Hand-sewn and machine-made rugs, coverings, flags, and garments exhibit a stunning variety of embroidery, dyeing, and weaving techniques.

The Museum’s textile collection is its largest and most diverse, spanning eight centuries and over 110 countries and cultures. Textiles include ikat weaving from Asia, Guatemalan huipils, and objects dyed with indigo, madder, and cochineal.

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Highlights

Cigar Silk Dress thumbnail

Cigar Silk Dress

1880s
U.S.A.

The owner of this outfit was most likely its maker, and there is evidence of wear, indicating she wore her fabulous creation.

Kantha thumbnail

Kantha

late 19th or early 20th century
India, West Bengal or Bangladesh

Kantha quilts are often a token of love from a mother or grandmother on the occasion of a family member’s marriage or as a gift for a new-born child.

Shaker Rag Rug thumbnail

Shaker Rag Rug

c. 1930s
U.S.A.

Created within a Shaker community, rag rugs, also known as “confetti rugs,” were used in home interiors.

"Antsa" Rug

c. 1960
Helsinki, Finland

This thickly piled rug or rya was designed by Ritva Puotila.

Asafo Flag (frankaa) thumbnail

Asafo Flag (frankaa)

1900-1950
Ghana

Graphic folk imagery and appliquéd designs illustrate Akan proverbs in which messages to opponents are displayed, customs are remembered and oral traditions are preserved.

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