Textiles Forward

Advancing Material Culture for Future Generations

Textiles connect us to the past and comfort us with a sense of belonging in the present. It is no wonder that many people dedicate years to collecting textiles for their own personal reasons. Yet, today, many exceptional textiles in private collections have outgrown their original circumstances. We at the Tracing Patterns Foundation aspire to give these textiles new meanings while enabling the collectors’ lifelong dedication to live on. Our Textiles Forward Program provides a framework that addresses this need. We facilitate the ethical and legal forwarding of textiles to educational institutions well-positioned to care for and make them available for study by future generations.

How do we do this? We take in and process donations of historical textiles as individual pieces or as a collection. Per our status as a non-profit organization, Textiles Forward’s aim is to generate a benefit for the broader public in the United States. Our impact can take several different forms. First, we use these textiles for teaching and research within the Tracing Patterns Foundation. In addition, we re-direct textiles to other institutions in the United States. Furthermore, we support overseas teaching institutions that currently lack collections of indigenous materials.

Given the proper context, we believe these textiles can gain new lives and reaffirm their purposes. After all, they are a window to our past. So why not allow them to be an inspiration for our future?

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