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CIETA Congress 2025

New Directions in the Study of Historical Textiles


Conventions where we meet in person to discuss research and objects and also visit textile collections together have always been part of the CIETA’s activities. Every other year, the CIETA invites its members to an international congress defined by a general theme. The congresses are held in different cities, usually in the end of September or the beginning of October. Over three days, papers introduce the participants to ongoing projects, the results of cutting edge research, important collections and individual textile objects. Visits and gallery talks complement the programme, and on an additional excursion day the participants are invited to museums and treasuries in the area.

Recent congresses have been held in:

  • 2023 – Wawel Royal Castle, Krakow: “Renaissances and Revivals”
  • 2023 – Swiss National Museum, Zurich: “Excavations and Discoveries”
  • 2019 – Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld: “Dyestuffs and Colours in Textiles – Materiality and Significance”
  • 2017 – The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg: “Power, Rank and Status – Textiles and Representation”
  • 2015 – Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin: “Textiles in Transfer and Transformation“
  • 2013 – Musées des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, Lyon “The History of Textile Collections and Textile Research”
  • 2011 – The National Museum, Copenhagen: “Cultural Encounters in Textiles and Costume between Northern Europe and the World”
  • 2009 – Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels: “Textiles in Trade (woven textiles, lace, tapestries…)”

The 31st CIETA congress will be hosted from 23 to 26 September 2025 by the Museo del Traje, Madrid (Spain).

We will be pleased to welcome the CIETA members in Madrid.


The Museo del Traje, the site of the CIETA Congress, will celebrate the 100-year anniversary of its collection in 2025. The museum was established following the exhibition of traditional and historical Spanish dress held in Madrid. To commemorate this event, the museum is planning an exhibition on the history of its collection, its formation and growth over time, and how the study of dress and textiles has evolved. The exhibition will provide the ideal springboard for the Congress to examine new directions in the study of textiles, while the museum itself provides an exceptional conference venue.

During the congress, we plan to explore how the study of textiles and dress has expanded over the last few decades, embracing research approaches and methods from a range of disciplines: they include anthropology, archaeology, conservation practice and science and the histories of techniques and technology, of art, craft and design, of culture, economics and society. The themes broached have been similarly broad and innovative, touching on multiple aspects of textile production, dissemination and consumption, from the preparation of raw materials to the making and recycling of garments or furnishings. They have accordingly investigated many aspects of human experience and many meanings attached to different object types.

The Congress will also provide the opportunity to explore the diverse and important collections of Madrid’s many museums. As the seat of the Spanish Royal court since the 17th century and a major centre of luxury consumption and production, Madrid has a rich cultural heritage. The city centre retains many of the palaces, monasteries and convents from the period, with the Plaza Mayor at its heart. After 1700 the Bourbon monarchy  brought about a significant shift in Madrid’s landscape. The city was reimagined with the introduction of wide avenues, parks, and cultural landmarks such as the Royal Palace, the Prado Museum, and the Retiro Park.

Since the 19th century, Madrid has been the most important city in the country, which is reflected in its large number of museums, including the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Sorolla Museum, the Lázaro Galdiano Museum, the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of America, and the recently opened Royal Collections Museum, all served by excellent public transportation.

Today Madrid is known not only for its culture and art but also for lovely places to relax and eat tapas after a busy conference day.

Longer trips outside of the city will be planned the last day of the conference, on Friday.

More info in English: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-art-and-culture

Call for Papers

Call for Papers (118.70 KB)

Proposal Form

Proposal Form (120.86 KB)