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The Textile Museum of Prato

The city of Prato is renowned throughout the world for its work and its long term relationship with textiles, more than 800 years in the making. A representation of this important production is visible at the Textile Museum in Prato. This museum is located in the ex shearing or trimming factory called CAMPOLMI, a monument to industrial archeology within the medieval city walls of Prato.

In a city where the production of textiles is still important even today, the Museum represents a cultural institution which has an objection to pass down and valorize the technical aspects and the antique and contemporary art of textile production. The Textile Museum in Prato was born out of a need not to forget their glorious past and the international fame which is an integral part of who and what Prato is, as well as give space to learning more about the culture of textile production.

A visit to the Textile Museum in Prato will allow a vision of rare and unique pieces of work. The art is documented from the paleo-christian era to that of today with approximately 600 pieces in excellent condition. The collection of the various pieces was put together with a passion that surpasse generations and fashion styles.

If you are passionate about fashion and textiles, then you will enjoy the history of Prato. The museum highlights the following types of production:

  • archeological textiles (pre-colombian)
  • sacred textiles
  • embroidered textiles (Italian and European)
  • ethnic dress and textiles (India, Indonesia, Yemen, Central and South America, China and Japan)
  • samples of work from Prato
  • artistic textiles and mockup (including work from Giò Pomodoro)
  • contemporary textiles (in collaboration with the Consorzio PratoTrade)
  • clothing and accessories
  • textile machines
  • fashion figures
  • antique books

Not only is there a rich and educative permanent collection at the Textile Museum in Prato, there are also temporary exhibitions. Until the end of October 2015 you can admire the embroidered and crocheted pieces from the Antonia Suardi collection entitled “Arte vera e gentile”. To really understand to a city like Prato, means to also study and understand its traditions and culture. The museum can bring you even closer to Prato starting with its history and participation in a sector that has truly made Prato famous all over the world for its innovation and quality.

In the exhibition “Arte vera e gentile” you will have the opportunity to view a collection of work that is part of the historic archives. This personal collection by the Countess Antonia Suardi, one of the principal supporters of Industrie Femminili Italiane who has dedicated her life to the research and promotion of the art of embroidery and of merletto. Original photos, notebooks, a catalog of photos from the Exhibition of 1906 and a manuscript of embroidery designs from 1570 are on display within the exhibition until the end of October 2015.

The permanent exhibition in the museum is organized by theme: the heater room, the room of antique textiles, the raw material and its processes, Prato, the city of Textiles, Prato and Fashion, and there is an area dedicated to modern material and a room for temporary exhibitions. In this room the pieces are changed out with new subjects and objects.

If you are curious to discover the city of Prato and visit the museum to understand the history and what made it the great city that it is now, you can ask about the guided tor of the museum and a follow up with a guided tour of the city showing you how the history of Prato is tied to that of the growth of the textile production

Inside the Museum of Textile in Prato you will find a gift and book shop where you can purchase objects in theme with the museum and a caffetteria for a light snack.

Useful Information

Museum of Cloth Material
Via Puccetti 3, 59100 Prato
Telephone: 0574 611503

Opening Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday: 10am to 3pm
Friday and Saturday: 10am to 7 pm
Sunday: 3pm to 7pm

Ticket Office closes 45 minutes prior to closing times.

It is possible to organize special opening times for groups.

Ticket Price: Full €6.

May the Culture and History of Prato be with you!

Credit foto: Museo Tessile di Prato

Author: Sara Boccolini

Having studied Economics of Tourism in Rimini in 2009, once I entered the working world I realized Economics was really not for me while tourism most definitely was. Traveling and the web are my great passion and my work. I'm a crazy girl born under the sign of Aquarius, that's who I am!


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