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Costume and Textiles

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Costume and Textiles

National Museums NI holds Ireland’s largest public collection of costume and textiles.

Over 50 years of fieldwork, research and donations has created a collection rich in both content and context. It represents the full spectrum of textile history in Ireland, from the thrifty recycling of everyday clothing into quilts and rag rugs, to the most fashionable of dress and world-famous linens. The collection covers four broad themes –


• Historic Costume
• Contemporary Fashion
• Fashion Accessories
• Textiles

The objects date from the early 18th century to present day and they tell stories of daily life in Ireland, from high fashion to hobby needlework, industry to artistry.

The costume collections includes dress from international designers and the high street, the result of a focussed collecting policy over the last 40 years to build a significant archive of contemporary fashion.

Historic fashion is well represented with costumes illustrating both social history and aspects of fashionable dress over three centuries.
A highlight of the eighteenth century collection is the suit of cut velvet and metal thread worn by the ‘Black Rod’ of the Irish Houses of Parliament in 1751.

Three specific collections of haberdashery and costume illustrate drapery retailing in Ulster from the 1880s to the late 1990s. The costume and accessories collections reflect not only life in Ireland but also the challenges and successes met by those who chose to emigrate in search of a better life.

The collections of textiles celebrate Ulster’s prominence as a manufacturer of linen fabric and highly ornamented and embroidered domestic furnishings. Collections of Irish lace, embroidery and patchwork explore aspects of needlework education in Ireland, domestic economy, and artistic achievement.

Searchable list of collections

109 items found.
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Skirt, Paul Costelloe (Designer Outfit)

Skirt, Paul Costelloe (Designer Outfit)

design : Brown herringbone Donegal tweed skirt, mid calf length, slim fitting, with button-through fly fastening at c/f. Slanted set in pocket on each...

dress

dress

Full length sleeveless evening dress of royal blue satin sweetheart neckline, metal zip on left side bodic seam. Princess line front and back with ce...

Souper dress

Souper dress

'Paper' dress, (80% celulose, 20% cotton) with all over 'Campbell's soup print. Sleeveless and collarless, the rounded low neck and armholes bound in...

Outfit; dress; shoulder piece

Outfit; dress; shoulder piece

Blue linen printed dress, Dai Rees. Wicker basket case - part of outfit. Strapless pale blue linen dress with a little black embroidery. Worn with a t...

Day dress

Day dress

Red wool day dress with V - neck, rounded turn over collar, draped bust line, hip line pockets with flaps, fitted bodice and shedth skirt. Short peta...

Jacket, Jean-Paul Gaultier (Designer Outfit)

Jacket, Jean-Paul Gaultier (Designer Outfit)

design : Red and black checked wool day jacket. condition : perfect. To go with T2921 (polo neck top) and T2922 (black skirt) From exhibition label, ...

Crystal brooch

Crystal brooch

design : circular reversed intaglio crystal depicting tabby cat's head, set in gold. Pearl set at top, bottom and sides in deep square gold setting. T...

Bustier Top

Bustier Top

Bustier, day and evening, cream, cotton and satin weave; Boned bustier top of cream sateen lined with white cotton. Fast at centre back with hooks an...

'Smoking' Dress, Yves Saint Laurent

'Smoking' Dress, Yves Saint Laurent

Black silk calf length dress, open as a coat c/f, fastening with hooks at waist and press studs lower bodice. Black satin collar with deep reveres to...

Dinner Dress, Pierre Cardin

Dinner Dress, Pierre Cardin

Emerald green silk mini evening dress, sleeveless shift. Neckband at back detaches from bodice at shoulders and is attached to inverted V-shaped fron...

Pair of lady's shoes

Pair of lady's shoes

colour : dark cream. design :pair of ladies shoes, dark cream satin uppers, leather soles, pointed toe, dark cream satin covered italian heels with sh...

Evening Dress

Evening Dress

colour : black and pink. design : evening dress of black ribbed silk full skirt and bodice of lilac satin with batwing sleeves, three quater length. ...

Evening Dress (Short)

Evening Dress (Short)

design : striped black and gold short evening dress. In the 1960s Yves Saint Laurent managed to combine haute couture methods with contemporary youthf...

Trouser Suit, Christian Lacroix (Designer Outfit)

Trouser Suit, Christian Lacroix (Designer Outfit)

design : Brown linen trouser suit, cropped trousers, s/b single buttoning jacket; 1 buttton on each short set in sleeve. All buttons of multi-coloured...

'Tuck Pleat' dress

'Tuck Pleat' dress

colour : off white. Slightly off white pleated dress, pleats are thin and run vertically to make up the whole dress. 'V' neck at front and back, long ...

Jacket

Jacket

Dark red velvet jacket, with shawl collar, sloping reveres, set in long sleeves, four pressed silver metal buttons at c/f. At hip level at either sid...

Jacket, shorts and top

Jacket, shorts and top

Jacket, shorts and sleeveless top of brightly printed faille. Outfit comprising shorts, sleeveless top and jacket in bright red/blue/black/yellow pri...

Dress

Dress

design : peach silk open robe, petticoat and buttoning compere trimmed with self frills and furbelows. condition : good. From exhibition label early 2...

Mini Dress

Mini Dress

design : mini dress of brick red crepe with low scooped neckline, dropped waistline and pleated skirt, centre back fastens with a metal zip, there is ...

Evening Dress

Evening Dress

colour : blue. design : heavy pale blue satin panelled bias-cut evening dress, sleeveless, low neck, self belt. This beautifully cut dress does not ha...

Suit

Suit

colour : black. condition : good....

Hobble dress, ice blue satin

Hobble dress, ice blue satin

colour : blue. design : hobble skirted dress of blue silk crepe, cuffs trimmed with chine silk. condition : fair. Red stain across back of bodice has ...

Coat

Coat

Brown wool coat with corded crepe weave, knee length, with long set in sleeves. Band of fur round hem, shallower band at cuffs and fur collar. Panel ...

Printed Silk Velvet Jacket

Printed Silk Velvet Jacket

design : Printed silk velvet jacket, silver lace design on pale burnt orange. condition : good....

Evening Dress

Evening Dress

colour : grey and pink. design : evening dress of crepe backed satin based wool/silk mixture. Elaborate cut with one cap sleeve cut in one with bodice...

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