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Rare textiles at Needles and Pins: Textiles & Tools exhibition

May '07
MAY 6, 2007 – APRIL 13, 2008 Location: The Museum of International Folk Art is located on Museum Hill, Camino Lejo off Old Santa Fe Trail.
Days/Times: Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M. After Memorial Day the Museum is open on Mondays from 10:00 A.M.-5:00 P.M.

Rare and never before seen textiles will be on display in Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools selected from the Museum of International Folk Art's vast collection of more than 20,000 textiles. Spinning wheels, looms, needles, sewing boxes, and adrinka stamps, among many other tools of the trade, will also come from the Museum's rich holdings.

Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools is as much about textiles and the many processes of creating them as it is how the tools themselves. Often intricately carved or made of precious metal, they can be seen as works of art. The finished product of each process – weaving, embroidery, sewing/needle arts, lace making, non-woven textiles, printing, and painting, will be on view. The textiles on display are coming out of storage for the first time, making this a unique opportunity to see some of the museum's more idiosyncratic holdings. Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools takes a comprehensive look at textiles and textile production from around the world with more than 250 items on view.

One of the humblest items in the exhibition will be a needle. Not an ordinary needle, it is a pre-Columbian gold needle from Tiahuanaco, Bolivia. Itmight have been used in weaving or to hold clothing together. Pins and needles had multiple functions in the past and were precious because they were difficult to make. In this day of mass production, these items taken for granted. But, in another time, they were not common and were a sign of prestige. Their value resulted in the creation of elaborate needles cases and precious pin holders.

During the course of the exhibition visitors inspired by the various textiles and curious about the means of their creation will be able to try their hand at such activities as weaving and embroidery, among others.

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