This is one of the many intriguing questions answered in the new permanent exhibition, Textile Revolution: An Exploration through Space and Time at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.
On June 19, the Museum cut the ribbon on their own revolution. Having been closed for two years, the Museum reopened with updated, interactive displays that tell the history of American textiles, up to the present. “Most people have no idea how their lives are shaped by textiles – far beyond the clothing they wear,” said Jim Coleman, the Museum’s President and CEO. Indeed, the exhibition moves the visitor though spinning yarn in the home in pre-industrial times (hence, where we get the term “spinster“) to contemporary textiles that encompass cars, high-performance bicycles, and “sharkskin” suits worn by Olympic swimmers.
Lowell Mayor “Bud” Caulfield called the renovated Museum “a jewel in Lowell’s cultural landscape.” Through its innovative approach to illuminating the history of textiles and the importance of textiles to the scientific, medical, aeronautic fields and beyond, the Museum is truly a jewel in America’s cultural landscape. With tens of thousands of textiles spread across at least 6 Smithsonian museums, we can’t wait to get started collaborating with the Museum to enhance the story through our Affiliate partnership.
Kudos to the Museum – its staff, board, donors and supporters – on a job well done!