About the Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion

The Clothworkers’ Centre for Textile and Fashion Study and Conservation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Clothworkers’ Centre for Textile and Fashion Study and Conservation © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion is located at Blythe House at Olympia. All appointments to see objects in the Textiles and Fashion Study Collections will take place in the Centre.

The aim of the Clothworkers’ Centre is to provide the best possible access to the Museum’s outstanding collection of textiles and fashion in a relaxed and peaceful environment. The study room has been designed to accommodate individual visitors and small groups of up to three people. Larger groups of up to 18 people will be welcomed in the adjoining seminar room. Both rooms are spacious, bright and well-equipped for study and research. Individual and group appointments must be booked in advance to enable us to ensure that the requested objects and the appropriate space to study them are available.

Jumpsuit, Stella McCartney, spring/summer 2011. Museum no. T.103-2011. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Jumpsuit, Stella McCartney, spring/summer 2011. Museum no. T.103-2011. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

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at the Clothworkers' Centre

The Centre also includes new custom-built storage and modern conservation studios to ensure the long term care and preservation of the collection. 

Blythe House is already home to the Museum’s study collections and to the Archive of Art and Design and the Theatre and Performance Study Room.

All the V&A’s visitors enter Blythe House through the building’s original main entrance where a new reception area has been created.

The Clothworkers’ Centre has been made possible thanks to a generous lead grant from the Clothworkers’ Foundation with further significant support from many other national and international donors.

Its establishment reflects the Museum’s long standing commitment to collecting, caring for and researching textiles and fashion, and to making the collection available physically and online to the widest possible audience.


Inside the Clothworkers' Centre

Video: Highlights from the Clothworkers' Collection

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'.

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Video: Pre-1800 Textiles and Fashion

Elaborate, ornate, delicate – these are the words that come to mind when looking at pieces from the V&A's collection of pre-18th century fashion and textiles. In this film, curator Susan North shows us a few of the highlights at the Clothworkers' Centre, looking at technique, colour and texture.

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Video: Asian Textiles and Fashion

Helen Persson, V&A curator from the Asian Department, makes evident the depth and breadth of the collection at the Clothworkers' Centre by showing three dramatically contrasting examples of Asian textiles, the oldest of which dates from 900 – 1000 AD.

View transcript of video

Video: Contemporary Textiles and Fashion

Acting senior curator of Textiles and Fashion, Oriole Cullen, provides an insight into the V&A's collection at the Clothworkers' Centre, drawing our attention to some particularly special examples of men's and women's wear.

View transcript of video



This development is part of FuturePlan

FuturePlan is transforming the V&A by revitalising visitor facilities and redisplaying the collections. Using the best architects and designers, we are bringing the V&A into the 21st century and restoring modern design and innovation to the heart of the museum.

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Event - Clothworkers’ Centre: Shoes Collection

Wed 01 July 2015 11:00–12:00

Members will be shown highlights of the Museum’s footwear collection, dating from about 60 BCE to contemporary design, and meet textile conservators working on objects in the Conservation Studios.

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