Gregg
Mexican Sampler  1862
Gift of Florence Dibell Bartlett
Altar cloth
Altar cloth
Colcha Peñasco, New Mexico
Gift of Mrs. Laura Martinez Mullins
Rio Grande blanket
Rio Grande blanket
Trampas, New Mexico
c. 1870
International Folk Art Foundation