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International Textile Collection

Inside the ULITA Museum, Leeds. Inside the ULITA Museum, Leeds. ULITA, University of Leeds, UK.

The International Textiles Collection was formerly, until 2019, known as the ULITA Archive of International Textiles. It now forms part of Special Collections, Leeds University Library.  is housed in St Wilfred’s Chapel, on the Western Campus of the University of Leeds, England. The purpose of the archive is to collect, preserve and document textiles and related items from many of the textile producing areas of the world for the benefit of scholars, researchers and the general public.

The acquisition of items forming the collection began in the late nineteenth century. John and Roberts Beaumont, the first Professors in the Department of Textile Industries of the Yorkshire College (later to become the University of Leeds), began to collect fabric samples and pattern books to use as teaching resources for students of woven textile design. In 1892 the items contained in the collection had increased in number and importance so much that a donation by the Clothworkers’ Company allowed for the provision of a museum. The collection was enhanced by Leeds University professors travelling abroad, particularly Professor Barker who collected in China and South America in the early twentieth century, and bequests such as the Louisa Pesel Collection.

The Collection includes Chinese Qing dynasty embroideries, Kashmiri shawls, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern embroideries, block-printed cottons from Pakistan, Javanese batiks and ikats, Japanese textiles, West African weaves, nineteenth and twentieth century European textile samples, mid-twentieth century British furnishing fabrics, natural and man-made fibres and glass plate teaching slides. Many of the collections can be viewed via the online catalogue.

Website (retrieved 18 February 2021).


Last modified on Thursday, 18 February 2021 09:19