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Costume and Textiles

Considered the leading collection of Canadian dress and the second most important collection of costume in Canada, this collection has grown since 1957 to contain some 18,900 items of dress and accessories. Among the plethora of women's dresses, parasols, hats, fans and footwear are many marvels created by some of Montreal's greatest 20th-century designers. The menswear in the collection includes suits, coats and accessories. Children's dress is also well represented. Finally, there is an important group of embroidered samplers, quilts and other textiles, including North America's oldest known patchwork quilt (1726).


  • 19,000 items of clothing and accessories, mainly women's, some men's and children's wear, and many other textile objects, all made and/or worn and used in Canada.
  • An extensive collection of clothing by major Canadian and European designers.
  • A survey of dress through the past three centuries, illustrating Montreal's role as Canada's fashion capital.

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Dress (M20189.1-2)

About 1882, 19th century

Coat (M20518)

About 1795, 18th century

Quilt (M972.3.1)

1726, 18th century