The resources in this collection, established in 1883 thanks to the bequest of Francesc Martorell, have been increased by the acquisition of other major collections, such as those of Josep Pascó (1914) and Lluís Plandiura (1932), as well as that donated by Eusebi Bertrand (1981).
The oldest pieces in the collection are the Coptic fabrics, fragments from clothing and grave goods as well as two tunics (3rd-9th century) from various excavations in Egypt (1888-1920). Also conserved are several Hispano-Arabic fabrics (12th-15th century), some of which form part of internationally renowned liturgical ornaments. The collection also embraces Gothic, Renaissance, baroque and neo-classical fabrics, used to cover walls and furniture and as civil and liturgical garments. Particularly outstanding here is the collection of Flemish tapestries (16th century).
The collection also conserves examples of other textile techniques, such as embroidery (12th-19th century) and calico, which includes prints made in Catalonia and France (18th-19th century), including a number of commemorative handkerchiefs. The example of lace and needlework are from European production centres, including Catalonia, and include an outstanding collection of mantillas, sheets and tablecloths.
The historic clothing collation (17th century to 1920) contains international and Spanish garments (18th-19th century) as well as Catalan Art Nouveau and Art Deco dresses, mostly from the large donated made by Manuel Rocamora (1969). Accessories, such as gloves, hats and footwear, as well as walking sticks, handbags and fans (15th-20th century) are also well-represented. Another interesting section is that formed by corsets, bustles and crinolines.
Visit the HISTORIC CLOTHING COLLECTION