Hamburg Museum for Applied Art (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe)


The Fashion Collection of the MKG comprises over 10.000 items of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, including underwear and accessories. The collection documents the development from the courtly and upper-class clothes of the mid-18th century to the fashion and styles of our time. Clothing of other periods, cultures and traditions, such as early Christian tunics, East-Asian robes, clerical vestments and traditional costumes closely links the collection to the other departments of the museum. Highlighted are renowned international designers from the last century, such as Balenciaga, YSL, Courrèges, Margiela, and McQueen, along with German designers like Wolfgang Joop. Japanese fashion design of the last 30 years, including model dresses by Issey Miyake, has become the focus of the collection.


Hamburg Museum (Museum für hamburgische Geschichte)


Untitled-1The textile collection comprises some 15,000 items of the most diverse types – from costumes and accessories like shoes, hats, umbrellas and handbags to woven, knit and embroidered artefacts like tapestries, pillow cases, embroidery pattern cloths and underwear. The relatively small jewellery collection focuses on two themes: jewellery from private bequests and traditional regional costume jewellery.



German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum)


Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 11.35.09 AMViewed as one of the most important museums in Berlin and one of the most frequented. The Collection of Civilian Textiles and Costume consists of some 20,000 objects from around 1750 to the present day. It includes a broad spectrum of textiles ranging from clothing, accessories, linen and civilian uniforms to flags, tapestries, wreath ribbons and protest banners. Interestingly, the objects in this main collection are all from civilian life, with separate departments for their collections of military uniforms and armor.


Museum of Decorative Arts (Kunstgewerbemuseum)


Part of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, The collection’s extensive range of costumes and accessories from the 18th to 20th centuries will be presented to visitors after the reopening of the museum in 2014 in a newly conceived fashion gallery.

Dresden State Art Museums (Staaliche Kunstsammlungen)


It is one of the most renowned and oldest museum institutions in the world, originating from the collections of the Saxon electors in the 16th century. At Residenzschloss, the Dresden Armoury (Rüstkammer) has one of the most valuable collections of weapons and armoury in the world. The Turkish Chamber (Türckische Cammer)  is one of the oldest and most important collections of Ottoman art anywhere in the world outside Turkey. It is unclear from the website if there is a separate textile collection.

Germanisches Nationalmuseum


Germany’s largest museum of cultural history, it houses a large collection of items relating to German culture and art extending from prehistoric times through to the present day. Their textile collection of over 25,000 objects includes textiles from late antiquity to the present, clothing from the 16th to the 21st century, ethnographic textiles and costumes, and a large jewelry collection. The focus is medieval tapestries and embroideries, clothing from the early modern period. One highlight of the collection is a fragment of the Cloth of St Gereon, dating from teh early 11th century. Cut into fragments in the 19th century and housed at various European museums, it is the second oldest known European tapestry.


Palitinate Museum (Kurpfälzisches Museum)


Belonging to the museum’s applied arts department (but displayed separately in a former evangelical church) the textile collection includes women’s costumes going back to the second half of the 18th century, along with accessories, everyday items and decorative textile objects. Unique parts of the collection include Indian textiles, Balinesian ikat, Javanese batiks, Peruvian grave finds, and a collection of British and American patchwork quilts from the last 200 years. Exhibitions focus on historical and ethnographic dress, textile production,and the work of domestic and foreign textile artists.


Bavarian National Museum (Baverisches Nationalmuseum)


One of the most important museums of decorative arts in Europe, the collection has been divided into two main groups: the art historical collection and the folklore collection. The textile collection includes the tapestries from the 16th – 18th centuries,  liturgical vestments from the Middle Ages, costumes and textiles from the Renaissance and fashionable courts of the 18th and early 19th century, and armor. Unique in their collection are five centuries of historical shoes, an excellent collection of silks, and an Oriental knotted carpets.

Textile Museum (Textilmuseum)


This collection includes historical dress and accessories, clerical vestments, and contemporary fashion. They highlight handicrafts like lace and embroidery. This collection may be under renovation through 2015.




You can also check out this article from the Goethe Institut about fashion collections, museums, and libraries in Germany.