Worn clothes and textiles as archives of memory | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2040-4417
  • E-ISSN: 2040-4425



The subject of this article is memory, specifically, the capacity of textiles to retain and communicate memory, both privately and publicly. I argue that cloth can be regarded as a form of archival information and as a carrier of knowledge. My questions centre on the value of textiles in our lives and on the role of textiles in the process of recollection, as well as the extent to which textiles can stimulate remembering, not through the strategic mnemonics of national monuments and events, or the mnemonic device of the souvenir, but rather through unplanned encounters with textiles in their various guises and in different contexts. Each attempt at recollection may reveal historical, cultural, and personal data. The themes of ‘archiving’ memory and ‘materializing’ memory are explored through an analysis of works of artists who use textile media in their visual practice and writers who include their memories of textiles in their works. I use ‘Miniature’ and ‘Gigantic’ as a critical tool to distinguish between two areas of analysis: the private and public within an interdisciplinary approach, combining the study of memory with philosophy, literature, history, material culture and visual studies.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error