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

Blythe House, Olympia. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Blythe House, Olympia. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion is located at Blythe House, at Olympia in West London.

The Centre is open by appointment to visitors and groups who would like to study and research objects in the Textiles and Fashion Study Collections.

Read more about the Fashion and Textiles collection

What does the Clothworkers’ Centre offer?

  • an opportunity to study and enjoy textiles and fashion at first hand, with support from staff if you have questions
  • a quiet, light, spacious and comfortable study room where individuals and small groups of up to three people can study objects of their choice
  • a seminar room for larger groups of up to 18 people
  • a small study collection of historical textiles selected to show a range of techniques
  • reference books and on-site access to the collections database
Wool and silk tapestry depicting Perseus and Andromeda (detail), designed by Francis Cleyn and woven at the Mortlake tapestry manufactory, England, about 1635-6. Museum no. T.228-1989. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Wool and silk tapestry depicting Perseus and Andromeda (detail), designed by Francis Cleyn and woven at the Mortlake tapestry manufactory, England, about 1635-6. Museum no. T.228-1989. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Who can use the Study Centre?

Individual visitors and groups of up to 18 people can make an appointment to visit the Centre.

Access

The Study Centre is open by appointment, from Tuesday to Friday between 10.00 and 13.00 and 14.00 and 16.30. There is no charge but it is essential to book.

It is closed on public holidays and throughout August for the annual audit.

Booking an appointment

To make an appointment please send us an email explaining why you would like to see objects from the collection and your area of interest.
clothworkers@vam.ac.uk

While we are happy to select objects on your behalf we strongly recommend researching your choice on Search the Collections

If you need to cancel your appointment please let us know as soon as possible so that we can offer it to others.

Groups

Groups will generally be offered a choice of two times between 10.30 -13.00 or 14.00 -16.00.

Please note that Textiles and Fashion staff cannot undertake research on behalf of enquirers.

Tours

Guided tours of the Clothworkers' Centre take place on the last Friday of the month. Tours last 45 minutes and take place in the morning. Please note that places are limited and it is essential to book in advance. A separate individual or group booking must be made to see objects from the collection.
To book a tour, please email clothworkers@vam.ac.uk

Kimono, silk crepe, tie and a paste resist dyeing, Japan, 1800-1850. Museum no. T.109-1954. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Kimono, silk crepe, tie and a paste resist dyeing, Japan, 1800-1850. Museum no. T.109-1954. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Photography and photocopying

Collections may be photographed for study purposes at the discretion of the curator.
For terms governing publication, commercial reproduction and copyright, please see V&A Images

Visitors will be charged for any photocopies requested.

Arrival

When you arrive at Blythe House you will need to provide personal identification which must include a photograph.

Acceptable forms of personal identification include:

  • Passport
  • National Identity card
  • Photo driving licence
  • Student identity card
  • Official accreditation card from a recognised place of work
  • Library ticket

Coats and bags

Coats, large bags, umbrellas and suitcases are not permitted in the Study Room. Please leave these items in the lockers at Reception. Please don’t bring any food, drink, chewing gum, newspapers or pens with you as these are harmful to the objects. Only pencils are allowed.

Access and facilities for visitors with disabilities

Visitors with special needs are advised to detail their requirements when making their appointment so that the appropriate level of assistance will be available when they visit.

There is step-free access to Blythe House and a stair lift for wheelchair users.

Terms and Conditions of Access

The V&A Clothworkers’ Centre is operated by the Board of Trustees of the Victoria & Albert Museum. These terms and conditions govern your use of the objects, particularly any use you wish to make of any content. By using the V&A Clothworkers’ Centre you confirm that you accept these Terms of Access and that you agree to comply with them. It is recommended that prior to your visit to the Clothworkers’ Centre, you download and read through the Terms and Conditions of access.

Download the V&A Clothworkers’ Centre Terms and Conditions of Access (PDF file 80 KB)

Location

The Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion is located at:

Blythe House
23 Blythe Road
London
W14 0QX

Olympia station is a 5 minute walk from Blythe House.

Nearby underground stations within 10-15 minutes walk include:

  • Barons Court (District and Piccadilly lines)
  • West Kensington (District Line)
  • Hammersmith (District, Piccadilly and Hammersmith and City lines)
  • Shepherd’s Bush (Central and Hammersmith and City lines) 




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