Clothing and Textiles Collection

At their most fundamental level, clothing and textiles provide warmth and shelter, however they also express our social, cultural and economic identity. The Clothing and Textiles Collection provides insight into the design, materials, manufacture, and use of clothing and textiles in Victoria. The collection also holds images, documents, tools, equipment and other items that record the manufacture and use of clothing and textiles in our society. Its 10,000+ objects trace the evolution of materials – from natural fibres and traditional fabrication, to synthetic fibres and industrial technology.

Clothing is broadly defined as anything that covers, adorns and accessorises the body. Textiles are broadly defined as vegetable, animal or synthetic materials enhanced by hand or machine to form threads, ropes and sheets of material that can be used to create other products. Together, these definitions allow the collection to encompass hats, gloves, shoes, garments, uniforms, personal accessories and more, to documents major trends in personal wear reflecting social and cultural trends since settlement.