The Fashion & Textile Gallery
The new Fashion & Textile Gallery now occupies a space almost three times as large as the previous costume gallery, which closed
in September 2005.
The Museum is now able to present textiles and dress collections in an exciting way that can be enjoyed by the general visitor and the specialist alike, catering for both individuals and groups to study and enjoy the collections.
Environmental monitoring and control is vitally important for textile collections, and large glass doors act to isolate the space inside the galleries. Similarly, safe conservation lighting systems, reducing heat and ultra-violet light, enables the collections to be studied closely by visitors.
The collection of costume is presented through changing thematic displays housed in striking glass showcases, setting the historic dress in a fresh and modern environment. The atmosphere in this section is stylish and elegant, to emulate the best ‘fashion shopping’ experience. The intention is to be able to take occasional contemporary fashion shows and exhibitions from designers.
For the textiles collection, we have created a world class textile centre in the North of England. The range of this collection, European tapestries, embroideries, ecclesiastical textiles, lace, carpets, bed hangings and quilts, can at last be seen and recognised as highly significant, attracting serious study nationally and internationally. Previously aspects of these collections have always been shown in temporary exhibitions, never having their own permanent space. There is now provision of study/storage systems in the form of glazed drawer units for unsupervised access to a range of textiles, allowing for a far greater proportion to be shown in the area available.
The creation of this new gallery has significantly improved the display, storage and interpretation of these collections, creating access for many different audiences.