The V&A Textiles and Fashion Collection

The Marwan tiraz, Compound twill with embroidery, Turkey, North Africa, Egypt, 684-750 CE (the earliest dated Islamic textile. Museum no. 1314-1888 and T.13-1960. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Marwan tiraz, Compound twill with embroidery, Turkey, North Africa, Egypt, 684-750 CE (the earliest dated Islamic textile). Museum no. 1314-1888 and T.13-1960. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The V&A holds the national collection of Textiles and Fashion, which spans a period of more than 5000 years, from Predynastic Egypt to the present day. The collection is one of the world’s largest and the most wide-ranging. More than 75,000 individual objects or sets of objects are cared for jointly by the Asian Department and the Furniture, Textiles and Fashion Department, from a broad geographic area covering Europe, South, South East, East and Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Almost all textile techniques are represented in our collections, including woven, printed and embroidered textiles, lace, tapestries and carpets. Among the particularly rich areas are early woven silks from the Near East, European and Chinese tapestries, English medieval embroidery (opus anglicanum), Safavid carpets, Indian textiles, and Arts and Crafts textiles.

The fashion collection spans five centuries, with early pieces including rare 16th century children’s kaftans from the Ottoman Empire, and important examples of 17th century European men’s and women’s dress. It has particular strength from the 18th century onwards, with mainly European (predominantly English and French) fashionable clothes and accessories for both sexes, together with important items of dress for the elite in India, China and Japan which mainly date to the 19th century. The collection also includes a wide range of accessories from across the world, such as footwear and hats.

The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014

5 April - 27 July 2014. The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014 is a comprehensive look at Italian Fashion from the end of the Second World War to the present day. The story is explored through the key individuals and organisations that have contributed to Italy's reputation for quality and style.

Visit the V&A exhibition The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014

Shop online

Fashion Designers A-Z - Missoni Edition (Hardback)

Fashion Designers A-Z - Missoni Edition (Hardback)

The first printing is available as a series of "Designer Editions". Each edition is bound in a fabric from one of six designers in t…

Buy now

Event - Fashion and Textiles Museum: ARTIST TEXTILES Picasso to Warhol

Wed 30 April 2014 10:00

With over 200 rare pieces, the FTM’s latest exhibition traces the history of twentieth-century art in textiles with work by icons including Salvador Dalí, Sonia Delaunay, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, as well as leading fashion designers and manufacturers.

Book online