Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000


Copyright © 2000 by the author(s).


The Historic Costume & Textiles Collection at The Ohio State University (OSU) is a research facility in the Consumer & Textile Sciences Department of the College of Human Ecology. Begun as a teaching tool by the Textiles and Clothing faculty in the 1940s, the Collection now numbers over 10,000 artifacts, including men's, women's and children's clothing and accessories dating from the eighteenth century to the present day, and textiles ranging from pre-Columbian archeological fragments to European Renaissance liturgical textiles, to twentieth century furnishing fabrics.

Clothing is inseparable from textiles, since it is predominantly made of the latter, and the qualities of the textile have a profound effect on the behavior of a garment. Over 1000 costume and textile artifacts are used annually in classroom teaching, exhibitions, and research at OSU. The curriculum includes courses in textile chemistry, textile physics, historic costume, and historic textiles. Artifacts from the Collection are prime examples of full-scale end-use textile fibers and structures. A full garment is a much more effective representation of a textile's qualities than a 2 x 3" swatch, and an actual garment is better than a picture.