The MFA’s textiles collection was started when Boston was the center of the US textile industry.

Today the Museum owns more than 27,000 objects ranging from American needlepoint to European tapestries, Middle Eastern rugs, African kente cloths, and haute couture fashions.

The MFA has been collecting textiles since it opened in the 1870s, and in 1930 a separate Textile Department with dedicated curatorial staff was formed.

Today, the Textile and Fashion Arts collection includes magnificent examples from ancient times through the present day, from cultures throughout the world.

Mind-bogglingly complex ancient Peruvian weavings, the finest Persian carpets, luxurious Italian Renaissance velvets, dramatic Japanese Noh play costumes, and twentieth-century couture by designers like Geoffrey Beene are just a few of the treasures that can be found here.