Textiles have been collected by the Redland Museum since its inception with a special workroom and storage area for textiles being built in 2001, adhering to the specialised requirements needed for the storage of textiles. The room was named the Dorothy Templeton BEM Textile Room in honour of Dorothy’s 30-year service to the Museum, and in recognition of her many years work managing the textile collection.
By 2013 the Textile collection had outgrown this room and the old Collection area was converted into a beautiful large Exhibition display area for our many interesting and beautiful items, this has been named the B & J Berry Gallery, the attached large workroom/storage area is named after Dorothy Templeton BEM. This conversion was part of the huge new extensions to the Museum which were opened in May 2013 by the Governor Ms Penelope Wensley AC.
The Exhibition area has track lighting, dimmer switches, air conditioning, hanging tracks and special attention has been given to ensure the lighting does not emit UV rays which can damage fabrics, with perspex covers where necessary. The workroom has large glass doors to enable visitors to view items being processed. The room contains special large metal filing cabinets required for the storage of textile items, racks for hanging garments in unbleached calico bags, shelving for large boxes and tables for the textile workers. All items are wrapped in acid free paper, after having their RM number attached, catalogued, photographed and then entered into the data base on the computer for an easily accessible record.
There are thousands of items registered in the Redland Museum Textile Collection, with the items ranging from the 1800s to our present day. Some of the items contained in the collection are bustle dresses from the 1800s, sewing samplers from 1825, wedding gowns from the 1800s, hats, dresses, coats, furs, accessories, jewellery, men’s clothing, military uniforms, bed spreads, ladies, children and baby clothing, dolls, religious garments, plus many beautifully embroidered and crocheted duchess sets, doilys, and aprons. Textiles are also used throughout the Museum in various set displays such as the military room, the bedroom, dining room, kitchen and laundry and special display cabinets.
Our aim is to collect, conserve and preserve textiles and clothing representing the social identity of the people of the Redlands. The collection provides a fascinating representation of changing fashions and life styles over the centuries, plus an appreciation of the amazing skill needed to create the beautiful embroidery and laces and fabrics.