Comparative Textiles from the Victoria and Albert Museum Collections

Following our Workshop on Dress and Jewellery for the Unwrapping an Icon project at the Victoria and Albert Museum in February 2018, in this post we’d like to share a few of the comparative examples of textiles in the V&A collections that we examined during the event.

Fig. A. The Lady’s fine, translucent veil with a delicate edging may be broadly comparable to this fine linen handkerchief with intricate lace border and corners. The piece in the V&A is catalogued as Italian but in technique and motifs it is also reminiscent of work produced in Spain in the 16-17th centuries.


Fig. B. The colour of the Lady’s yellow-brown frilled cuff looks similar to that in this piece of yellow and green lace. The V&A piece is catalogued as Italian but coloured lace is also known to have been produced in centres in Spain at this period.


Fig. C. The materials, colours and techniques used to decorate this box might be similar to those in the red and gold hair decoration which can just be seen at the top of the Lady’s head, below the veil.


The V&A’s textile collections are stored at the Clothworkers’ Centre, Blythe House, Olympia, and were specially packed and brought to the main Museum building for our Unwrapping an Icon workshop on dress and jewellery. We are most grateful to our colleagues at the V&A, especially Clare Browne and Ruby Hodgson, for selecting, packing and organising transport. Photography of the comparative pieces was by Ana Cabrera, Project Interwoven, Marie S. Curie no. 703711.

For more on the V&A’s textiles and fashion collections, see:

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