Explore the colorful history of textiles in Fort Bend County and around the world at the Fort Bend Museum’s newest exhibit. The official exhibit opening will take place on Friday, July 13, from 6-8 p.m. at the Fort Bend Museum in Richmond. The event is free and open to the public; light refreshments will be served.
Texian Time Machine and Outreach Coordinator Allison Harrell said the exhibit is the culmination of more than a year of heavy research – and nearly a lifetime of crafting experience.
“This exhibit is a perspective we haven’t taken before here at the museum,” she said. “We often touch on the origins of clothes and various fabrics in our school programs for kids, but we usually don’t talk about it from an adult perspective. There’s so much fascinating history tied up in the process of making textiles.”
By definition, a textile is any piece of fabric or woven cloth. The exhibit follows the entire textile process from beginning to end, taking a look everything from plant and animal fiber to spinning and weaving, needle arts, yarn arts and more.
“I learned so many things while preparing for this exhibit,” Harrell said, “but the coolest thing by far is that you can actually spin asbestos into fabric – and it is completely fire-resistant. In fact, Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, had an asbestos tablecloth. At the end of meals, he would throw the whole tablecloth into the fire and then withdraw it after all the stains had been burned off. This led to widespread rumors that he performed magic.”
Though textiles and the process of making them is an age-old process, it is still completely relevant to modern-day life, Harrell said.
“Learning about the textiles process from start to finish makes us conscious of issues like environmental sustainability,” she said. “It’s amazing to discover how people, plants and animals come together to literally make up the fabric of life.”
For more information about the exhibit, visit fortbendmuseum.org/on-exhibit or call 281-342-6478.