Please note: ATHM has permanently closed its doors.
An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, told America’s story through the art, history, and science of textiles. In addition to our core exhibition, ATHM presented ongoing and rotating special exhibitions, exploring the world through the lens of textiles, from the fashions of Hollywood and Princess Diana to the haunting personal stories of Vietnam and the Civil War. ATHM held the world’s largest and most important collections of tools, spinning wheels, hand looms, and early production machines, as well as more than five million pieces of textile prints, fabric samples, rolled textiles coverlets, and costumes.
At the American Textile History Museum, we dedicated more than 50 years to preserving the past and shaping the future. Our collections, exhibitions, education programs, research library, and on-line catalogue provided a fascinating in-depth look at the world through the art, history, and science of textiles.
A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers – and you could not live without it. Textiles impact every moment of your life in ways you may never have imagined. The clothing we wear, the clean water we drink, the sports we play, the cars we drive, and the roads we drive on are all possible through the innovation in textiles. Textile innovation and entrepreneurship have shaped the course of this country and continue to do so today.