The scope of the museum’s collections is global.

Holdings include prehistoric and ethic textiles and costume as well as contemporary high fashions and high-tech textiles. Types of items include apparel, accessories, household textiles, piece goods, books, patterns, and a variety of items related to textile and apparel production, use, and care.

Special Collections

Baton Rouge Collection

The Baton Rouge Collection is the newest collection, debuting in 2007 with textile and apparel artifacts relating to Baton Rouge’s own distinctive history.  This collection documents the contributions of well-known community personalities as well as those of lesser known citizens who have played a part in building the community. 

Louisiana Collection

The Louisiana Collection, a collection of artifacts that tracks the Louisiana experience, was inaugurated in 2006 to honor the rebuilding efforts of the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and other local citizens’ volunteer groups following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Photographer C. C. Lockwood and painter Rhea Gary, co-authors of "Marsh Mission," were specifically acknowledged for their advocacy of Louisiana wetlands preservation, each donating garments worn while documenting the Louisiana coastline.

Louisiana First Families Collection

The gubernatorial garments from previous Governors and their families are a part of the Museum’s Louisiana First Families Collection and include artifacts from the tenure of Governors Edwin Edwards, David Treen, "Mike" Foster, "Buddy" Roemer, and Bobby Jindal.

LSU Collection

The LSU Collection has been initiated to document the University’s administration, faculty, students, and its supporters, providing a unique look at its history. This growing collection includes garments worn by student athletes, cheerleaders, and campus celebrities as well as apparel artifacts from early university faculty members and presidents.

The LSU Textile & Costume Museum's collection will be viewable online soon!

Learn about Textiles

Browse through the virtual scrapbooks of past exhibitions to learn about topics ranging from

  • Conservation
  • World dress
  • Louisiana culture
  • LSU history in dress
  • Fashion history
  • Textile traditions

Textile Fabrications Defined 

nonwoven textile

A nonwoven textile structure is produced by the bonding and/or interlocking of fibers into a web

woven fabric example

Woven fabrics are composed of two sets of yarns interlaced with one another


Knitted fabrics are made by interlocking a series of loops of one or more yarns


A net is an open fabric formed by weaving, knitting, knotting, crocheting, or twisting yarn, thread, or rope together to form a meshwork


laceLaces are ornamental openwork textiles, formed without the aid of a ground fabric by a network of threads twisted together and sometimes knotted to form patterns

crochet exampleA crochet fabric is created by pulling one loop of yarn through another with a hook

braided fabricA braid is a flat, round, or tubular narrow fabric made by interlacing a single set of yarns to form a diagonal pattern


Pile fabrics have raised loops, tufts, or other yarns or fibers deliberately emplaced to stand away from the surface


quiltMulticomponent fabrics are materials created by combining different textile products such as quilts

bonded fabricBonded fabrics are composed of a face or shell that is joined to a backing fabric with an adhesive


Fabric Identification

cotton and flax fiber

Cellulosic Fibers

Burning Characteristics

  • burn quickly and do not fuse, shrink, or melt
  • emit an odor similar to burning paper
  • exhibit an afterglow
  • leave a feathery ash


  • acid contained in paper, cardboard, and wood
  • chlorine bleach
  • mildew
  • silverfish when starched or sized
  • *linen exhibits poor flex abrasion

wool and silk fibers

Protein Fibers

Burning Characteristics

  • shrink from a flame, burn slowly, and self-extinguish
  • emit an odor similar to burning hair
  • leave a crushable black ash residue


  • carpet beetles
  • *moths are attracted to wool, more so if soiled
  • *silk is degraded by metallic salts employed in weighting and present in perspiration and deodorants

rayon, acetate, acrylic and polyster fibers

Manufactured Fibers

Burning Characteristics

  • shrink from a flame, burn slowly, and self-extinguish
  • emit an odor similar to burning hair
  • leave a crushable black ash residue


  • melt with exposure to heat (rayon is the exception)
  • *rayon is susceptible to acid degradation
  • *acetate may fume-fade from acid fumes in the atmosphere
  • *nylon scavenges soil and dye
  • *polyester has an affinity for oils

Useful References 

  • Mailand, H. F., & Stites, D. (1999). Preserving Textiles, A Guide for the Nonspecialist. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art. ISBN-10: 0936260718 and ISBN-13: 978-0936260716
  • Ordoñez, M. T. (2001). Your Vintage Keepsake, A CSA Guide to Costume Storage and Display. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University Press. ISBN-10: 096764450X and ISBN-13: 978-0967644509
  • American Institute for Conservation, Caring for your Treasures