One of the most many-layered forms of art is textiles. Fabric and clothing bring together history, storytelling, culture and fashion in one medium that sheds a unique light on society, making and thinking through the ages. The Textile Museum in Borås, with its comprehensive collection of historical and modern clothing and textiles, is one of the best places to explore this realm.

The Textile Museum was founded in 1972 after the rapid decline of the Swedish textile industry. Since, it has collected and preserved clothes and textiles from all over Sweden. The museum hosts a variety of special exhibitions alongside their permanent collection.

“We have two current exhibitions, Textile Layers and TUBE. Textile Layers is a selection of contemporary art that has been collected from the start of the century until today,” explain Malena Karlsson and Eva Blomqvist, curators of the Textile Museum.

“This collection of art really brings attention to our society and how we see the world. It tells stories about trends, political and personal choices,” says Karlsson. The beauty of textile art is that it is so far-reaching. Every item is a part of society on a bigger scale, and everything from the material and its production to its usage has an impact. “You can enjoy and reflect on this art and its dimensions even if you are not invested in fashion or textile,” adds Karlsson.

Textilmuseet: Layered stories told through textiles

Left: Photo: Numen for Use. Right: Photo: Marjan Koorochina

The exhibition TUBE will also provoke your senses – in a different way. “TUBE is a three-dimensional sculptural installation that looks like a spider web or cocoon. It fills our biggest exhibition space and is constructed so that you can walk or climb through it. It is a creation without definitions – it exists to make you feel and explore new perspectives,” says Karlsson.

TUBE mirrors how we all participate in the shaping of public space. “It’s like you are being transported out of everyday life. You are a part of the art and make it come to life. When you climb inside it, it will move and create a motion that other visitors can observe from the outside,” says Blomqvist.

Textile Layers can be enjoyed from 25 February until the 14 May, while TUBE will be open from the 1 April to the 27 August. Blomqvist’s advice is to come to the museum with an open mind:

“Allow yourself to feel whatever comes to you – fear, happiness or a sense of freedom.”

Textilmuseet: Layered stories told through textiles

Photo: Fredrik Lindqvist

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