Inside the Clothworkers' Centre: Highlights from the Collection

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TRANSCRIPT

 

Inside the Clothworkers’ Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion – Highlights from the Collection

 

Edwina Ehrman, Lead Curator, Clothworkers’ Centre

 

The study room is the heart of the Clothworkers’ Centre and this is where visitors come for their appointments, because what we have here is not a library of books, but a library of textiles and fashion.

 

This is probably one of the most popular textiles in this newly created display. It’s the oldest known dated British sampler. It was made to commemorate the birth of a baby called Jane Bostocke who was born on 23rd November in 1596. And because these textiles are glazed in acrylic we can lend them [visitors] magnification aids and then they can really look in detail at the tiny, tiny stitches used to create it.

 

This is an example of late 20th century fabric. It was created by Zandra Rhodes and it’s her famous lily motif.

 

This is great fun, it’s one of my favourites, it was produced in 1924 and it shows the cartoon character Felix the Cat. It’s the sort of fabric that might well have been made into an apron for a little girl, or a pinafore - people would have been able to buy the yardage and then make those garments at home.

 

The Clothworkers’ Centre is located at Blyth House in Kensington Olympia, London. Entrance is free and by appointment.

 

Public tours of The Clothworkers’ Centre will take place on the last Friday of every month, booking is essential.

 

www.vam.ac.uk/clothworkers

 

ENDS

 

Further reading

 

Bostocke sampler - http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O46183/sampler-jane-bostocke/

 

Lily dress fabric - http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O266069/a-lily-dress-fabric-zandra-rhodes/

 

Felix the Cat dress fabric - http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O267188/felix-dress-fabric-calico-printers-association/

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A 16th century textile created to mark the birth of a baby girl and a fabric rendering of Felix the Cat are two highlights of the Clothworkers' Centre's Study Room, selected by lead curator Edwina Ehrman as she takes us into the "library of textiles".

A 16th century textile created to mark the birth of a baby girl and a fabric rendering of Felix the Cat are two highlights...