Only a few days after the passing of James Cotton, one of the country's greatest blues harmonica players, we lost one of our greatest...
Phyllis Diller is widely considered the first female stand-up comic to perform as a solo act. While she is mainly known for her career in...
We asked Eric Jentsch, deputy chair and curator in our Division of Culture and the Arts, for his NCAA bracket picks. Then he disappeared...

Blog Posts in "Textiles"

a black and white photograph of a woman in a cream colored dress with a draped skirt, laid on top of pieces of fabric of varied textures and colors
Even before the United States entered the First World War in 1917, procurement officers for the armed forces began to look for sources for...
Silk with a pattern of the Grand Canyon. Bright orange, green, white and reds mimick the crags and dimensions of the famous natural canyon. The pattern goes in every direction to suggest rather than depict the Grand Canyon
Mallinson's Printed Pussywillow—This excellent quality is ideal for blouses, scarfs, and coat linings, offered in a large selection of...
a green square board with a number of small pes attached by screen to a roller contraption with a handle on which lace is stretched
Walking down a street in Chicago in 1901, Sylvester G. Lewis saw a large group of women enthralled with a lady making lace in a window...
A full-length photo of the sewing machine. It looks like a box with painted doors featuring images of a man and woman. The top is open to show the sewing needle.
Nineteenth century Americans were voracious news-readers, and in 1863, there was plenty of big news. Abraham Lincoln signed the...
Likeness of Ferdinand Foch in black, white and gray against a gray background surrounded by celebratory and commemorative details
Continuing our World War I series, discover an incredible portrait of a war hero.During World War I, several French textile manufacturers...
Photo of a stamp. There is a raised floral design, somewhat stylized. Parts that are not to be stamped are flush and not raised.
In the museum's textile collection are over 400 of these curious blocks. What were they used for and when did they come to us? During...
Black and white ad with photo of woman in dress with polka dots and umbrella with polka dots. Text: "Silks that express the spirit of sport."
Next in our World War I series this month, a look at what we now consider a go-to, neutral fabric for almost any season.In 1915 American...
Photo of panels of quilt, one with American flag in center
This week, we're exploring how participation—people joining together to accomplish shared goals—shapes American life by exploring our...
Photo of fabric. Dark blue background. Images of small children wearing pink, brown, white, and blue outfits. Attached together with string.
Some dolls, some dogs, and a charming Parisian story from our textile collections, part of our World War I series this month.In July 1918,...
Patter with wide white strips, thin black stripes, and stylized bird and anti illustrations
On December 18, 1915, Edith Bolling Galt married President Woodrow Wilson in a ceremony at her home in Washington, D.C. This very private...
Square shaped lace example, white on black background
"War" and "lace" are not often part of the same sentence. However, laces made in Belgium during World War I are an exception. About 50 of...
Green pocketbook
In the colonial era, a certain type of pocketbook was all the rage from 1740 to 1790. Both women and men used them to carry valuables such...
Small folder with red ribbon on black background
One of the most fascinating objects that came to my attention during my time as a Smithsonian postdoctoral research fellow is a rather...
A flag that has survived actual "bombs bursting in air" can surely survive anything, right? You’d be surprised. Maintaining the Star-...
This is probably one of the most elaborate table runners you’ll ever see. It is a needle lace runner made entirely by hand with innumerable...
The Textile Collection at the National Museum of American History contains an embroidered picture of Charity based on a mezzotint engraving...
Lace veil on black background
This spectacular veil was handmade for Princess Stéphanie of Belgium for her wedding to Austro-Hungarian Crown Prince Rudolf in 1881. It...
Mr. Isadore Warshaw began collecting business ephemera in 1928 that would later come to the National Museum of American History under the...