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Social and Industrial History

Social and Industrial History

Costume and textiles

The particular strength of the costume collection is women’s dresses from 1800 to the 1920s. The overall collection covers the main changes in women's fashion from 1800 to the 1970s. It also includes more up-to-date items such as goth clothing from the late 1990s. There are also coats and capes, uniforms, menswear and children's clothes as well as accessories like shoes, hats and bags. 

The textile collection includes banners, samplers and home textile productions such as lace. The Herbert also has over 60 samplers, mostly from the 1800s. They were a mark of a young girl's skill and patience and were an important part of her education.

There is a significant collection of around 30 banners from trade unions, Sunday Schools and local societies. A ceremonial banner from the Drapers Company that was carried in the Godiva procession is on display in Discover Godiva.