Hampshire Cultural Trust

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This map pinpoints some of the most exciting cultural venues in Hampshire.

We will showcase, connect and empower its creative economy

Historic Dress and Textiles Collection

What do we have?

Embroideries from the 17th century and dress and accessories from the 18th century onwards. Women's late 19th and 20th century clothes are particularly well represented, as are christening gowns, patchwork quilts, samplers, smocks and fashion plates, and wedding dresses, many of which are displayed at the Red House Museum.

Textiles explore the range of fabrics and designs and methods of decoration for both clothing and domestic furnishings.

The Hampshire Story 1856-1891 and a Hampshire company’s lasting legacy

Local treasures include a raised work embroidery raised work embroidery of c1660 depicting Basing House, Jane Austen's silk pelisse dress of c1814, and clothing of the Empress Eugenie.

The textiles collection numbers many small embroideries including a Jacobite needle purse of c1715 and samplers including the Fanny Adams sampler commemorating the death of a small child in Alton.

Why do we have costume and textile collections?

  • To use in displays and exhibitions interpreting historic themes, and exploring past lifestyles, demonstrating skills and interests
  • To provide evidence of what was worn, made and used locally 
  • As a reference resource for costume designers and interpreters, students of dressmaking, quilting, embroidery, and art history

Isabella Watts c1830-35, on display at Westbury Manor Museum


Researchers and specialist groups can look at the collections in store at Chilcomb House by prior appointment.

Heywood Sumner tapestry

Banner image (top of page) - detail from The Chace, designed by Heywood Sumner.
More about the Heywood Sumner tapestry