Man-Made Fibres and Clothing from the Mid-Twentieth Century to the Present

To explore the history of clothing and fashion trends is to examine simultaneously the history of textile fibres. The past endeavours to learn about the laws of nature and govern them included efforts to better exploit raw materials for the production of textile materials, that would reduce humanity’s dependence on nature. The beginnings of man-made fibre research hark back to the 17th century. However, only much later, in the 20th century, can we really speak of the century of manmade fibres. The rapid advancement of textile, clothing and chemical industries after World War II brought about the production of a variety of cheap fabrics made of chemical fibres that raised great hopes among manufacturers and consumers in their day. Plastics and man-made fibres have influenced a great many spheres of human life, including such fields as medicine. Almost every type of fibre that goes into making fashionable clothing is also widely employed in health care. They comprise a broad range of products – from work clothes, surgical and absorption dressings, bandages and braces, to barrier textiles and surgical suture threads, all the way to implants and complex structures used to replace human organs. And so, man-made fibres that the human mind has chiefly connected with the visual perception of the outside of the human body have moved from the surface to the interior, moulding the
body in an invisible, yet crucial way from the inside.

Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague
Exhibition Hall
17. listopadu 2
110 00 Prague 1

Opening hours
Tue 10 a.m.—7 p.m., Wed — Sun 10 a.m.—6 p.m., Mon closed

Related Links
Outside and Inside — the book)


Poster of exhibition, graphic design: Štěpán Malovec
permanent display) 2019) 2018) 2017) 2016) 2015) 2014) 2013) 2012) 2011) 2010) 2009) 2008) 2007) 2006) 2005) 2004)
Czech Cubism) 26th...) Female Students...) Art Nouveau...) Jindřich Brok:...) The Story of...) The Historic...) Vital Art Nouveau...) Jan...) Outside and Inside) The Radiance of...) Masterpieces from...) Huť František v...)