The costume and textile collection at Dorset County Museum focuses on fashionable clothes for men, women and children from between c.1650 to c.1950.
Only material with Dorset origins or strong subsequent connections has been collected and the majority tend to be the special items more likely to be saved in families than re-cycled or worn out.
Significant large groups include baby robes, smock-frocks, Dorset sun-bonnets, wedding gowns, embroidery samplers, Dorset buttons and Dorset feather stitchery. Smaller groups include dress accessories (including footwear, fans, jewellery, millinery and beadwork), lace, quilts, school uniforms and later 18th century fashionable male clothing.
Due to the delicate nature of textiles, they can only be put on display for a short time and are rarely seen by the public unless part of a temporary exhibition.