Your Monthly Calendar of World Textile Events

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Global Textile Events

Your Monthly Calendar of World Textile Events

Man’s Jacket with protective animal motifs, created with attached shells. Sarawak State, Borneo Island, Malaysia.19th century. Photo courtesy of Mark Johnson.

Man’s Jacket with protective animal motifs, created with attached shells. Sarawak State, Borneo Island, Malaysia.19th century. Photo courtesy of Mark Johnson.

Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture

San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show

February 9–12, 2017

San Francisco, California  Learn More

More than 70 national and international galleries and dealers will launch the esteemed art fair’s fourth decade with a showcase of rare historical and contemporary art by tribal cultures and indigenous peoples of Asia, Africa Oceania, the Middle East, and the Americas. In honor of the 2017 show’s featured country of Indonesia, a special exhibition, “Indonesian Textile Treasures: A Living Legacy, “will highlight more than 100 unique examples of Indonesia’s diverse textile arts traditions, including never-before-seen pieces from the Jakarta Textile Museum and the Curtis and Margaret Keith Clemson Collection.

The four-day festivities will kick off with a gala opening event featuring Gamelan music and Indonesian foods, benefiting San Francisco’s beloved deYoung Museum.

Two other special exhibits include “Artful Weavings” and “Spirit Talkers.” “Artful Weavings” is presented by Peter Pap, one of the country’s foremost experts and dealers in antique rugs and tribal weavings. Pap will present rare antique nomadic and village rugs, including South Persian Afshar tribal pieces. “Spirit Talkers” will feature new work from James Havard whose work is in permanent and prestigious collections around the world. In this exhibit, he will offer new figural paintings inspired tribal work.

Other activities during the Show include “Revealing Indonesian Aesthetics: A Context of Understanding,” a lecture and panel discussion presented by The Friends of Ethnic Art group, as well as demonstrations of ikat weaving on a backstrap loom and batik dyeing.

The 2017 San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show kicks off the San Francisco Tribal Art Week, a weeklong showcase of tribal, textile, and American Indian arts. The week concludes with the 2017 American Indian Art Show, February 17–19 at Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, CA.

Tota Bagh Phulkari, 20th century. Handspun cotton plain weave with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, buttonhole, and chain stitches. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab

March 12–July 9, 2017

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  Learn More

An exhibition of the ornate and labor-intensive, phulkari (flower-work) embroidery made by women for weddings and other special events in India and Pakistan. Features 19 pieces made primarily in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Images: (Top) Tota Bagh Phulkari, 20th century. Handspun cotton plain weave with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, buttonhole, and chain stitches. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Bottom) Bagh Phulkari, 20th century. Handspun cotton plain weave with silk embroidery in darning, pattern, running, chain and cross stitches. Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.







Embassy Suites Conference Center

Interweave Yarn Fest

March 30–April 2, 2017

Loveland, Colorado  Learn More

A variety of workshops in spinning, weaving, knitting, and crochet as well as a comprehensive fiber marketplace, which features ClothRoads’ unique artisanal goods from around the globe


Metropolitan Museum of Art

Carpets for Kings: Six Masterpieces of Iranian Weaving

March 3–August 27, 2017

New York, New York  Learn More

This exhibition features six silk Iranian carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries woven in silk and metal thread. They have recently been conserved by the Department of Textile Conservation.






San Francisco Museum of Craft and Design

Felt DeCoded

February 11–June 4, 2017

San Francisco, California  Learn More

An exhibition that decodes the process and analyzes the science to reveal the unexpected beauty and versatility of wool felt.


Fashion and Textile Museum

Festival of Textiles 2017

January 28–May 7, 2017

London, England  Learn More

Discover textile history, tradition, design, and making at a series of displays, talks and workshops. The Festival aims to illuminate contemporary practice and open minds to the ways in which textiles enrich lives.



Purple Bojagi by Youngmin Lee.Mendocino Art Center

Bojagi: The Korean Art of Wrapping Cloths

March 24–26, 2017

Mendocino, California  Learn More

An intensive workshop with instructor Youngmin Lee in how to use many small pieces of ramie fabrics, silk organza, and Korean silk gauze to create a geometric patterned bojagi. Image: Purple Bojagi by Youngmin Lee.




Tamarind Village

Hmong Songs of Memory, Hmong Threads of Life

December 16, 2016–April 30, 2017

Chiang Mai, Thailand  Learn More

A multi-media exhibition of photographs, film, artifacts, and textiles highlight the ceremonies and beliefs of the mountain-dwelling Hmong of Southeast Asia. The textiles illustrate the differences between each group’s dress and style of adornment.



Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia

Layers of Influence: Unfolding Cloth across Cultures

November 17, 2016–April 9, 2017

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Learn More

In its newest exhibition, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, invites you to “Enter and be embraced by cloth’s capacity to communicate.” More than 130 handmade pieces from the Museum’s collection, show the significance of textiles in the ritual of every day as well as in the spiritual, ceremonial, and socio-political aspects of our lives.

Museum curators selected exhibition pieces from its collection of 6,000 textiles—the largest collection in Western Canada—amassed over a period of 90 years. Grouped by geographical area, the textiles are arranged to allow detailed examination of the intricate, time-intensive artistry involved in each piece.

Dozens of different materials are represented, from silk to alpaca, from seashells to tree bark. A broad range of production techniques characterize different cultures and time frames. Hand-dyed, indigo-blue batiks from Bali; appliquéd horn button blankets from British Columbia’s northwest coast, intricate geometric patterns of the Shipibo in Amazonion Peru, bark cloth from Tonga and Fiji, and feathered cloaks from New Zealand are a sampling of the items on view.

Layers of Influence provides clear evidence that indeed cloth does communicate—across cultures and time, illustrating human ingenuity and creativity.

Images courtesy of Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia



Bardo Arts Center, Western Carolina University

Soft Diplomacy: Quilting Cultural Diplomacy in Liberia

January 9–May 5, 2017

Cullowhee, North Carolina  Learn More

The exhibition brings together Liberian quilts used in political exchange, depicting political and national themes, highlighting the works of Liberian women from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries who shaped representations of their nation and visualized cultural memory and trauma before, during, and after Liberia’s civil war.


Global Village Museum

Korean Embroidery—A Master of Tradition

January 6, 2017–February 18, 2017

Fort Collins, Colorado  Learn More

On display will be the elaborate handicraft of Jungji Doh, who was recently bestowed the title of “Master in Korean Traditional Embroidery” by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. The designation is one of the highest honors an embroidery artist in Korea can achieve.



Fuller Craft Museum

Cary Wolinsky: Fiber of Life

October 8, 2016 – February 28, 2017

Brockton, Massachusetts  Learn More

A series of stunning images taken by a photojournalist for National Geographic magazine during more than 30 years of exploring the culture of textiles. Wolinsky’s images convey the impact of textiles on removing social boundaries and fostering human connection.



Pitts River Museum

Stitch of a Symbol: Insights into The Textile Journeys of Sheila Paine

August 16, 2016–February 12, 2017

Oxford, England  Learn More

A showcase of textiles and embroideries from the collections of Sheila Paine, featuring material from fieldwork throughout East and Central Asia, including yurt amulets from Turkmenistan, fine embroidery from Pakistan, as well as other examples of textile craft from East and Central Asia. A related exhibition, Embroidered Visions: Photographs of Central Asia and the Middle East by Sheila Paine, runs November 1, 2016–April 30, 2017.



deYoung Fine Arts Museum

Beyond the Surface: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions

December 3, 2016–August 31, 2017

San Francisco, California  Learn More

A selection of embroidered costumes and accessories from around the world explores distinguished craftsmanship and unique social and cultural connotations.






Iwatate Folk Textile Museum

Phulkari–Gleaming Head Covers

Dec 1, 2016–Mar 18, 2017

Tokyo, Japan  Learn More

Exhibition of Phulkari, naturally dyed cotton cloth exquisitely embroidered with silk threads from the Punjab region of India.



San Diego Botanic Garden

Garden Tapestries

January 13–March 31, 2017

Encinitas, California  Learn More

For the first time, the garden-themed tapestries from the Ramses Wissa Wassef Art Centre in Egypt will be on display at a prominent public garden. The Egyptian artists vividly celebrate the flowers of the desert, villages and Nile River in their work.







Bridal Quran cover from Pakistan

Bridal Quran cover from Pakistan

School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Brunei Gallery

Embroidered Tales and Woven Dreams

January 19, 2017–March 25, 2017

London, England  Learn More

The Brunei Gallery at the University of London is host to a variety of significant exhibitions, both contemporary and historical, from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Gallery’s newest offering explores the textile history of the Silk Road. Stretching from Central Asia to Western Europe, the Silk Road is a vast and geographically varied landscape, but it also refers to an area that underwent a thousand years of turbulent history. It is the regional history of the Silk Road that will be explored through the embroidered and woven textiles of the communities who lived north and south of this ancient trade corridor across Asia.

Embroidered Tales and Woven Dreams will examine the immensely rich, culturally fascinating, identity of these diverse landscapes through the heritage of their textiles and costumes. The textiles on display are records of significant cultural stories told by women—the guardians of custom and tradition for their individual tribes and communities. Highlights of the textiles displayed include prayer mats from Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, stories from village life in Madhya Pradesh embroidered on silk cloth, an ikat robe from Samarkand, and a resplendent Syrian kaftan.

The exhibition will also include a series of related lectures and will briefly examine the political upheavals that destroyed the lives of the Silk Road communities and their Nomadic, semi-nomadic, and settled lifestyles.

All photos courtesy of the Brunei Gallery.




03-bedouin_webRuth Funk Center for Textile Arts

Traditional Arts of the Bedouin

January 28–April 29, 2017

Melbourne, Florida  Learn More

A presentation of the remarkable work of Bedouin artists not widely known outside their own cultures. Bedouin weaving demonstrates ancient knowledge of natural dyes and fibers and traditional patterns embroidered with symbolic designs.


04-velvet_webArt Institute of Chicago

Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry

October 21, 2016–March 19, 2017

Chicago, Illinois  Learn More

Featuring 44 velvets from the 19th century to the present, this exhibition examines the effects of industry on the design and production of a fabric long associated with status and luxury.







06-joli_webFowler Museum at UCLA

Joli! A Fancy Masquerade from Sierra Leone

December 11, 2016–July 16, 2017

Los Angeles, California  Learn More

This exhibition features a rare group of 11 complex and elaborate headdresses worn in Joli masquerades from Freetown, Sierra Leone, reflecting the blending of cultural influences and peoples.







Dynamic Expressions: Textiles from the Island of Sumba

October 7, 2016–February 28, 2017

Taipei, Taiwan  Learn More

An exhibition of heritage weaving incorporating traditional designs and naturally-dyed yarn from the Indonesian island of Sumba.










George Washington University Textile Museum

Bingata! Only in Okina

November 5, 2016–January 30, 2017

Washington D.C.  Learn More

The Textile Museum’s newest exhibition will introduce to U.S. audiences the history and culture of Okinawa—Japan’s southernmost administrative district. From the 15th century until 1879, Okinawa was the independent Ryukyu Kingdom, with its own language, art, culture, and religion. It was a prosperous center for maritime trade renown throughout East Asia for its superb textiles. Among its most famed fabrics were those patterned with bingata, a uniquely Okinawan resist dyeing technique noted for bright colors and bold designs that evoke the lush island landscape.

This special showing of textile treasures from Okinawan museum collections will feature traditional bingata, such as ceremonial robes, wrapping cloths, and theatre costumes, as well as contemporary works by Okinawan artists.

The Museum’s Fall Symposium, “Only in Okinawa: Textiles and Traditions of the Ryukyu Kingdom,” will feature five distinguished scholars from Okinawa—folklorists, curators, and historians of textiles and theater—who will provide a broader context for Okinawa’s celebrated textile art. A traditional Okinawan welcoming dance, an overview of Okinawa’s unique history, a presentation on ikat, gauze, and other textiles from the Islands of Okinawa are just some of the many activities planned for the Symposium. Traditional dye workshops and additional lectures will also be offered during the exhibition.

Through dozens of traditional textile masterpieces and contemporary works by Okinawan artists and designers, this exhibition demonstrates the enduring legacy of bingata as a symbol of Okinawan identity, history and culture. Image: All photos courtesy of the George Washington University Textile Museum




04-mingeiMingei International Museum

European and Scandinavian Textiles

August 6, 2016–March 12, 2017

San Diego, California  Learn More

Textiles from the Museum’s permanent collection are on view in a special Scandinavian exhibition. Head covers from Croatia, embroidered panels from Greece, and decorative wall hangings from Sweden and Poland are on display along with women’s hats from the Sámi culture in Finland and several other spectacular pieces.



Sheila HicksTextile Museum of Canada

Sheila Hicks: Material Voices

October 6, 2016–February 5, 2017

Toronto, Ontario, Canada  Learn More

Drawing on global weaving traditions as well as the history of painting and sculpture, graphic design, and architecture, American artist Sheila Hicks’ work is featured.



Metropolitan Museum of Art Antonio Ratti Textile Center

Rank Badge, China

Rank Badge, China

Secret Life of Textiles: Animal Fibers

August 15, 2016–February 20, 2017

New York, New York  Learn More

The Secret Life of Textiles series debuted with a tremendously successful installation about plant fibers. The second in the series, now on view, focuses on animal fibers and has already received great acclaim from an eager and curious audience. The installation features wool, hair, silk, and feathers throughout various stages of production, such as cocoons from India, Japan, and China and the yarns that were produced from them. These raw materials are accompanied by more than two dozen works of art made by numerous cultures throughout history and in different regions of the world.

The objects on view include fibers from sheep, camelids, goats, yaks, horses, cows, and other small animals; silk filament from cultivated or wild silk worms; and feathers.You will discover Indian and Russian shawls, a Tibetan monk’s wool hat, and a 19th-century French Jacquard-weave portrait of George Washington. Special highlights include a Chinese silk ceremonial robe lined in cat fur, a Korean woven top hat with a horsehair warp and a cowtail weft and polished with fish glue. One of the oldest pieces in the Metropolitan’s collection is also on view—a 2,000 year-old Chinese woven fragment of multi-color stripes and birds.

The Antonio Ratti Textile Center is one of the largest, most technically advanced facilities for the study and storage of textiles in any major art museum, so it’s no surprise that its curators have provided a standout exhibit that beautifully blends art and science. The exhibition includes a rich selection of reference materials reflecting the transformation of animal fibers through the use of technology. It also reveals the expertise of conservators as they identify fibers using advanced microscopy. Discover the secret life of animal fibers before they’re whisked away to make room for the third in this series, Synthetics.  All photographs Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


04-ditchlingDitchling Museum of Art and Craft

Dyeing Now: Contemporary Makers Celebrate Ethel Mairet’s Legacy

September 17–April 16, 2017

East Sussex, United Kingdom  Learn More

An exhibit to mark the centenary of the first edition of Ethel Mairet’s dyeing and weaving book Vegetable Dyes. The museum is also inviting dyers and craftspeople from all over the world to reproduce many of the recipes in the book as part of the exhibit.







Mail Art TapestrySecond Mesoamerican Textiles Meeting

Travelling Tapestry: Textile Mail Art

October 14, 2016–February 26, 2017

Oaxaca, Mexico  Learn More

Sponsored by the Textile Museum of Oaxaca and the Philately Museum of Oaxaca in collaboration with the American Tapestry Alliance, the exhibition of handwoven postcards will open during the Second Mesoamerican Textiles Meeting, October 13th—15th, 2016.



02-sirikitQueen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

Dressing Gods and Demons: Costume for Khon

August 4, 2016–May, 2017

Bangkok, Thailand.  Learn More

The exhibition describes the origins of Khon, one of Thailand’s oldest narrative dance forms, then highlights the modern Khon costumes created for the revival of this important art form.




Textile Museum at George Washington University

Bingata! Only in Okinawa

November 5, 2016–January 30, 2017

Washington, D.C.  Learn More

A special showing of textile treasures from Okinawan museum collections featuring brightly colored bingata—traditional resist-dyed fabrics—and contemporary works by Okinawan artists and fashion designers.

Image: Detail of 18th–19th century tanashi on a light indigo ground. Collection of the Naha City Museum of History. Photo courtesy of The Textile Museum.



03. AsafoRoyal Ontario Museum

Art, Honour, and Ridicule: Asafo Flags from Southern Ghana

September 3–February 27, 2017

Toronto, Ontario, Canada  Learn More

The Royal Ontario Museum’s newest exhibit takes a historical and contemporary look at Asafo flags from coast of Southern Ghana. 35 original flags are included along with regalia, ceremonial head gear, and commemorative t-shirts. Image: Flag dancer performing during the 2014 Akwambo festival. Photo courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum.



05. LaoLogoTraditional Arts and Ethnology Center

Seeds of Culture: From Living Plants to Handicrafts

Sept 23, 2016- Sept 2017

Luang Prabang, Lao, PDR  Learn More

A special exhibition exploring the importance of nature to culture, focusing on the seed beads from the Job’s tears plant that have been used for costume decoration in beautiful and striking combinations.



Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum

Scraps: Fashion, Textiles and Creative Reuse

September 23, 2016–April 16, 2017

New York, New York  Learn More

More than 40 works draw attention to issues of sustainability, including the efficient use of materials and resources, the preservation of local craft traditions, and new technologies in the recycling process. This exhibition is part of New York Textile Month.



de Young Fine Arts Museum

On the Grid: Textiles and Minimalism

July 23, 2016–February 12, 2017

San Francisco, California.  Learn More

More than two dozen textiles from the Museum’s permanent collection shows a broad range of textile traditions from around the world that share many of the same aesthetics as Minimalist art works.


05. PeranakanPeranakan Museum

Nyonya Needlework: Craft and Heritage

June 10, 2016–March 31, 2017

Singapore  Learn More

This exhibition, celebrating the art of nyonya needlework—a vibrant part of Peranakan Chinese heritage—includes curtains and hangings, delicate purses, handkerchiefs, and slippers stitched with tiny beads, silk, and gold and silver threads for special occasions and as gifts.


02. DeYoung-2

De Young Museum

The South Sumatran Ship Cloth

April 2, 2016–February 12, 2017

San Francisco, California  Learn More

The Sumatran Ship Cloth presents three ceremonial textiles from the Lampung region of south Sumatra, a region of Indonesia where ship imagery is a prominent theme in woven arts. On view for the first time, these textiles from the Museum’s permanent collection, date from the 19th and 20th centuries.






06.SmithsonianSmithsonian Museum of Natural History

Color in a New Light

January 23, 2016–March 2017

Washington, D.C.   Learn More

Follow the theme of color through the vast collections of the Smithsonian Libraries and make unexpected connections. From chemistry to catalogs, from colorblind tests to naturally-dyed yarn (some provided by ClothRoads!), you can enjoy color in a new light.


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