The Victoria & Albert Museum is world-renowned for its textiles and fashion collections, and rightly so, as they take care of thousands of truly spectacular pieces both in the museum and in the conservation centre & collection store which you can visit. I worked at the V&A for three years, up until 10 years ago, and still feel like the museum is my own personal playground. One of my jobs was to lead tours, particularly for textile enthusiasts from around the world.
I always liked to take visitors to the lesser-known textiles, away from the Fashion Gallery and the most famous pieces. The Nehru Gallery of Indian Art 1550-1900 is a textile treasure house, with masses of beautiful woven, embroidered and printed textiles, such as this 18th century chintz gown – cloth made in India for the British market.
The V&A website has excellent resources on South Asian textiles which can be found here and I’m very excited to see that there is a Fabric of India exhibition devoted to Indian textiles opening this Autumn. I’m sure it will be spectacular! The development of the exhibition is being blogged too, which you can explore here.
Ruth Singer creates detailed and intriguing textile artworks inspired by historical textiles, museum objects, personal heritage, memory and stories. She uses natural and recycled textiles combined with hand stitching as well as fabric manipulation techniques to create detailed surface texture. Find out more at her website.
She also writes books on textiles and sewing and teaches in her own studio as well as freelance.