I found myself in DC @gwmuseum last Thursday and spent literally the majority of the day there.
The Textile Museum has a collection of over 10,000 pieces from all over the world dating from 3000 BCE to today. However, they only rotate a few pieces from their collection in the lower-level galleries & the current exhibitions were more of modern textile art instead of ethnographic or heritage textiles that I would have loved to see.
If you don’t know the origin of your historical textiles, the Textile Museum has a great resource for the public on the 1st Thursday of each month to have curators on deck to address the cultural and aesthetic significance of non-European pieces that are brought in for consultation. There are also conservationists that help with questions on routine maintenance on how to care and preserve the textiles in your collection. The ladies are sweet & uber professional!
To my pleasant surprise, the Arthur D. Jenkins Library on the 4th floor was open- a home to some rare textile book finds. I was able to discover books from French explorers in Indochina explaining traditional dress & techniques in their travelogue, books written in Lao (gasps!), and a variety of anthropologists doing fieldwork with hill tribes in the greater Mekong region. My inner nerd squealed at the pile of books on Tai textiles that I’ve had difficulty locating!
Thanks to Milan for modeling my clothing tonight for the Scrap Show at The George Washington University Textile Museum. The intent was to make pieces from scraps of fabric/other garments