Clothing and Costume

The permanent collection of beaded clothing at the Museum of Beadwork focuses largely on clothing constructed in the last 100 years. The collection explores artistic expression using beadwork throughout the fashion world as well as in film and television. The museum has chosen to create replicas when exhibiting pieces which are significant to indigenous peoples and their history. This allows us to share the artistry and history of these items in an ethical manner.

Garments and body coverings have been adorned with beaded embellishments, and even constructed entirely using beading techniques, for thousands of years. Techniques include bead-embroidery, beaded lace-work, fabric woven with fiber and beads, or beads used in place of buttons. Craftspeople primarily use a needle and thread or Tambour hook to attach the beads to the fabric.

Embroidered Pink Dress, Unknown Designer

Vintage "Flapper" Dress

Sheer Indian robe embellished with silver and metallic beads.

Brown Chiffon Gown with Beaded Embellishments

Red Silk Bead Embroidered Top

Sequin and beaded Kurta, made in India