Tapestry is an online resource that catalogs thousands of historic fabric swatches from Philadelphia University’s vast textile collection.

Funded with the generous support of The Barra Foundation, Tapestry allows users to browse and search thousands of these historic textiles from any smartphone, tablet, or personal computer.

About The Design Center at Philadelphia University

The Design Center at Philadelphia University houses over 200,000 items that reflect a broad spectrum of techniques, designs, cultures and historic periods. The collection features 2,000 year old Egyptian Coptic fragments; Pre-Colombian woven and printed textiles; elaborate European silk embroideries and brocades; Kashmir and Paisley shawls; 18th and 19th century quilts and coverlets; hand-and machine-made laces; 19th and early 20th century Chinese imperial court robes and Japanese kimonos; American and European garments, undergarments, and children’s wear from the 18th to 21st centuries; and designer clothing from the Victorian era to the present. Traditional costumes from around the world are also represented, as are a wide range of clothing accessories from stockings, shoes, hats, and gloves to parasols, beaded bags, and fans.

The Collection serves as outstanding resources for scholarly research and provides inspiration to designers, artists, educators, students and enthusiasts. In addition to mounting exhibitions and creating public initiatives, The Design Center houses Philadelphia University’s extensive historical and contemporary Textile Collection. Nationally recognized as a resource for the study of Western and non-Western textiles and costumes from the 1st century A.D. to the present, the Collection is open to the public including classes, scholars, faculty and students by appointment.

The fabric samples are the most popular and most vulnerable elements contained within the Textile Collection. Requests to visit and study the images of fabric swatches in the Textile Collection range from students to commercial entrepreneurs to general aficionados of design.

All images © 2014 Philadelphia University.