One of the oldest European textile collection with 20,000 items of textiles, fashion and toys is housed here. Its conception originated in the revivalist tenets of the arts and crafts movement of the second half of the 19th century, when museum exhibits were to serve first of all as models and inspiration for contemporary textile designers and producers, and also to educate the public in good taste. Collecting was therefore focused on artefacts suitable for copying, such as fragments of historical textiles, embroidery and lace. The textile gallery was one of the first galleries to open a hundred years ago on November 18, 1900. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries contemporary textile designs which were created and entered into various museum competitions also became part of its holdings.

In the 20th century the collections were gradually complemented by examples of historical textiles, such as tapestries and garments. After the Second World War, a collection of liturgical vestments from monasteries closed down by the communist regime and, later, a collection of garments and fashion accessories from the Museum of Fashion in Jemniště were transferred here. This way the basic structure of the textiles collection had been outlined, with two main sections: historical textiles and fashion. At the beginning of the 1990s a collection of 20th century textiles was transferred here from the Department of Contemporary Applied Arts and Design.That department was established in the 1960s, and since then contemporary textiles are documented in the museum, depending on its financial position. From 1995 the toy collection was also transferred to the textiles and fashion department for administrative reasons.

China-head doll
France, 1890

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