HomeNews & LifestyleToronto Textile Museum: Unraveling The Threads Of History

Toronto Textile Museum: Unraveling The Threads Of History

Step into a World of Color  at the Toronto Textile Museum

Embrace a vibrant world of colour at the Toronto Textile Museum. This unique museum showcases an exquisite collection of textiles from various cultures and periods, each telling its own captivating story through intricate designs and hues.

From ancient fabrics to contemporary masterpieces, visitors are immersed in the rich history and artistry of textiles. The museum’s exhibits celebrate the craftsmanship of weavers, dyers, and artisans, highlighting the significance of textiles in human culture.

Further, through interactive displays and educational programs, visitors can explore the fascinating world of textiles, igniting a deeper appreciation for the beauty and diversity of this ancient art form.

What to Expect at the Toronto Textile Museum

toronto textile museum
Image: @textilemuseumofcanada on Instagram

At the Toronto Textile Museum, expect to be captivated by a diverse collection of textiles from different cultures and eras. This unique museum showcases the artistry and history of fabrics. Because of this, it invites visitors to explore intricate designs and vibrant colours.

From ancient relics to contemporary masterpieces, the exhibits celebrate the craftsmanship of artisans. Engaging displays and educational programs offer a fascinating journey into the world of textiles, igniting a unique connection to textiles and their rich history.

What Is the History of the Textile Museum?

toronto textile museum
Image: @textilemuseumofcanada on Instagram

Founded in 1975 by Max Allen and Simon Waegemaekers as the Canadian Museum of Carpets and Textiles, the Textile Museum of Canada began above an ice cream shop in Mirvish Village.

Initially centred around textiles from their business trips, it later moved to its present location in 1989. Today, the museum showcases international contemporary art, craft, and design exhibitions. Recognizing the land’s history, the museum acknowledges operating on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, Anishinaabe, Chippewa, Haudenosaunee, and Wendat. Because of this, they demonstrate their commitment to cultural awareness and inclusivity.

What Is the Oldest Textile Known to Mankind?

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Image: @textilemuseumofcanada on Instagram

The oldest textile known to mankind is the “Tarkhan Dress,” which dates back to around 3482-3102 BCE. In other words, it’s over 5,000 years old.

Discovered in 1913 at Tarkhan, Egypt, it’s a simple garment made of woven flax fibres. The dress represents an extraordinary archaeological find and provides valuable insights into the ancient textile-making techniques and clothing traditions of that time. Its discovery offers a glimpse into the early history of human civilization and the significance of textiles in ancient societies.

What Exhibitions Are Currently on Display?

toronto textile museum
Image: @textilemuseumofcanada on Instagram

Currently, the Textile Museum of Canada has the following exhibitions on display:

  1. “Gathering” – Running from March 29, 2023, to March 31, 2024.
  2. Collection Gallery – An ongoing exhibition open since March 29, 2023, until December 31, 2033.
  3. “Breathe” – Running from July 6 to October 2.

Additionally, the museum is hosting a Summer Camp event from July 24, 9 AM, to July 28, 4 PM, providing children with the opportunity to participate in felt applique activities in the Museum’s Learning Hub space.

Upcoming Events

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Collection Gallery (Mar 29th – Dec 31st)

toronto textile museum
Image: @textilemuseumofcanada on Instagram

The Textile Museum of Canada’s Collection Gallery dominates its second floor. It provides a dedicated and permanent space to showcase a rotating selection from its extensive collection of over 15,000 objects.

These textiles, acquired through individual donations since the museum’s establishment in 1975, reflect diverse identities and cultures from over 200 regions worldwide. Spanning from 100 CE to the present, they embody rich traditions from Turtle Island, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania.

Installations adopt a community-focused approach. Because of this, they endeavour to share stories from local and national communities. As a result, they offer visitors an ever-evolving and immersive textile experience.

Breathe Exhibition (Jul 5th – Oct 1st)

toronto textile museum
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Métis artists Nathalie Bertin and Lisa Shepherd launched the Breathe project in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. They noticed traditional artisans struggling to create due to lockdowns.

In response, they invited people worldwide to craft masks using traditional mediums. The goal was to create artifacts representing a significant moment in history. Breathe has been exhibited at the Royal Alberta Museum, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and Art Gallery of Guelph. They’ve successfully showcased a collection of traditionally crafted masks that symbolize resiliency during the 21st-century pandemic.

Summer Camp! (Jul 24th – Jul 28th)

toronto textile museum
Image: @textilemuseumofcanada on Instagram

The Textile Museum of Canada is delighted to welcome children aged 7-12 to their summer camp from July 24 to 28, 9 am to 4 pm. For $300 per child (or $250 for Supporters), kids can explore the captivating world of fabric and textile skills. Further, they’ll be indulging their creativity through weaving, soft-sculpting, wearable creations, paper-making, and more!

Limited $75 individual day tickets are available. If you’re joining, please bring a lunch. However, the museum will provide water and snacks.

For any inquiries, interested parents can reach out to Allie at adavis@textilemuseum.ca.

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