This collection of Chinese silk textiles dates from the early 19th Century and spans the 20th Century. Collected over 20 years they include traditional Chinese costumes and textiles and a range of textiles from Chinese minority groups renowned for their fine embroidery. Works include framed embroideries, costume and associated textiles.
The Chinese pioneered the use of silk and were fundamental in the development of the world silk industry. They refined the spinning, weaving and embroidery of silk to its highest level. The network of trade routes that connected China, India, and Europe, known as the Silk Road, was one of the world's main thoroughfares for goods and ideas traveling both east and west.