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Global Textile Events

Your Monthly Calendar of World Textile Events

The Ringling Museum of Art

Fabric of India

July 7 – Oct 13, 2019

Sarasota, Florida


This exhibition showcases over 140 superb examples drawn from the internationally-renowned holdings of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and private collections. The Fabric of India illustrates the variety, technical sophistication, and adaptability of Indian textiles from the 15th to the 21st centuries. Through a stunning range of historical dress, carefully preserved fabrics, and cutting-edge fashion, discover how Indian textiles have been interwoven with religion, politics, and global trade for centuries.  Image: Gujarati Embroidery (detail), 1680–1700; cotton embroidered with silk, 78 3/8 × 70 1/2 in. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.


Penland Gallery

Further Evidence: The Art of Natural Dyes

Thru July 14, 2019

Penland, North Carolina


While the term “natural dye” sounds simple and straightforward, it belies the complex depth of knowledge and passionate research that exhibit curator Catharine Ellis and others have devoted to the resurgence of this discipline. Each of the artists in this exhibition has made a long-term commitment to the use of natural dyes. Their work has included research into specific dyes and processes and how those dyes relate to and are incorporated into their own artistic vision. Image: Catharine Ellis; detail of woven shibori dyed with cochineal.


Craft in America Center

Material Meaning: A Living Legacy of Anni Albers

July 13 – September 21, 2019

Los Angeles, California


The work of ten contemporary American artists and designers working with textiles explore the ongoing influence of Anni Albers. The artists’ artwork, experiments, and functional woven textiles and prototypes mirror Albers’ varied design practice. This exhibit exemplifies her continued importance by these artists in the fields of art, handweaving, education, and textile design. Image: Samantha Bittman, Untitled, 2018




Latino Cultural Arts Center

Storytelling through Design, a Pop-Up Exhibition with Multicolores

July 18 – 20, 2019

Denver, Colorado


The exhibition features story rugs, story cloths, and embroidered dolls by Maya women from the Multicolores cooperative in Guatemala. These pieces combine personal and community storytelling with innovative creative designs. Opening on July 18 from 5-7 pm with artist presentation at 6 pm. An accompanying sales event for the exhibition will follow on Saturday, July 20 at Hijos del Sol.



Textile Centre Haslach

19th European Textile Network Conference

July 28 – 31, 2019

Haslach, Austria


Every July, the traditional linen weaver’s village of Haslach, Austria, is host to an international textile symposium, Textile Kultur Haslach. This July, the European Textile Network’s conference will be part of this event. The conference theme is “Garden of Eden” linking a wide range of cultural and historical themes with questions of today. Workshops, seminars, exhibitions and tours are offered.



Manitou Art Center

Workshop: Dye with the Master, Bandhani from India

July 20, 2019

Manitou Springs, Colorado


Learn traditional Kutch bandhani (tie dye). Three award winning Kutchi artisans will teach resist -dye techniques of bandhani, shibori, and clamping along with their specific dyeing techniques.

Lecture with Judy Frater: Education for Artisans, A Sustainable Future for Craft Traditions

July 21, 2019. 4:00-5:00 pm


Judy Frater has spent twenty-nine years working with textile artisans of Kutch, India. She also developed the first educational institute for artisans there. Frater will present the journey and  obstacles artisans face, and the amazing changes that a year-long program in design education has made. The talk is followed by a trunk show of resist-dyed textiles.




San Jose Museum of Quilt and Textiles

Mayan Traje: A Tradition in Transition

July 21­–October 13, 2019

San Jose, California


The Maya of Guatemala are known worldwide for their excellent weaving and distinctive trajes (traditional clothing). These were once 100% village-specific, and people could be recognized as being from a specific place. Over time, many and diverse influences have caused significant change. This exhibit will show outstanding examples of clothing from the early 20th century to contemporary fashion, highlight key differences, and explore some of the reasons for these changes. On view will be individual pieces as well as full trajes from the rarely-displayed collection of the Friends of the Ixchel Museum.  Image: Ceremonial huipil (woman’s blouse); Santa Lucía Utatlán;1930s/1940s.



Harwood Museum of Art

Embroidered History: Colchas and the Stitch that Defined a Region

June 2 – November 10, 2019

Taos, New Mexico


Colchas are embroidered textiles or blankets whose origins have been traced as far back as the 16th century when New Mexico was New Spain, and expeditions packed with Iberian textiles were making their way up the Rio Grande Valley. Spanning continents and centuries, the Northern New Mexican colcha is a journey of craft, culture, and geopolitics that is defined by the hands of New Mexican women.  This exhibit shares locally made colchas, highlighting the 20th century works of Frances Varos Graves and her masterful assemblies redefined as the Carson colcha. Image: Frances Graves, Virgin on a Crescent Moon c. 1940 Colcha (wool).




Textile Tour Highlight

Colorful India: Textiles, Crafts and Beyond!

February 13 – 29, 2020


This 17-day journey through Rajasthan and Gujarat is a private, small-group tour (max. 12 people) specifically geared to textile enthusiasts. Filled with hands-on textile workshops, visits with local artisan families and collectives, ample time for browsing through shops and markets and a few incredible opportunities to “give back”. Perfect for textile enthusiasts of all sorts, as well as anyone curious about travel to India with its staggering abundance of craftsmanship.

Artists unknown (Bedouin peoples, Damascus, Ottoman Syria); Man’s coat (damir), late-19th to early 20th century; wool, cotton, metallic thread; weft-faced weave, slit tapestry technique, hand sewn. Promised gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord. (L2017.74.2)

Fowler Museum at UCLA

Dressed with Distinction: Garments from Ottoman Syria

March 17 –September 15, 2019

Los Angeles, California


Textiles and their production were central to the livelihoods and lifestyles of the majority of citizens in Ottoman Syria. This rare selection of Syrian garments represent a dynamic era when the Eastern Mediterranean, together with parts of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, was part of the Ottoman Empire. Proximity to both Europe and Asia bolstered by the Silk Road trade fostered an exchange of materials, techniques, and skills that created Ottoman Syria’s rich textile culture.

Featuring examples of Arab and Ottoman attire dating from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, this exhibition celebrates the talents of weavers and tailors in urban centers like Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs where a sophisticated range of dyeing, weaving, and decorative techniques earned the region international renown for its textile production. Men and women living in these cities were famous for wearing brightly colored clothing worked in silk glittering with gold and silver thread.

After World War I (and the end of 400 years of Ottoman rule), Syrians swayed to Western attire, leading to an eventual decline in handwoven garment production. More recently, unrest and conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean have virtually eradicated any remnants of these textile traditions and skills. Thus, this exhibition documents the heritage of iconic Arab and Ottoman garments and the importance of fashion as a marker of cultural knowledge.

Top Image: Artists unknown (Bedouin peoples, Damascus, Ottoman Syria); Man’s coat (damir), late-19th to early 20th century; wool, cotton, metallic thread; weft-faced weave, slit tapestry technique, hand sewn. Promised gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord. (L2017.74.2)


Minneapolis Institute of Art

Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists

June 2, 2019 – August 18, 2019

Minneapolis, Minnesota


Women have long been the creative force behind Native art. Presented in close cooperation with top Native women artists and scholars, this first major exhibition of artwork by Native women honors the achievements of over 115 artists from the United States and Canada spanning over 1,000 years. Their triumphs—from pottery, textiles, and painting, to photographic portraits, to a gleaming El Camino—show astonishing innovation and technical mastery.  Image: The Wisdom of the Universe (detail) by Christi Belcourt, (Metis), 2014; acrylic on canvas; courtesy Art Gallery Ontario, Toronto.


Philadelphia Museum of Art

Souls Grown Deep: Artists of the African American South

June 8 – September 2, 2019

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


With remarkable inventiveness and skill, generations of quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, have created arresting compositions of color and form, made from worn-out clothes and other repurposed fabrics. Exhibited with them are provocative mixed-media paintings and found-object sculptures by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, and others whose subjects and materials echo with the painful history of the American South and the conditions of those who live there. This is an extraordinary collection of textile art, sculpture, and painting acquired from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation.  Image: Blocks and Strips Quilt, 2003, by Irene Williams (American, 1920–2015), 2017-229-11. © Estate of Irene Williams/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.



Fashion and Textile Museum

Weavers of the Clouds: Textile Arts of Peru

June 21 – September 8, 2019

London, England


For decades, designers worldwide have been influenced by the traditional textiles of Peru. Weavers of the Clouds explores the processes and practices of both historic and contemporary Peruvian costume via garments, textiles, photographs, tools, illustrations and paintings, dating from pre-Hispanic to present day. Works presented include contemporary pieces by Peruvian fashion designers, photography, Peruvian-inspired designs, and a broad selection of both traditional and contemporary Peruvian art, produced in a multitude of mediums.

Accompanying this exhibition is “A Thread: Contemporary Art of Peru”, which highlights the work of seventeen Peruvian artists who work with traditional weaving and embroidery techniques, or interpret the aesthetic of traditional Peruvian textiles and costume using modern mediums.



Iwatate Folk Textile Museum

Journey to the Tree of Life

Thru July 13, 2019

Tokyo, Japan


The Kalamkari hangings from the Coromandel Coast of India depict the Tree of Life pattern from the corners to the center, symbolizing good luck, or simply presenting the tree itself in its beautiful detailed woodblock prints. The pattern is also depicted on appliqué hangings of Kutch, India, and on Kantha embroidery in Bengal. The Zoroastrians in Iran, used the cypress tree as the symbol for eternal life in their textile designs.  Image: Kalamkari wood block printing from the Coromandel Coast of India.  Photo credit: Ryohei Sasatani


Pua kumbu batang limau senaman Ritual fabric. Malaysia, Sarawak, Rumah Gare; Iban ethnic group; 2016. Cotton, warp ikat.

Musée Bargoin

IKATS, Cloth of Life – A Journey from the East to the West

May 18 – September 22, 2019

Clermont-Ferrand, France  Learn More

This exhibition of 100 pieces of ikat, mostly collected by Monique and Rémy Prin between 1985 and 2018, reveals exceptional fabrics that are emblematic of a fascinating craftsmanship from Asia to Europe including Indonesia, Japan, India, France, and Spain. Beyond showing the diversity of ikats, this exhibition details the evolution of their role and perception within the cultures that created them, from sacred fabrics related to founding myths to cloth made for mass diffusion in the Western world.

The word “ikat” refers to a dyeing technique that, in order to pattern textiles, employs resist dyeing of the yarns prior to weaving the fabric. This complex dyeing and weaving process create patterns with vibrant designs. Through this technique, weavers created an aesthetic richness that was often at the heart of their traditions and beliefs.  Image: Pua kumbu batang limau senaman Ritual fabric. Malaysia, Sarawak, Rumah Gare; Iban ethnic group; 2016. Cotton, warp ikat.




Kanga from Kenya typically have three design elements: central motif, border, and a proverb or saying usually in Swahili.

Kanga from Kenya typically have three design elements: central motif, border, and a proverb or saying usually in Swahili.

Helen Allen Collection

A Diverse Continent: African Textiles in Context

May 9 – July 26, 2019

Madison, Wisconsin


A Diverse Continent showcases thirty-six textiles from eighteen countries representing the diversity of African culture and textile-making traditions. Africa is the most diverse continent in the world, both in its biodiversity as well as in its ethnic groups. Its textiles are similarly diverse in terms of material and method. Materials ranging from raffia palm fiber to silk to recycled wire are expertly woven, knit, knotted, plaited, embroidered, beaded, stamped, painted, and dyed to create a staggering variety of textiles. A Diverse Continent will feature two dozen unique textile-making traditions from across Africa, encapsulating one facet of the continent’s staggering diversity.eing techniques. In recognition for these artistic and scientific endeavors, the China National Silk Museum (CNSM) has organized the first biennale of natural dyes, with an aim to celebrate the beauty of colors in nature, as well as to explore the ancient wisdom and knowledge embodied in the traditional craft of dyeing. Registration is underway for exhibitions, symposium, workshops, market, and study tour.


Japanese, Katagami: chrysanthemums, probably Meiji era (1868-1912); mulberry paper treated with persimmon tannin, reinforced with silk thread.

Japanese, Katagami: chrysanthemums, probably Meiji era (1868-1912); mulberry paper treated with persimmon tannin, reinforced with silk thread.

Allentown Art Museum

Katagami: The Japanese Stencil

Thru July 28, 2019

Allentown, Pennsylvania


The Japanese have printed fabric for centuries using katagami, hand-carved mulberry paper stencils. These stencils’ intricate designs and bold style amazed the European and American artists who encountered katagami at the turn of the century, including architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose library from the Little House is on view at the Museum. This selection of katagami from the collection highlights their appealing designs and cross-cultural history.



Brooklyn Museum

One: Egúngún

Thru August 18, 2019

Brooklyn, New York


One: Egúngún tells the life story of a twentieth-century Yorùbá masquerade dance costume (egúngún), from its origins in Ògbómọ̀ṣọ́, Nigeria, to its current home in Brooklyn. Composed of over three hundred textiles from Africa, Europe, and Asia, this egúngún swirls into motion during festivals honoring departed ancestors. Centuries old, egúngún is still practiced in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, and in the Yorùbá diaspora.


Textile Tour Highlight

Textiles of Egypt in Style with Nancy Hoskins and Christine Pearson

16 Days | 29 October – November 13, 2019


Join Nancy Hoskins, an authority on Egyptian textiles past and present, as she and tour concierge Christine Pearson expertly guide the textile program to Egypt along the Nile Valley. Together with numerous interactions with weavers, carpet makers, embroiderers, and Nubian village crafts people, Nancy will explain the intricacies of historical garments and textiles found in museums and galleries. The expanse of fiber craft covers fine museum examples to the everyday items found in markets and elsewhere.

Accommodation is very characteristic and comfortable in Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan, with a highlight being a five-day, Edwardian-era dahabiya cruise along the Nile, calling in at the famous sites found nearby. The ten-cabin craft includes comfortable cabins, all meals and private sightseeing, thus avoiding the crowds.



Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection

Beyond Knotting: Wari and Inka Tunics from the Collection

Written in Knots: Undeciphered Accounts of Andean Life

April 2–August 18, 2019

Washington, D.C.



The luxurious Wari and Inka tunics in this exhibit project the worldviews and ritual behavior of each society’s most powerful social actors. Presented alongside the special exhibition of Written in Knots, this installation examines the relationship between two components of the Andean woven world, tunics and khipus. Although different in function—tunics were worn as clothing and khipus encoded and transported information—both types of textiles are made of the same materials, produced through many of the same techniques, and tell stories about their owners.

Long before the arrival of the Spaniards, the people of South America had a system of recorded information that was portable, precise, and so complex that it remains undeciphered today. The long-lived Wari Empire and vast Inka Empire employed sophisticated devices called khipu to record information, such as census data and tax records. Made of cords, both Inka and Wari khipu seem to have recorded not only quantitative or statistical content, but narrative information as well. The variation in cord structures, colors, wrapping patterns, and knots encoded and conveyed information, while the basic khipu elements—flexible knotted cords—offered a lightweight and compact means of transporting information across distances.

This exhibition is the first to bring together examples of Wari, Inka, and Colonial khipu. Less than a dozen complete Wari khipu are known to exist in museum collections, and three will be on display at Dumbarton Oaks, along with interactive displays that will help visitors understand the way khipu worked, how they were made, and how information was encoded.


Museum Angewandte Kunst

Contemporary Muslim Fashions

April 5-September 15, 2019

Frankfort, Germany


Contemporary Muslim Fashions is the first major museum exhibition to explore the complex and diverse nature of Muslim dress codes worldwide. First exhibited at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, this pioneering exhibition examines how Muslim women—those who cover and those who do not—have become arbiters of style within and beyond their communities and, in so doing, have drawn attention to the variations and nuances of their daily lives. Spotlighting places, garments, and styles from around the world, the exhibition focuses on clothing that responds to individual and collective interpretations of modesty. It considers how Contemporary Muslim Fashions takes a look at parts of the globe where designers are creating and consumers are wearing highly fashionable garments, with a specific focus on the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and diasporic communities throughout Europe and the United States. Image: Halima Aden wears Melinda Looi, for Melinda Looi (est. 2012, Malaysia). Photo credit: Sebastian Kim.




The Whitworth Gallery at the University of Manchester

Ancient Textiles from the Andes

Until September 15, 2019

Manchester, England


This exhibit offers a rare opportunity to see ancient Andean textiles (c300BC to c1400AD) from the Whitworth collection alongside textiles from the collector Paul Hughes. As well as celebrating breathtaking achievements in textile technique and design, this exhibit explores the complexities of their transition from local ritual to a wider international stage. Image: Tunic (Cushma), Wari culture, Southern Andes, alpaca wool, c800 AD, 251x155cm. Courtesy: Paul Hughes Collection.



Arvind Indigo Museum at Kasturbhai Lalbhai Museum



Ahmedabad, India


The Arvind Indigo Museum will host its first exhibition, Alchemy, inviting contemporary artists and artisans to experiment with indigo in new and innovative ways. An expansive, dedicated space is set to follow later this year which will become the collection’s permanent home. This future home promises to tell the incredible story of indigo — a natural dye which holds a special place in India’s history. Image: Gregory Hildebrandt, Untitled, 2018; photo courtesy Galerie Isa.





Fowler Museum at UCLA

Dressed with Distinction: Garments from Ottoman Syria

March 17 – September 15, 2019

Los Angeles, California


Dressed with Distinction: Garments from Ottoman Syria explores the region’s textile production during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Syria was an international hub for the trade and production of handwoven cloth. With a focus on the social and seasonal contexts in which garments were worn by men, women, and children, the exhibition’s presentation of these distinguished textiles enables audiences to engage with Syrian culture and weaving techniques from a bygone era. Image: “Mahomedan Women in Town Costume, Holy Land.” Photographer unknown. Photomechanical print, ca. 1890–1900. Courtesy the Library of Congress.




Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve

Interwoven History: Coast Salish Wool

No closing date set

Tulalip, Washington


Since time-immemorial, Coast Salish people have relied on natural resources to create textiles that communicate status, wealth, and functionality. An almost lost tradition, wool weaving has endured a revitalization over the last decade. This exhibit explores the history of the extinct woolly dog and invites visitors to learn about the fundamentals of weaving, while exploring the materials, techniques, processing, and technology.


Textile Tour Highlight

Sri Lanka: Emerald Island

February 9-23, 2020


Join Lesley Robin in Sri Lanka and discover this tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean situated southeast of India. A cultural melting pot, it is renowned for its ancient cities, Buddhist ruins and temples, with a wonderful and diverse landscape of mountains and forests, wildlife and exotic birds, as well as the rolling hills of tea plantations and small villages of the Central Highlands. Today there is a strong revival of handloom traditions and you will find beautiful contemporary fabrics inspired by the landscape, flora and fauna of this island. A treat awaits you as we visit artisans and communities at work in their homes and villages… earthenware and clay roof tiles, batik and stitchwork, weaving and dyeing. From lowland jungles and tropical coastlines to the misty heights of the Hill Country, come and experience the beauty of this emerald island abundant with superb photographic opportunities



Textile Tour Highlight

Andean Textile Arts Tour to the Cusco Highlands, Peru

October 21-November 1, 2019


Join Andean Textile Arts for ten remarkable days visiting artisans in remote weaving villages plus stops at many of the greatest archeological sites of the Incan Empire, including two days at the citadel of Machu Picchu. Nilda Callañaupa, the founder and director of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, will accompany the tour to the weaving communities. The final day is spent in Lima, with a viewing of the Amano Museum’s private collection of exquisite pre-Columbian textiles. Please contact Pam Art at pam.art@icloud.com for more information and to register. http://andeantextilearts.org/travel_tours



Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection

February 3 – July 28, 2019


Over sixty Central Asian ikat robes and wall hangings from the Silk Road area of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, are featured  in this exquisitely rich exhibit. It examines how the region’s designers, dyers and weavers used improvisation and abstraction to create textiles unique to Central Asia.

For thousands of years, the Silk Road was the center for commerce—textiles being some of the most highly prized and traded, particularly the woven silk ikats. During the 19th and 20th centuries, ikat underwent a renaissance in Central Asia. Artisans from these oases towns experimented with motifs and colors traditionally found on decorative objects producing sophisticated and complex luxury fabrics for their patrons. Whether worn on the body or used to decorate the home, these textiles resonated against the Central Asian landscape.

LACMA03. Ikat (detail 2), Central Asia, late 19th–early 20th century, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA


Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles

A Royal Treasure: The Javanese Batik Collection of King Chulalongkorn of Siam

November 1, 2018—May 2021

Bangkok, Thailand


This exhibition is dedicated to showcasing this collection and telling the story of His Majesty King Chulalongkorn’s three trips to Java and his fascination with batik. It presents exceptional examples of batik from His Majesty’s collection which have never been publicly displayed.





Textile Tour Highlight

Silk Study Tour to Japan

Learn More

Who goes on the Silk Study Tour to Japan?  Artists, makers, educators, life-long learners, writers, textilians, historians, Japanophiles, and those wanting to learn more deeply about silk and Japan. In this sixth excursion of the Silk Study Tour, the focus remains to foster a continuous thread of communication and education with Japanese silk masters, educators, and artisans that will lead each traveler into a new fiber future. It offers future exchanges of silk information and provides teaching and marketing opportunities on both sides.See traditional Japanese sericulture practices on a farm, visit indigo dyers, and try your hand at katazome.

Contact Glennis Dolce at silkstudytour@shiborigirlstudios.com