The large collection of textiles at National Museums NI is the result of over 50 years of research and collecting.
It represents the history of the linen and cotton industries in Ireland, and the needlework skills of quilting, embroidery and lace making.
One of the earliest pieces is the Lennox quilt, a stunning embroidered quilt from 1730. The most recent objects include contemporary textile artworks and printed textiles.
Highlights of the collection include:
• A number of elaborately embroidered bedcovers from the 18th century.
• Ireland’s largest collection of over 500 patchwork and quilted bedcovers.
• A large collection of linens, from proof cloths to finished damasks.
• More than 400 examples of Irish lace, from small motifs to full veils and collars.
• A collection of tapestries including a work by Louis le Brocquy.
The collection supports a wide range of activities across all of National Museums’ sites including demonstrations of weaving, rug making and embroidery. Areas of the collection, quilts, embroidery and lace in particular, are of national and international importance.