Review: The Fabric of Democracy

Fabric of Democracy exhibition: a social meet-up on the 20th January at the Fashion and Textile Museum

This was a fascinating exhibition showing how textiles are used for propaganda purposes. Examples have been gathered from a wide range of places and across two centuries – from the French Revolution to Brexit. Commemorative fabrics produced to showcase technological, sporting, scientific and arts achievements, linked to power and prosperity of industrialised nations, usually to foster civic pride. Items to cultivate the ‘cult’ of a hero or dictator. Examples of how authoritarian states impose styles of dress on their peoples and designs to propagate national myth-making.

The final section was up-to-date ‘post-truth slogan’ fashion. An example being American polarized politics symbolised by two hats – the home knitted ‘Pussyhat’ in ideological opposition to the factory-made ‘MAGA’ (Make America Great Again) cap worn by Donald Trump and his supporters. 

Gave us a lot to chat about in a lovely local café afterwards! Well worth a visit. Continues until March 3rd – more information here.