The Clothworkers' Centre

The Clothworkers' Centre for the Study and Conservation of Textiles and Fashion is a state-of-the-art facility that offers visitors and researchers a truly unique opportunity to inspect and study one of the most important collections of textiles and fashion in the world, ranging from archaeological fragments to heavy tapestry and carpets, accessories and underwear to embroidered 18th century court dresses and contemporary haute couture.

The Clothworkers' Centre at Blythe House, Olympia. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The Clothworkers' Centre is located at Blythe House, Olympia in West London and offers visitors:

  • 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.


There is currently no access to the V&A's study collections, including the Clothworkers’ Centre at Blythe House, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Entrance is free and by appointment only.
Individual visitors: 10.00-13.00 & 14.00-16.30, Tuesday-Friday.
Groups up to 18: 10.30-13.00 & 14.00-16.00, Tuesday-Friday.

The Centre is closed throughout August.

* There will be no access to the Clothworkers’ Centre at Blythe House after March 2021, while we prepare for relocation to the new Collections and Research Centre in Stratford's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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.

Email: explaining why you would like to see objects from the collection and your area of interest.

Please use Search the Collections to identify objects you would like to see.

To gain access to the centre 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


Free guided tours of the Clothworkers' Centre take place on the second Wednesday and the last Friday of the month. Tours last 45 minutes. Please note that places are limited and it is essential to book in advance.

To book a tour, please email:

Photography and photocopying

Collections may be photographed for study purposes at the discretion of the curator. Visitors will be charged for any photocopies requested.

The Clothworkers’ Foundation

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.