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Have you ever wondered how we know what was made and worn by individuals in the 1830s? During Textile Weekend, Behind the Scenes & Seams, we are highlighting original clothing and textile-related objects from the museum’s permanent collection while creating new copies for side-by-side comparisons and a closer look at how we know what we know about the past.
As a follow up to the popular demonstration in 2022, special activities during this year’s event will include sewing two dresses in real time over the course of the weekend – this time for a mother and daughter! Skilled sewists will assemble for two days to complete all the stitches needed to create two dresses, while periodically trying the dresses on the wearers to test the fit and showcase progress.
Other highlighted programming includes:
During your visit by sure to check out our Needle & Thread exhibit and recently published book.
Needle & Thread: The Art and Skill of Clothing an Early 19th-Century Family explores all the work that went into outfitting the members of a family, from choosing fabrics and styles, to making, mending, and washing clothes. See gowns, a tail coat, and a sampling of children’s garments from the early 19th century, advice and account books, a c. 1825-1850 washing machine, and more!
No Small Feat: Clothing a Village
Our Historical Clothing department is a small but mighty team responsible for creating and repairing dresses, petticoats, caps, bonnets, hoods, cloaks, mittens, handkerchiefs, aprons, shawls, pants, shirts, vests, braces, frocks, hats, cravats, spencers, and more.
Between full-time staff, part-time and seasonal staff, volunteers, college interns, junior interns, fellows, singers, and dancers, there are currently more than 250 people fully costumed by the department. While some only need one full set of historical clothing to accommodate their position, others have several sets for various occasions and seasons. Either way, every person clothed by the Historical Clothing office needs numerous individual pieces. So far this year, they have:
Truly, it is no small feat to clothe a Village!
Standard daytime admission is $30.00 for adults, $28.00 for seniors (55+), College Student (with valid college ID) $15, Youth (4-17) $15.00, and free for children 3 and under.