A Visit to the Textile History Museum
This week I decided to take a long lunch and visit the Textile Museum in Lowell, MA. I mean how crazy is it that there is a textile museum less than 20 miles away and I haven’t seen it! Diane volunteers at the museum so she hooked me up with the special exhibit coordinator – Diane Fagan Affleck. So this was “work” but also a lot of fun!
It’s not official yet, but a couture clothing collection is scheduled to be shown at this museum in August. I think this is a great opportunity for PatternReview to do something in conjuction with the exhibit. So we threw some ideas around and finally settled on a possibility of doing a fashion show where local PR members would want to show off their own formalwear. The museum curator or another guest could be the judge. I asked them to schedule some time for us in September.
The exhibit coordinator was very excited to learn about PatternReview as she sews herself. She told me that she made her wedding dress using 5 different patterns. How cool is that?
But the thing which I am really looking forward to is our group meetup in March. Tentative date for that is March 14th. They will organize a special group tour for us. There is a really cool 50s aprons exhibit going on right now. I also requested them to give us their classroom for a few hours where we could gather after the tour and bring our own aprons to show.
As I walked from room to room I thought how much you guys would love this museum! I mean it’s textiles, what’s not to love? The museum takes you on a journey from the early 17th century to modern fabrics. While I did enjoy seeing the rayon and space age fabrics, it’s the history which really captured my interest. How women dressed back then, what kind of fabrics were used, the hand crank sewing machines. The hand stitched dresses.
Diane pointed out that the sewing machine wasn’t invented until 1830 so all the clothing was probably sewn by hand before that. There are amazing dresses in there, all the textiles neatly swatched and labeled. If I had the time I could easily spend 2 hours or more in there.
This place is a hidden gem and I know you will love it!
Watch out for more news regarding our meetings at the museum. I am even thinking of inviting Kenneth King for a day here. They have a great classroom which we could really use.
I’ll let the pictures do the talking…
Loom: circa 1865!
Fabrics were sold in a general store back then
There are many more photos in my Flickr set with descriptions. But the real treat would be to go there together in a group and exploring it.
Needless to say, I came back home very inspired, excited and my mind is right now spinning with ideas for the future.
I hope you will join us for our group tour on March 13th. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Post here if you can make it.
American Textile History Museum (Web Site)
491 Dutton Street Lowell, MA 01854